Against the grain

On my latest finish, my advice was to use black, use piping, use orange, use green…and I’ll say that I took heed of all that advice and tried it out. Then I went with something totally different, and here’s why!

Black–safe, effective, comfortable and, to me, boring. Orange and green–for the same reason, too bright, too bold, too much contrast (and I never thought I would use those words!). But they both fought with the piece itself for attention. Piping really separated the design from the background and I wanted them to speak to each other.

And the winner is: a rich, deep burnt orange!


I’m satisfied that the background supports the piece without competing with it and it’s much more lively than black.



10 thoughts on “Against the grain

  1. Love your final choice! Having said that, would you consider adding a possible extra very narrow border in that green next, then bind the whole thing in black – pulling those colors “out” of the wonderful piece in the middle? Possibly highlighting that middle piece just a tad more, which I think, is your point. I’m thinking that would look pretty cool. But, who knows? You could simply lay it out, without sewing, to just take a look. Good luck! I love that whole middle piece! I have quite a bit of African inspired fabric, as well as Australian aboriginal-type fabric, and you definitely gave me some ideas! Thanks! Jesse


    • At this point, I’m calling this one done! I could fiddle with it forever, and maybe I should, but deadlines loom and I’m pretty happy with it as is. If it is still with me after my show, I’ll play with additional enhancements. Love your suggestions!


  2. When I taught a color theory class, I told the students that color perception depends not only on color but what it is next to or surrounded by. I made a chart using the same color block and surrounded it with different colors to show how it changed the center color block. I guess you could say “No color is and island.”


    • I’ve taught the same thing and sometimes I still struggle with getting just the right color. And then I tell myself that *I* am the one who has to like it and that helps me at least make a final decision!!!


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