Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some of My Favorite Notions

ONE OF MY FAVORITE GADGETS: Desk Needle Threader by Clover

Has to be one of my absolute favorite sewing accessories! Discovered this last year at a quilting conference. It's a little desk-top gadget. You put the needle in the hole, eye-end down, lay the thread across, push a lever, and pull the needle out---threaded! I didn't need this when I was younger, but this has come around just as my eyes are failing. It's made by Clover, available at various sites online or check your favorite fabric or quilting shop. (If they don't carry it, tell them they should!)

I have sewn all my life—the first 35 years I sewed primarily clothing. But in the last 15 years I have been exploring “art quilts” of different types. I've always felt like I had a pretty good eye for color, so I didn't really worry about color theory and such.

In January I went to a quilting conference and an artist/teacher I studied with was a big proponent of color wheels when choosing colors for a project. She pointed out that these color theories were developed over the centuries by the Masters---because they work! She was a painter before she was a quilt artist, and extremely talented. I thought, “If she thinks this is such a good idea, it probably is!”
We did use the wheel in some of our exercises and one thing I found was that it helps me make decisions a lot quicker. Mainly what I use is the back side because it shows at a glance the complementary, split complementary, triad, and tetrad, color combinations. I'm not a trained artist and I've chosen my colors “by eye” for such a long time, this has been a bit of a revelation. I still don't make traditional quilts and I've trained my eye to see colors in nature, so for some things I don't need to worry about split complementaries. But now when I'm choosing colors for a handbag or an arts-y quilt, I'm enjoying consulting my color wheel for some good advice!
This one is pocket size, available online and at craft stores like Hobby Lobby. (about $4)

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