Monday, February 8, 2016

my perfect gray

Today's quilters like gray.  It's the neutral of choice for many and a predictable option when white is less than ideal.  For years quilty blogs rang with accolades of Kona Ash for a pale gray neutral.  I've dabbled with the shade, but it doesn't really touch my heart.  I want a "warmer" gray, a "browner" gray that's still pale and gray.  Kona has introduced lots of new grays over the years, and although Kona Pewter is a new fav of mine for a medium gray, I still hadn't been sold on a pale gray... until now.

the perfect gray

Remember when I started reading blogs again and found myself immediately inspired?  My friend's cut glass block sent me to sketching an idea for a quilt with four large hearts.  Each heart is made up of two dramatic prints showcased on a gray background.  All I had on hand in quantity was Kona Ash.  The scissors print is a likely border fabric.  Unfortunately, Kona Ash does nothing for the scissors print.  The scissor background has a delightful old-metal sort of feel - a browny-grayish cream.  Beside it the Kona has a definite blueish tint in real life.  It was hard to capture here.

the perfect gray

Well, a gray from my box of DS Modern Solids came to the rescue!  I've slipped the bit of it that I have left in here under the pink fabrics.  I wonder if you can see the difference on the computer screen?  It's my perfect pale gray - warm and gray and just the right value.  I love it with all my bright, saturated prints and it happens to flow beautifully into the scissors too.

I used the color visual reference download on Denyse Schmidt's site to identify the gray so I could order more.  It's called Dogwood.  How perfect is that?  Dogwoods are my favorite trees.

the perfect gray

Now, if only I had ordered the right one!  Instead of Dogwood, I ordered Sand Dune, which has a pale and purply tint.  Sand Dune would be nice with cool colors (especially lavender) but doesn't do it for this project.  See what I mean?  I cut some big squares of it last night before realizing my error.  Blah.  Wishy washy.  Needs more contrast!  Waiting again...this time for Dogwood.

I don't usually wait for fabrics.  I have a propensity to use whatever is on hand.  Making do and being flexible in my creating yield better results most of the time.  This time, however, my gut says it's better to wait.

Crossing fingers she really is my perfect gray.

19 comments:

  1. that is a lovely gray. I get what you mean about the differences. I get frustrated trying to find the perfect gray often. Will explore this option, thanks!

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  2. I see what you mean about the grey and the scissors! I had a learning experience with Kona Ash when I used it with some fun jewel tones and the effect was ... Blah. It just sucked the life out of them! I was sooo disappointed! I finished the quilt ("the quilting will fix it ... Nope? Oh, the binding will fix it ... Nope. Grr.") anyway but couldn't get myself to give it away. Thought about keeping it for a kneeling pad for yard work, that's how icky it was! Now I check my neutrals more carefully!

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  3. The differences are defintiely clear on my screen and the Dogwood really does have a lovely warm hue. This is indeed one of those times where waiting for the perfect fabric will make all the difference to the finished quilt.

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  4. I can see the difference on screen as well. I can appreciate the patience needed to find the perfect gray - I have so many that I should have made color cards. Right now my favorites are Bella solids feather grey and Riley Blake's light gray.

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  5. Ground fabric is always so hard to find in just the right shade! I agree, the pewter looks perfect!

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  6. I just ordered some of the dogwood. Gray can so often turn blue depending on where you use it. And gray is a color I use a lot! Thanks forvthe tip. I think adding a drop of brown is the answer.

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  7. I love Kona.
    We have a Hobby Lobby 6 miles away. It has a whole wall of Kona.
    It is really pretty. All of the colors.
    I like these blocks.
    I know all of you are hugging a lot. That is good therapy. Love always

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  8. I am not quite sold on any one gray as a perfect neutral yet. I do use lots of grays in my quilts, but I tend to buy small amounts (never more than a fat quarter of any fabric) at a time and make all my gray backgrounds scrappy. It makes them (and me) happier.

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  9. That gray is absolutely perfect. Go with your gut cause it's always right 😘😘😘

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  10. That gray is perfect! I love it. Where did you order Dogwood from? I did a little searching but wasn't able to find it. Thanks for any info you have!

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    1. None of my sponsors carry the Freespirit solids, so I ordered it from Fabric.com. Look for freespirit solid dogwood.

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  11. Finding the right gray is hard. Marcus Brothers Centennial is a new favorite of mine. It's so soft and just the right hue.

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  12. I totally agree on the grey picking. It has to be the right grey for whatever project you're working on.

    I am drawn to greys because sometimes white just doesn't work. Lately I've been drawn to greys and have a couple projects in mind and my grey fabric bought. I hope both of these projects turn out as planned because sometimes my projects look better in my head! HAHA!!!!

    Have a great day!

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  13. Dogwood is exactly as you described in what you wished for Rachel. A little warmer but still the perfect neutral. It's so true how those little nuances of color make all the difference.

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  14. Oh yes, it's so hard to find the right grey! My LQS carries Kona and has a lot of them but if I need a neutral grey I often pick linen or Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen. Or I use a lightly patterned solid something with dots is always great!

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  15. It's so funny that you talk about gray. Two years ago, I could not find gray at any fabric store. Not a solid or a print. NO. GRAY Now, gray is hot. I looked forever for a brownish gray and found it. I love Dogwood, pretty gray.

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  16. Yes, I can see the difference. I love gray but you are right, it can be hard to find just the right shade.

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  17. I've been holding back the temptation to get Denyse's Modern Solids box but it's really hard! Free Spirit solids have such a lovely hand too.

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  18. I love grey for a neutral. I have noticed what you are seeing though so much better with the warmer grey. Worth waiting I think.

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