Friday, July 15, 2011

Catching up with the Twelve by Twelve reveal

I've been so intent on reporting on our trip that I failed to post about the July 12 Twelve by Twelve reveal. The color theme was gray. If you didn't catch the gray quilts earlier in the week you can still go to the blog and see them. You just need to keep scrolling down through the posts to see them all. Pretty interesting I think.

I was excited about working with gray, but when I got to it I had a hard time. I made one piece that seemed like a much better idea in my head than it turned out to be in fabric.

My idea had to do with the fact that gray is about a million different colors. There are purely neutral grays that are mixed from black and white, but there are also the grays that result when complementary colors are mixed in a way that neutralizes them. They always contain hints of the original colors. I went to my collection of solid color fabrics and pulled out 4 that appeared to be shades of gray. I used a little stamp I had carved to stamp a white design on each one. When the four "grays" sit side by side you clearly see that each, while gray, is also something else—pinkish, purplish, greenish. I called it "gray is relative."  I added some gray quilting in the background as well. It seemed weak.

Then I went in another direction entirely. I used the idea of visual color mixing and created my gray tones using only black and white in differing proportions.

I cut a paper "snowflake" to use as a pattern. The shadow was cut from solid black, then I laid a piece of gauzy cheesecloth over it. When you see it close up the cheesecloth is a tiny white grid pattern over the black. The other gray is black print on white paper—pages from Time magazine—torn into little pieces then glued to white fabric. I use diluted white glue to glue the paper down and then coat the whole thing with more diluted white glue. When dry the paper/fabric can be cut and sewn like regular fabric.

I was much happier with this piece, but I really missed using real color in this challenge. I think the other members of the group came up with some wonderful ideas as well and it was a really interesting challenge, but I have to say that the piece that was made by a blogger who follows along with the group was my favorite of all the gray pieces. Take a look at Joanne Suley's gray quilt. Isn't charming?


  1. Terry, I loved this when I saw it over on the 12's blog. I love the graphic quality of the text contrasting with the curve of the snowflake. Beautiful.

  2. I like this a lot. It's very hard to work in shades of grey and you've done it very well.