Recently on the Quilting Daily Facebook page we asked what color you couldn't get enough of right now. Blue and green—particularly peacock blue and lime green—were mentioned over and over again.
Blues and greens are perennial favorites in fabrics and surface design. I love them, too. But, would you be surprised to find out that several people respond to our question with "orange"?
|Does tangerine tickle your fancy?
Variations on Pantone's Tangerine Tango.
(Image from Luana Rubin's Color
When Pantone first announced the 2012 Color of the Year was "Tangerine Tango," I heard as many boos as yays. I think when many of us hear "orange," pumpkins and plastic chairs from the '70s come to mind. But I find the more you experiment with a color, the more possibilities you find for it in your fiber art.
Recently Luana Rubin, co-owner of eQuilter.com, and a chairholder of the Color Marketing Group. (CMG, an international color and trend forecasting group), talked about 2012's color in her online Color Inspirations column.
"When Pantone announced the 2012 Color of the Year—Tangerine Tango—they knew it would spawn a wide range of orange hues," writes Luana. "This happy and vivacious color has been reinterpreted in floral, fruit, and butterfly shades that are absolutely dripping with personality!
"As our eyes become accustomed to this energetic color, it is moving from an accent color, to being the main focus in prints and color blocking. When it is mixed with analogous color palettes, it steps into the spotlight and makes a statement that can't be denied!"
I find that juxtaposing a bit of orange with those much-loved blues and bluish-greens makes both colors stand out (which makes sense, as they are complements on the color wheel). Think of a batik design with bright oranges and blues with black crackling.
|Two examples of Jo Fitsell's marbled surface design fabrics.
The blues and oranges
complement each other.
Conversely, if you put different shades and tones of orange together, the effect can give a bright color like Tangerine Tango a gentler presence.
Studying the color wheel can help you figure out what combinations you like best. But sometimes, you just have to practice and play.
- If you have some orange in your stash, pull out the fabric and pair it with different colors. Try not to pre-judge: try orange with pink, peacock, eggplant, chocolate brown, or gray. Better yet, toss a few scraps on your floor or worktable and see let the combinations surprise you.
- If you don't have orange in your stash, use a paint chip sample. Hold it up next to different fabrics to see how the hue works with colors and patterns.
- Another way to try out a new color is to paint or stamp it onto fabric swatches. Or, start with a plain white piece of fabric and stamp or paint other colors along with the new color to explore different combinations.
Jo Fitsell is an artist who balances color theory with experimentation in her surface design. Jo creates marbling on fabric with thinned fluid acrylics. Because the process can't be completely controlled, she allows herself to be open to serendipity, and gets stunning results.
You can open a new world of color and surface design by playing with the technique Jo demonstrates in the Quilting Arts WorkshopTM video "Marbled Fabric Surface Design: Working with Floating Paints, Stencils, & More."
P.S. What do you think of Tangerine Tango? Yay or nay? Do you use orange in your fiber art? Leave your comments below.