As you stitch on your block, the guiding principle is "Go with what you like and what is pleasing to you." Of course I think this is good advice no matter what you are stitching. Otherwise, the joy just seems to get sucked right out of a project. Now that I think about it, this probably translates to many aspects of our life. For example, I LIKE Dairy Queen Ice Cream Sundae’s (I’m lying I really LOVE them). They are definitely pleasing to me. AND, when I can’t have them it definitely sucks…you get the point.
Anyway, back to quilting. A few guidelines (the only hard rule is that there are no rules)
1. In general use “greyer” or “duller” versions of a color for shapes located furthest back from the viewer. For example, make the back petals of a flower from a duller pink fabric and make the front petals from a brighter pink fabric.
2. To add visual interest, change the value of the fabric color as you move around an element or a block. An example would be to make flowers or leaves in the center of a block darker (or lighter) in value and make the surrounding shapes lighter (or darker).
3. You do not need to use 8 completely different fabrics for a flower with 8 petals. You can use a single mottled fabric and fussy cut lighter & darker areas from it. Or, you can repeat 2 or 3 fabrics.
4. The key to a realistic flower or leaf is to stay in the same color family when selecting fabrics for each shape, i.e. either cool or warm tones. In a single flower I would not mix a blue pink with a peach pink unless that is how it occurs in nature. Even in something like a pansy which can have deep purple petals and yellow petals I would try to select a purple and a yellow that shares similar characteristics – i.e. bright & clear, OR soft & muted, OR pastel. I would NOT choose a bright & clear yellow and then a muted pastel purple.
I hope these tips help and everyone is having fun stitching!
Here are some photos my husband took of me while I was drafting the final versions of the patterns.
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