Sunday, February 4, 2018


We took this staff photo at our recent open house event and jokingly some of the ladies said- if I have less wrinkles in a black and white version let's use that one! So when I was manipulating the photo to post it on our facebook and website I did experiment with a black and white version- thanks to the miracle of photo effects on my phone. In comparing the two photos my eye was immediately drawn to the values revealed in the black and white version.
Here are the two photos:

When the color is leached out of the photo in the black and white version suddenly all you can see are the values of the fabrics (surrounding a great looking group of quilters!). Value is something customers struggle with a lot. I was particularly interested in this part of the picture:
When I looked at the colored photo that series of red-orange grunge dots all look pretty dark but look how that changes in the black and white version:
In the black and white version only that ONE darkest red bolt looks like a dark. The others are suddenly much lighter. This is a great example of how our perception of value is often skewed by color. Our eyes are very distracted by color, often the only way to see true value is to remove the color and look at things in black and white.

Many of us are drawn to bright colors in a medium value. When we look in our stashes they are full of medium value fabrics. They are like eye candy, we love them! But, to make an interesting quilt often times we need to have a variation in value. 
The stunning Lone Star Quilt below was made by one of our customers. It's colors are all from the yellow-green-blue part of the rainbow, a very popular choice for many quilters. What makes this quilt even more successful is the use of value.

Here is the black and white version of the quilt where you can see even WITHOUT color the quilt is very successful because of her changes in value. You can still make out all the elements of the quilt and indeed it seems to glow from the center, even in black and white, all because of her value placements.

At the shop we see quilts everyday that depend on value to convey the pattern just as this quilt does. Often taking a picture of a quilt or a group of fabrics you are considering for a quilt with your cell phone camera, and then converting the picture to black and white is a very useful tool in guiding your choices for a deeper more value filled quilt!

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