Monday, November 23, 2015

Mystery Colours

Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt starts this weekend. See the details on her website here: Allietare Mystery. She announced the colours about a month ago, and even though a couple of them are colours I like a lot, and wear frequently, I wasn't inspired by them for a quilt.

Today I sat down and worked out the percentages of Bonnie's colours. Based on her yardage specification, the quilt will be approximately:
40% neutrals
19% red
19% black
12% gold
10% grey.

Here's my mock-up of what that would look like:
White represents the neutrals. The red looks a bit more orange in this picture than it should. It looks like a colour scheme which could result in a very graphic quilt, given the level of contrast between the neutrals and blacks. Here's a fabric version of the colours:
I have very little gold fabric. Those two bits might be about all I have. And I don't have enough of any one grey fabric for it to be a constant throughout the quilt. This colour scheme isn't going to work for me.

Every day I look out from my sewing room at this view:
Blue sky (not so much today), grey and green trees, a touch of black in the remains of the burnt stumps, lots of "neutral" soil, and bits of green where the grass and my garden are starting to grow. So I wondered if I could translate my view into the mystery colour scheme:
Black as the constant, sky blue instead of gold, grey instead of black, and green instead of red. This is more like what I want, but I have very little black fabric, and most of it (as here) includes grey so may get lost amongst the grey fabrics.

Here's a mockup of that scheme, and what I changed:
I dumped the black, and added instead a red-brown as my constant. I see red-brown in my view where trees are injured - when cockatoos pull off bark to get at grubs underneath, or when a koala climbs a tree, or when a branch blows down in a storm. For a while the injured spot is red-brown, before it ages back to grey.

Here's how my second scheme looks as fabric:
I'm planning to make my quilt only about a quarter to a third the size of Bonnie's, but I have enough of that brown to be a constant for a full-size version. That means if I love the final quilt and want to make mine bigger, I'll be able to. Let the mystery begin!


  1. Love your positive approach to choosing the colours. Will be anxiously waiting to see progress

  2. Fascinating, love the new colours, do you need any more fabric, I can see what I have in my stash. Like the redy brown instead on the black

  3. Your second color scheme is perfect for the new house! Bringing the out doors in. Can't wait to start this mystery - though it will be early Saturday or maybe not until Sunday before I can start mine.

  4. What an interesting exercise. I took a look at the colour scheme and wasn't taken with it so giving this year a miss. Like your colour selection and rationale. Happy to supply fabric where you are in short supply.

  5. I'm looking at the first clue and the colours. Your graph is very informative and tempts me to cut all the clues full size.
    I havn't made any progress on GI so perhaps going for a smaller quilt and being able to go big later is the best solution.
    My stash has enough gold and red to use the suggested colours and enough constant to make a larger size if I love it.

  6. I love the idea of the graphics. I did something similar for Easy Street, and wished I had done the same last year. Your colour selection is terrific.

  7. Nice change up. I didn't have much gold either. Sandi

  8. Wow, Vireya, your gamble is even bigger than mine! It's going to be fun to see how it all comes out. Your terracotta triangles look good so far!