Monday, December 3, 2018

Me and Yellow Green

Do you have a color that you don't care for, seldom use in your quilts, but seem to like it when everyone else uses it? For me that color is yellow-green.

They say (not sure who "they" are) we should use colors that aren't our favorites. For me that would be orange (not going there), purple (it's growing on me) and yellow-green.

Several weeks ago I decided to make Cheryl's quilt Midnight Mystery. It's been on my to-do list and I was excited for Alison Glass's new line Road Trip. I ordered fabric to make the quilt, including a yellow-green solid to use in the background of the star. It's a color I seem to like when combined with teal, which this quilt would feature prominently.

Excited to dive in, I made a block...

I didn't love it, so I made another one...

Then I thought maybe it was the pink...

To me, it was actually better. But then weeks went by and I had no desire to pick the project up again. That was a sign that it wasn't working for me.

This weekend, I found enough of a light aqua in my stash to start over with a new star background...

I liked it! And made another...

And another...

Then decided to cut out the remaining 6 blocks. I think I'm on a roll.

Many years ago, I heard in a class that every quilt should have an ugly fabric. As a new quilter, I took it to heart and did exactly that. And then I disliked that ugly fabric every time I looked at the quilt. And never again did I use an ugly fabric.

I've learned that I'm not going to use colors I dislike. You may see bit of yellow-green in a future quilt, but only in minuscule amounts. I do think it provides a nice little pop of color.

I went a bit crazy buying Alison Glass fabric with all the holiday sales. One out of about 12 pieces was yellow-green. I think that'll work for me!

How about you? Do you use colors or fabrics you dislike?


  1. I think people who have a lot of "rules" about art don't get it. Of course we should try new things to experiment but we all have different tastes and and limited time, so ugly fabric and disliked colors are optional in my opinion. I'm open to considering them, but I refuse any obligations to use them.

  2. I second the use the fabric that you love in quilts. Don't they tell you to only cook with wine you would be happy drinking :) Do you have plans for the leftover mystery quilt blocks? I added some additional background as a border to one of mine to make a quick baby quilt.

  3. I use colors I'm not crazy about when it is for a person who is crazy about the color. But if it's for me? Well, we all know I'll make it blue. :) I am glad you switched out the background and know you are going to be so much happier as a result. I don't know who "they" are, but as an instructor, I always my approach to color advice is, "When in doubt, use your favorite color, and if you don't know your favorite color look in your closet or around your home."

  4. Yes, like Yvonne said, I will use a color that I do not like if the quilt recipient likes that color. That color would usually be hot pink (granddaughter and daughter). I really love your block with the dark green outer edges ('wonder what my favorite color is). Thank you for the insight into this subject.

  5. A great question. Let me first say that I love chartreusey greens, and there is probably more green in my cupboard than any colour. There is very little blue or red which causes balance problems in most of my scrappy quilts. Although they are not my favorite colours I would definitely use shades or tones of the colours if the quilt wanted them. I love all your blocks and am excited to see them finished in a quilt.

  6. I used to really dislike yellow-green (green was my favorite color) and now it's my favorite shade of green! Of course, now orange is my favorite color. They've been telling me for years that change is good..... Sometimes I use a color/fabric that I don't like because it really looks "right" with the other fabrics. On the other hand, about 10 years ago I was at a quilt retreat and was waffling about a fabric-- should I use it or not? My friend matter-of-factly said "You clearly don't like it, so get rid of it". I have used that advice since then. If it's bothering me-- off with it's head!

  7. I made myself use yellow, a color I don't care for, in a recent scrap quilt with the idea of stretching my boundaries. When the blocks were up on the wall I kind of cringed and ended up replacing some of the yellow with other colors. That quilt will never be a fave and now I know that for me, it's okay to stick with colors I love.

  8. Sometimes I hate a fabric, then years later I love it. HAHA
    and the other way around. you know love first then hate.
    I am indecisive occasionally and when I am, it is frustrating. I do end up making multiples of blocks in different colors like you did here
    You know, and other times it just BAM comes in an instant

  9. Yellow (including yellow-green) is a powerful color and can overwhelm a project. I do like the new fabric better as plays much nicer - in my opinion. When I told my brother in law yellow is my favorite color he was shocked that I don't have more in my house. I just have little dabs of it here and there, in the flowers pictures or pillows. I told him, a little yellow goes a long way!

  10. I love those blocks! I am a scrappy lover so I don't have a lot of colors or fabrics I dislike. I think orange is my least favorite color but I don't hesitate to use it in a quilt if it goes with the other fabrics. I might lean more towards something that is not bright orange, but more with a pink edge to it.

  11. I agree to use only colors and fabrics I like. Too much labor goes into a quilt for it to be a work you do not like. But I have used colors that are not "mine" when it was for someone else. I have a big problem with brown and with a lot of greens. Funny: The green I can best work with is the yellow green/ chartreuse ones :)

  12. I think the idea of 'every quilt needs an ugly fabric' should be more in the vein of 'not every fabric in a quilt needs to be a stand out'. Because you need balance, and sometimes that ugly orange is just what is needed, but sometime's it's a pretty blue that shouldn't work but it does. For me, learning that not every element has to be *gorgeous* was very freeing because it leaves space for blenders and neutrals and balance. And that balance is unique to each quilter. You do you! And don't use fabric you hate because "you should" ;-)
    E xx


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