Can you believe that today is the 1st of June? It doesn’t seem possible, does it?! Well, the good news is, it’s time to roll out our new monthly theme. This month, one post from each of us will focus on texture.
Texture is all around us.
Most people think of texture as a tactile thing; that is, something you can feel by touching. When it comes to choosing fabrics for a quilting project, however, I tend to think of texture in a more visual sense. While all quilting cottons pretty much feel the same to the touch, the motifs and patterns printed on the fabric help differentiate one fabric from another. This property is often called visual texture. (Another name is character of print.) Understanding visual texture and how to use it gives you a valuable tool for creating a successful quilt.
Essentially, there are three ways to distinguish between shapes and to define the design in a quilt block or quilt top:
One way is with contrast in color.
Another is with contrast in value (lights and darks).
The third is–ta da!–contrast in visual texture.
Visual texture tends to be the most subtle of the three and therefore is often overlooked. Rely on too many similar prints, however, and the results can become muddled and gray; things just seem to “moosh” together. Variety is the key: variety in the type, the size, and the density of the print.
Just as we are attracted to certain colors, I’ve found that many of us buy the same types of prints over and over again. Here’s a checklist that you can use to evaluate your fabric stash for variety in visual texture. Note any gaps, and then use this info to focus your choices when fabric shopping (and swapping).
Does your stash include…???
We quilters (and other fabric crafters) are so lucky to have so many wonderful fabrics available to us! Why not take advantage of what the marketplace–or your “swapping” friends–have to offer and diversify with visual texture? A few fat quarters, charm packs, or jelly rolls can go a long way…