Saturday, July 17, 2010

*Inspiration* Value Quilts

Today I discovered a common thread.  I've been loving quilts with a certain look... lots of color, contrast and an emerging design.  Turns out I love value quilts.

A value quilt is a design that plays on value - the lightness or darkness of a fabric, regardless of color.  Here's one of my favorite examples.  It's by Naptime Quilter:
values quilt top

Her quilt reminds me of my Colorbrick Quilt.  So much color and happiness!  But unlike Colorbrick, where I agonized about color placement for ages, a multi-colored value quilt usually goes together with little regard for color.  Basically, you separate your pieces into light and dark values and them piece them spontaneously, trusting the values to make the quilt shine.  Here are some more of my favorite value quilts in a smorgesboard of color.


I've also seen some beautiful value quilts that use color and value.  This one is stunning.  See how each block is one color in many shades (or two complimentary colors) with values from light to dark?  Amazing, right?!?

Streifenblöcke - Blocks of stripes

And here's a simple squares quilt, using half square triangles.  Jeni of In Color Order created her squares with mostly dark value warm colors set against mostly light value cool colors to create a lovely effect.  I think I'd like to see this done with all dark value warm colors vs. all light value cool colors.  Would it be more fabulous or less so because of the predictability?  Hmm....

DQS9 Top Finished!

Here are a few more value quilts where color is central to the design.


If you're feeling the value quilt love, you should check out the Sew Katie Did tutorial.  It looks like she inspired a whole run of value quilts!  Now, I just need an excuse to make one?  Or do I?

Yes, I do.  Well, Liam's birthday is in February....

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for this interesting blog. I went and checked out some of the quilts you featured in it. I love having something to inspire a new project!

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  2. i love value quilts as well (although i didnt know that name until i read your post;) actually i saw the 'summer bling quilt' the other week and loved it and decided i would use that for inspiration for my next quilt.

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  3. Great quilts. I have made two "value quilts" but had no idea that's what they are called. I admire your work! Thanks.

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  4. Mmm, I love value quilts! I agree, it would be interesting to see a cool vs warm with light vs dark! At the moment I don't have many dark fabrics in my stash, but maybe someday! :)

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  5. awesome post and I love your stitching too!

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  6. This is new terminology for me, but you've just shown me exactly what I love in quilts. Those are exactly the color combinations that make my heart sing, my eyes fixate. Your old blog banner with your quilt flung over you on the couch is what initially caught my eye and made me stay long enough to visit more thoroughly here. Thanks for all the wonderful links. Off to read more of them....

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  7. [...] in the shower (ah, for clear shower thoughts)… the teal is my only dark value. Remember those value quilts? Sew Katie Did suggests that if you’re not happy with your color choices, pay attention to [...]

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  8. [...] quilt was looking pretty dark (navy, wine, burnt orange, bark brown).  To give it more variety in value I added the lightest brown herringbone and some aqua blue prints (a color favored by her [...]

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  9. I would love to know how to make the quilt you show in the second set of photos (the one on the right). Can you point me in the right direction?
    Seraphima

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  10. It's a quilt made out of Half Square Triangles (HST). See this post for ideas on how it works: http://ihavetosay.typepad.com/randi/2011/03/my-entry-1.html

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  11. I really love these quilts, my great-grandmother used to make them. I wish I had gotten those skills.

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  12. i have been working on a value quilt for 8 yrs, now i want to get it done so i can enjoy it. thanks for the motivation :-)

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  13. There are some beautiful quilts here. Looks like it's time we started on a value quilt and see how we do! Wonderful works! Thanks for this great post

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  14. oooohhh half square triangles are one of my favorite scrappy choices!!! your pics are so inspiring! i've hit a quilting rut and this gets my creativity flowing, thank you! My favorite quilt that I made this way was an exploding star, using over 700 half square triangles (I have found an easier way since then, whew!) great stashbuster!!!

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  15. the old saying is so very true..."color gets all the credit but value does all the work"

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  16. this is beautiful! i am going to see what i have so i can do this! i love it. thanks for the post!

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  17. I love lots of color and these quilts certainly are that. A great stash buster...Going to get busy right now!!! Thanks for your inspiration.

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  18. Moira from BrisbaneFebruary 22, 2012 at 5:31 AM

    Fantastic use of colour....I have to use up some of my stash so thanks for giving me some inspirationllll Wish I had a next door neighbour who was also into patchwork...but thank goodness for emails and facebook to keep me in touch with friends and family all over the world...

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  19. Are there instructions for the fourth one from the top?

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    1. Not that I know of, but it is a string quilt. If you search "string quilt tutorial" you'll find something similar enough, I think. Then just use intentional color placement for that effect.

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  20. This is such a curious topic. We had a debate about contrast vs- value the other day. I am so glad that you posted this. I am drawn to quilts that have contrast. I am going to have to try my hand at varying the value only. I am not very naturally artistic with color. I also need a TON of visual examples to understand things :) I think I might be able to tackle that kaleidoscope quilt now :) thanks for posting all of those great value examples!!!

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  21. I must say all these quilts are wonderful. The the colors, full of inspirations.

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