Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Color - Glorious Color

Color - Glorious Color

Patricia L. Cummings

I have to admit something. As a child, in say, about 6th grade, my mother bought me a skirt. I knew that she haunted the "bargain basement" of the local store called "Pariseau's" on Elm Street in Manchester, long out of business now, but very much in vogue when Elm Street was the main street in town where there were all kinds of shopping opportunities. Well, back to the skirt. Today, I would love this item of apparel that I refused to wear as a child. The scale of color treatment across the surface was boisterous and in mostly purple, white, and my memory stops there. I just knew that I had no intention of wearing the item. I thought the kids would laugh at me. I hid this item deeper and deeper in a chest of drawers and eventually, it found its way to the trash. I am appalled now, not only for my strong reaction to the colors and whirling designs but also how I "sneaked" the skirt out of the house. I wish I had it back. It would go into a quilt. The heavy cotton would last forever.

A quick look at Nature shows us how colors that are distinctly different combine to create an overall lovely effect. Here we see flowering ground phlox, pansies, and a flowering quince bush coexisting in harmony. Photo by James Cummings

We "think" we know all about color. At least, we develop strong preferences for certain colors. When we become quilters, we expand that color base, often due to whatever fabrics surround us at the moment.

This is a Jacobean style Bell Pull I made that has a lot of embroidery and repeated bouteh shapes. I worked in on antique linen given to me by a  friend. The design was published in The Quilter magazine years ago when I re-created it based on a table runner or bell pull that we found in New York state. Photo by James Cummings

Quilts & Color

Be sure to check out the Museum of Fine Arts gift shop to purchase a copy of a new book based on the quilts held in the Pilgrim/Roy Collection. Many derivative items from coffee cups to placemats and diaries have been produced to market along with the newly-installed exhibit that will be in place at the museum until July 27, a real treat for those who can navigate Boston traffic. For other couch potatoes like myself, I cannot wait to see the book. I happened to order it online because I could get free shipping due to the fact that I ordered Ann Hermes new book at the same time. Every penny counts but I knew that both books were a "must have" for my library and free shipping on amazon was too good a deal not to take.

The Yard

In the past few days, the yard is coming alive with all kinds of color. The lilacs are smelling fragrant although they are  not yet ready to bloom. We planted some petunias. The hummingbirds are back and have found the new location of their feeder. Fun to watch them! Jim has begun planting the vegetable garden and has accomplished many spring clean-up chores. I am happily set up in the den, quilting a wholecloth quilt project when I am not in my studio working on a large counted cross-stitch piece. In the meantime, I check manuscripts as they come in for my final approval. Life is good. It's nice to be "home." Yes, there is no place like home, a place where colors do matter!

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