Thursday, March 24, 2016

Glorious Hexagons Quilt Along—using a color board

We're having fun with EPP (English Paper Piecing) hexagon blocks in the Glorious Hexagons Quilt Along and posting and sharing pictures. Initially, I was piecing hexagons with random fabrics from various fabric companies just to get into the swing of the program and the technique. This "hexing with abandon" method can be crazy-fun, however, if you're looking for a more cohesive, unified look, you might consider creating and working with a color board.
Color board of cool colors; primarily blues and greens.
A tip that JoAnne at Paper Pieces suggested before I started the Glorious Hexagon Quilt Along, was to pull two or three "inspiration fabrics"—in essence, a color board—from which to base color and fabric choices. Most focal prints from a fabric collection are great choices for this. Above is a cool color board and below is a warm color board.
Color board of warm colors: yellows, oranges, reds.
From these main fabrics, you can add the supporting cast of coordinating prints and blenders. Here is how I flushed out these two color boards with other fabrics.

In the first, more blues and greens were added... light and dark... and a white to add a coolness and a sparkle... also a yellow-orange/cheddar-colored fabric to add a little zing (orange is the complement of blue).
Ensemble of fabrics for the blue/green color palette.
When choosing other ensemble members for your color board, remember the Elements of Design: value, texture and color; and the Principles of Design: scale, variety, contrast and repetition. This will make your color board interesting yet cohesive. Below is the warm color palette.
Ensemble of fabrics for the warm color palette.
Here is another color board that is grounded in grays (white, black and grays) with accents of rich, bright jewel tones.
Whites, grays and blacks highlighted with bright colors.
Blender fabrics do a great job giving breadth and depth to this grayscale color board.
Adding interest and extending the color range with tonal blenders.
Hexagon block #19 Nicole illustrates the use of the red, blue and green tonal blenders with black/white prints.
#19 Nicole block from "The New Hexagon" book and Glorious Hexagons.
For another take on the concept of color boards, here is a video of Nathan Turner for Pottery Barn, creating and working with a mood board. It's just a matter of starting with things you like and auditioning additions so everything goes together.

As a fabric collection is built around a main fabric or focus print, a color board provides a roadmap for choosing other fabrics and coordinates. So, you might try orchestrating your Glorious Hexagon symphony around a color board to help with the fabric decision-making process. If you like the "Hexie with Abandon" approach, then have fun with the process and see where your hexagons take you. Nothing wrong with either path!
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