Nov 10, 2007

The value of value

Value is defined as the relative darkness or lightness of a color. I've been thinking about it because this week I acquired "Kaffe Fassett's quilts in the sun." It's another book full of beautiful color photos. Fassett's book has some quilts with a clear value pattern, like Lady of the Lake Quilt. But many of his quilts are a riot of wonderful color with little attention to color value.

Now, I'm not prejudiced--my crazy quilts and the puff quilt I'm making (good progress there, I've been sewing like mad this week and all the puffs are completed) have no respect for value either.

However, the first quilt I ever made, back in 1961--was a log cabin and that's all about value. People that I showed that quilt to back then were sort of shocked. They were surprised at putting all those assorted fabrics next to each other. And many of the classic quilt patterns such as Monkey Wrench, Shoo-fly, Anvil all required attention to the color values in order to bring out the design.

I'm inserting photos of a couple of my recent quilts with traditional patterns that show how the choice of color value makes a difference.


joyce said...

I don't know if you read Nellie's Needles, but she had a very interesting post about value and contrast yesterday. Her blog is at

Katie said...

THanks for stopping by my blog. Your quilts are wonderful and info on value so interesting. I also checked Nellie's Needles. Wow.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

Value is an interesting thing to learn about when you start quilting. I like how the same fabric can be dark or light in the same quilt. I do like the mixing of fabrics though that go against 'the rule', and Kaffe Fasset does it very well. His quilts look sort of 'riotous' for want of a better word. I often get his books out of the library for a look.