Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Color is a Journey

Once upon a time, I started a blog called StitchedinColor.  Just "stitched" because I like to sew and embroider and even crochet.  "Color" because it's what makes my heart sing.  And I found, in 2010, that I really liked all this quilting, all this sharing of my day-to-day creating.  I started do. Good Stitches that year, and even began wrapping my head around blogging as a business come year end.

But my color personality, that was just in bud.

At home

If you've been around here for awhile, you know I have this thing for Anna Maria Horner and for her Good Folks collection, my favorite.  It's what I used to make my first quilt.  But it's not really that - it's about the colors.  The saturated, autumnal color bouquet that is Good Folks was like a color-by-number experience.  She made the fabrics; I cut and pasted them together.  Voila - an awesome quilt.

What was planted in that first quilt has been growing.  It's hard to see growth in oneself, but sometimes life conspires to reveal, as it did this weekend.

Color is a Journey

I've been thinking about crochet again lately.  It might be the cool weather, the fireside or perhaps this babe in my womb.  Struggling to choose between 2 projects, I pulled out my yarn basket to take stock of my color options.

Color is a Journey

I have a modest collection of Cascade 220.  It's a worsted weight wool yarn, very practical, nice, but not overly pricey.  It was purchased all of 4 years ago from a local shop and The Loopy Ewe.  And 4 years ago I began working the yarn into crocheted sunburst granny squares, thinking maybe a blanket, maybe a pillow?  Eventually, they became a garland... and some other things, which I never did share here.

Sunburst Garland

What happened to my ambition?  I got scared.  I lost faith in my color choices.  I couldn't see anymore if there was anything cohesive about what I was doing.  I couldn't bare to put so much time into something that I might night love, so I found my way to other projects.  Quilty projects, made with fabrics already infused with a color direction.  And it was nice.

Color is a Journey

But this weekend when I pulled out these stored-away squares, I could see them anew with a fresh and, I suppose, a matured perspective.  Four years of working constantly with beautiful fabrics is like having these designers as mentors of sorts.  Four years of experimenting with color, taking risks here and there and absorbing your feedback... it seems color is a muscle.  If you flex it, if you try, you can't help but propel yourself onwards.

So, I've been crocheting.  I've been making sunburst squares, about four a day.  At this pace I really could have a blanket before baby is born, though I'm not settled that's what they need to be.  What's driving me is the soft, tactile feeling of the yarn in my hands, the delightful finish of each little square and the unfolding realization that I understand what I want from these colors quite well.

Color is a Journey

I know what I'm trying to say.  Where before I'd agonize over which colors to combine, now I see possibilities everywhere.  I can sense what's working.  Understand what's not.  Even anticipate what colors I'd like to add to sweeten the mix (mostly neutrals)!  And, best of all, I am sure that I'll be proud of the finished project.  Isn't that often the key motivation we need to keep moving forward?

Color is a Journey

Color is a journey; color is a muscle.  Color is entirely personal, so don't worry about rules.  Please don't ever believe you can't color, color.  Just keep giving yourself opportunities and, I promise, your color personality will grow!

22 comments:

  1. Love this. And it's soooo true - I agree that it is a personal journey and speaks of who you are. The sunburst are gorgeous - funny coincidence I just pulled out my yarn and crochet hook to, also to make granny squares (of which I need to learn)!

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  2. oh! I love it when you write form deep down ! love this post and these squares are exquisite (as well as this amazing quilt!) . thank you for the good reading time!

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  3. Lovely post. I've got the yarn thing going again this winter as well. Something so refreshing about the delightful colors sliding through the fingers, just creating something!

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  4. oooooooh! I love these! I recently picked up crocheting, and I am having a BLAST. I really want to try a sunburst granny square afghan or blanket and your pretty little sunbursts are so inspiring! I haven't been following your blog long enough to remember any pre-quilt days, so I didn't even know you crocheted! Awesome!!!

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  5. Lovely!
    I think in the future when I get asked , "What is your favourite colour?" I will say rainbow....but even that doesn't over it cause I like Black too!
    What I wear and what I like are not always the same thing. Most colours suit me but not white or cream near my face.
    Colour is a delight....it must be awful to go blind.

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    1. Yes, it must be awful indeed. I don't have a favorite color either. They're all so special!

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  6. i always love to hear how others are evolving in their craft and skills, especially confidence. the idea of the fabric designers being a mentor is lovely and resonates well with me. you've been a wonderful color mentor yourself! it's so nice to strike out with a lot more confidence and understand what's going on as time goes by and our skills increase. hope you continue to enjoy your process and the tactile experience of those squares!

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  7. So true. We have to learn to trust our instincts and we can only do that by putting our instincts into action.:)

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  8. Thanks for this. I'm actually pondering on colors for I-hope-soon-to-be Little Christmas Tree ;-)

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  9. Thank you, beautiful entry, so we'll expressed. Magistra13 at yahoo dot com
    Beth

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  10. Lovely words of wisdom, Rachel.

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  11. Ohh how I love a bit of crochet. Aren't granny squares fun to make? I am glad that you were able to pull this batch out and bring them back to life!

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  12. I love your metaphor about color. May we all keep 'exercising' all the colors in our crayon box!

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  13. A journey is the perfect way to describe it! Sometimes it feels easy like the day is clear and sunny and the path is smooth. But sometimes it feel like walking in a dense fog up a rocky path. Thanks for the reminder to just keep going.

    Such a lovely rainbow of colors your journey is sure to be a pleasure!

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  14. I remember that first brick quilt. I loved it then and do now ; )
    I've been a fan since the beginning. So happy about your baby.
    Have a blessed Christmas

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  15. Very well said ... I find myself making all sorts of colour discoveries these days ... when one bundle of fabric gets plonked next to another on the shelf and they just go together so well - I couldn't do that on purpose if I tried! Happy colour accidents :)

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    1. That's lovely! Yes, very good things do happen by accident, when you are able to keep your eyes and your heart open.

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  16. That was beautiful to read, Rachel. Every now and then one of your posts reads like you opened your soul and it gushed straight out onto the page. And of course I'm a colour nut too. So either way, this post I loved!

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  17. Beautiful post Rachel! I love that first picture of your AMH quilt. Lovely!

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  18. You have such a beautiful way with words (and colour). I agree, colour is something that can be learned and the best way to learn it is through play. Play with colour, have fun with colour - what's the worst that can happen? Don't follow the crowd, colour what makes you happy. It's all so personal to all of us and I like to think if you're having fun you can never go wrong.

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