Our focus for Alchemy of Fabric Club this month is “water” and the variety of shades of blues, aqua-green, and everything in-between. The colors of water that you perceive when looking at the water before you, is momentary and fleeting. It is an ever-changing scene affected by the sky and light on the water. Monet painted plentiful scenes of water in his “Water Lilies series”. The theme of water lilies or as he called them “landscapes of the water” first appeared in Monet’s work in 1898 and was a theme until his death in 1926. There were approximately 250 oil paintings that became larger and larger paintings as the theme progressed. In observing and studying the colors used in these paintings, the water varies in color from deep purple to lavender, dark cobalt & ultramarine to light blues, reds & pinks, yellow and yellow greens. Virtually every color in the rainbow is seen in the reflections, giving the water a multi-colored appearance. The blues are generally a reflection of clear skies above. Sometimes in his paintings you see the surface, sometimes into the depth of the water. The colors used affect the atmosphere or mood conveyed. Sometimes it provokes the clarity of the day or the overcast, soft misty feeling to that moment in time that was painted. With Monet’s “water color palette” as inspiration, use this as a helpful guide in selecting fabrics for your quilt or project. You might also employ the use of printed texture to give a feeling of ripple like movement to the water.
Our “water fabrics” capture some of the variety that you see in the Monet water lilies series of paintings. Jean Wells shares her experience, “this spring I had an 'ah haw moment' when John and I were driving to California for my teaching job at Empty Spools. Around the Redding area it had rained so much that there was standing water everywhere and the grass was bright green. That day the sky was clear, brilliant blue and the reflection of the blue sky on the water was amazing. I will never forget that. The color was almost surreal. I find that some form of blue or green can almost always save the day when I am trying to put a palette together. They are 'Mother Nature’s' neutrals”.
With summer temperatures beginning and “water play” close at hand I hope you enjoy these “water” fabrics curated for you. Our hope is that you create a fabulous fabric expression that brings back great summer memories that last long after the season changes.
*Zen Chic-True Blue- Notice the dots of reflected light on the water reminiscent of a clear day when there is a slight ripple of wave. The dots of light give a pattern to the suggestion of waves in the fabric. Two color variations are in the fabric pack to give some repetition to your design. The lighter version of Pattern 1625 is Color 19 and the darker is Color 22 by MODA.
*River Journey by Holly Taylor has a wonderful feeling of flow with organic curved lines that are light on dark. It is Pattern 6684- Color 11 by Moda.
*Fresh Water Designs- Java Batiks- example the natural variation water as it covers over areas of different depths reflecting from vivid turquoise and green to purplish blue. Adding the batik gives a spark of variety to your project.
*Wilmington Prints-Essentials by Joanne Porter gives a mottled blue look like shallow water over a reef area where there are areas of clear water allowing you to see the shallow bottom mixed with darker areas of coral & vegetation. A perfect addition to the many scenes of “water”.
*Robert Kaufman “Manchester” textured cotton was included in the fabric pack to give an area of quiet reflection on still water.
*Aria Cotton by Kelly Ventura gives the swirl of continuous ocean movement with undercurrents creating pockets of varying wave activity in the mix of one incoming tidal wave. It adds movement to your quilt project and is a “star” fabric no matter where it is placed.
10 Recommended Fabrics:
These fabrics were chosen to expand on the concept of water to a palette guided and inspired by the colors in the “Water Lilies” paintings by Monet.
*Handmaker by Natalie Barnes has a plant like pattern on a coral red colored fabric. This fabric choice was inspired by the many shades of reds that Monet painted in the water lily flowers.
*Island Batik Bubble Hole-Leprecheun-Dotalicous gives the luscious green to the vegetation that Monet illustrated in his paintings.
*RJR-Dots & Stripes- is another variation of dots of light on water in teal & aqua
*Michael Miller- Beachcomber is a color indicating water depth or shadow under the lilies in a rich navy ble with lines very close so there is subtle movement as you look closely.
*Island Batiks creates a batik that has small leaf forms on a light yellow green. Use it in areas in your quilt where you want to suggest “light”. Monet fairly consistently used this color to suggest light on the water lilies.
*Alexander Henry- HeathDE –is a textured patterned fabric, which from a distance will read as a solid, but up close gives visual texture wherever it is used. It suggests areas of shadow.
*Moda Cross Weave Wovens in Color 79 is a textured cotton in a red that works harmoniously with the Natalie Barnes fabric. This fabric adds variety and is used in some of his paintings in subtle shadow areas of the water lilies as well as the water lily flowers.
*RK-Helinki- Jamaica- has a large circle shape on fabric that ranges from green and aqua to yellow green and blue. A full range of water colors with circles suggesting the shape of beautifully round water lilies.
*Timeless Treasures in Vine Color gives the cool rich deep green color needed for balance in your color palette.
*Island Batik-Snow Balls- in a gorgeous yellow green suggests spring growth in the water landscapes and was a color repeatedly used in the majority of his water lilies paintings.
Our intention for creating the "Alchemy of Fabric" club is to provide the spark... the catalyst... the inspiration... for a project that your color palette is built upon. We have a monthly tutorial of insights on each fabric chosen. We have also included 10 other recommended fabrics to expand from the core fabrics and further guide your choices.
We are excited to share this educational opportunity as a study in color and fabric as well as build your artist palette of fabrics. As you practice designing your project from many different designers and collections our hope is to facilitate greater confidence and empowerment in your creative pursuits..
At the Stitchin' Post were are committed to creativity and inspiration and we are now embarking on a journey opening to new options together as the "Alchemy of Fabric" unfolds each month. Please share with us what the spark has ignited in you using the hashtag "#AlchemyofFabric" on your preferred social media platform, so others can be inspired by your work! You can also search #AlchemyofFabric to see what others have done, and to gain your own inspiration.