Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds - #usebothsides

Mysterious Values

Value can be a head-scratcher. When separating your fabrics for a project like…let’s just say, the FREE River Heritage Block-of-the-Month Mystery Quilt, you might find yourself guessing which fabric goes where.

That’s because the fabric value can change, depending on what value it is next to.

Say what?

How can a fabric value change, you ask? While the value of the fabric itself doesn’t physically change, how you see that value can be affected by what is around it. Let me explain and then give you a simple way to test your values…

Here are three piles of fabric stash I’ve selected for my River Heritage. Dark, Medium, Light. Straight forward.Image of Fabric Stash

 

However, if I were to choose to use a dark Light and a light Medium together, they suddenly look similar.

I’ll use my first-run at BOM as an example.

Because I like to mix it up with background fabrics in my #usebothsides quilts, I thought I could do that with my BOM as well. As you can see, the neutral on the bottom right from my Lights pile stands out and interferes with the rest of my block. (My eye goes right to it.)

Image of Paddle Wheel

See how the bottom right square competes with the rest of the block?

My Medium looks too light when I use that dark of a Light!

Or you could say…

My Light looks too dark when I use that light of a Medium!

The best way I have found to truly see the value of a fabric is to take a black and white picture.

Image of Black and White Paddle Wheel Block

Check your values by taking a black and white picture.

Boom. There it is. Block is fixed.

Image of Paddle Wheel Block

Paddle Wheel
Month One
River Heritage

(Now how did those too Grunge Dots get so close together? Come here, Sam ( the seam ripper). Read more about The Tricky Traits of Value here and here.

So why does mixing of values work in other quilts? Mixing up my neutrals for #usebothsides works because my focus fabric is a very vivid Dark value. Even a dark Light or light Medium  works in the background of these quilts.

Image of Quilt with Bee.

Phoebee was designed using both sides of a focal fabric.

You can really see that in Phoebee the focus fabric will be strong enough to override even a medium background fabric.

While I still want to encourage you to live on the edge (only in quilting circles) and mix up those fabrics, you do have to pay close attention (maybe even more so) to values.

If you’ve been in my classes, you know I don’t give any opinions about fabric options until I’ve taken a black and white picture first. I’ve been stumped many times by guessing and it’s just easier to know for sure. So grab your stash  and your camera and sign up below for the FREE River Heritage Block-of-the-Month Mystery Quilt! The clue for Month Two is three weeks away!

Subscribe to my blog posts below to get the mystery clues sent directly to your email when they post! Share with friends and on social media. Share your progress using #riverheritage and let’s do this together!

4 Comments

  1. Good info. I learned recently about value, thanks to you.

  2. Good information! Thanks, Karla!

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