In case you haven’t been following it, Michelle @ factotum-of-arts is doing a Color Series this year, where every month is focused on a single family of colors and she and guest bloggers talk about using that color. This month, the color is GREEN, and I am lucky enough to be one of the guest bloggers!
First I should come clean. I thought to myself “Green? I NEVER use green!” And then I started going through my finishes and I use green in probably 75% of them, and the last quilt I finished was almost entirely made up of greens. So what’s the deal with that?
Green is a wonderful support color.
Not to say that green isn’t fantastic on its own, because it is, but green has a habit of taking on a support role when you start pairing it with other colors. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re used to seeing green grass and green trees and immediately putting them in the “background” category, but when green ends up in my projects, it rarely feels like the star. Even for the Highlight on Improv quilt, I think of the yellow as the star of the quilt, although that could be because the quilt was designed around the yellow color.
Green sits on the boundary of warm and cool, and can therefore play either role. This means that pairing it with blues will add some warmth, while pairing it with yellow/orange/reds will add some coolness. For the Churn Dash Dash quilt, we used the greens in the center because it added some depth and coolness without stealing the attention away from the warm colors around the outside.
On the other hand, this Modified Urban Lattice quilt used green to add some warmth to the cool aqua and navy in the quilt.
Similarly, the Dissertation Quilt again uses pops of green to add some warmth to all the blues used in the quilt. Interesting fact: this quilt is 33% green, 33% grey/white, 33% blue and I still would describe it as a blue quilt. Am I the only one who is green blind like this?
Green as a background.
Because green doesn’t take center stage, that means it works really well as a background color. For Dottie, green adds some needed color, but doesn’t overwhelm the paper-piecing which is the focus of the quilt.
Similarly, for this Minecraft inspired pillow, the greens add color without stealing the attention. (As an aside, apparently if you’re making a quilt with a dog design on it, you should use green as the background color. That’s what I’ve learned from this section.)
Green goes chartreuse.
So where I stop being green blind is where green gets enough yellow to work it’s way into the chartreuse realm, particularly Kona Wasabi which is one of the few non-white colors I own more than a yard of. I seem to throw chartreuse into anything I can get away with. From We Are which uses just navy and wasabi…
To City Lights which uses chartreuse to really set off that pomegranate pop…
To using it as the entirety of the background for the Princess and the Pea quilt. Mmm chartreuse.
Green as a complement.
The complement of green is red, which means you can play with everything from red-violet to red-orange, and it’s going to work well with the various shades of green.
Red is a really attention catching color, but pairing it with the green makes the red seem even more vibrant. In Phoenix, the jade green is there to help ground the overall design, add some coolness, and also make that red really go front and center.
Similarly, the Jumbo-er Star quilt uses lime green to help really set off the fuchsia in this quilt. If the quilt only used neutrals, it would have felt a little flat to me, but by adding some green it adds color while giving the pink just a bit more punch.
Tips for using green in your projects
Sometimes it helps to think of green as a particularly colorful neutral. It goes well with most colors, and tends to naturally fall into a supportive role without overtaking the other colors.
I personally like using warmer, creamier neutrals with green. Greys can look a bit too cool and sterile next to the warmth of green, whereas creams and taupes play particularly well. This could be because there is a nod towards the earthiness of browns while still staying light and bright.
Paired with pink or red, green will add even more punch to the colors. If it feels like too much, try lightening the pink or going towards warmer pinks/reds (coral, peach) or cooler pinks/reds (red-violet) to reduce the contrast.
For more information on the various colors, below is the schedule for Michelle’s Color Series.
|February||Yellow||Melanie Tuazon http://melintheattic.com|
|March||Blue||Daisy Aschehoug http://antstosugar.com|
|April||Green||Anne Sullivan http://play-crafts.comGiuseppe Ribaudo https://www.instagram.com/Giucy_Giuce/|
|May||Coral/Peach||Heather Jones http://www.heatherjonesstudio.com/blog|
|June||Purple||Sandi Sawa Hazlewood http://craftyplanner.com|
|July||Brown||Alison Glass http://alisonglass.com/|
|August||Pink||Alyce Blyth http://blossomheartquilts.com|
|September||Black/White||Christa Watson http://christaquilts.com|
|October||Aqua/Teal||Katarina Roccella http://likeflowersandbutterflies.com|
|November||Grey||Nicole Daksiewicz http://modernhandcraft.comNydia Kehnle http://www.nydiakehnle.com/|
|December||Red||Nancy Purvis http://owensolivia.blogspot.com/|
Now I’d love to hear from you, what’s your favorite way to use green in your projects?