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Backing Day is Saturday, July 31st!

Here's a reminder from your friendly neighborhood Cotton Patch that Backing Day is this Saturday, July 31st! 

If you're new here and don't know what Backing Day is...

Bring in your finished quilt tops (100% complete, no more borders to add, done) on the last day of the month and receive 25% off your backing of choice, even Clearance!

The usual rules apply:

  • If the last day of the month falls on a Sunday when we're closed, then Backing Day is the day before (Saturday). 
  • Discount valid on single-fabric backings only.  Sorry, this is not valid on several cuts of different fabrics for a pieced backing.  
  • Sale prices not combinable with any other offer (this includes deals from Five Stars, redeeming points, and coupons)
  • Sale prices good in-store only on the sale day and limited to stock on-hand. 
We can't wait to see what you've created - see you on the 31st!


The Elements of Art (in Quilting!) Part IV: Line

Line is an element that seems like a no brainer, but is a powerful player when it comes to the looks and feel of our quilts.  It provides the delineation between two spaces, either with an intentional line (like a coloring book outline) or an implied line (say, the line created between two differently colored spaces), and what gives shapes their definition.  Many quilts use straight seams, and those seams create lots of lines within the project that when viewed as a whole are more or less lost in the overall pattern or design.  But when Line is used with intent, it can create all kinds of cool effects.

Let's keep in mind too, that lines don't have to be created by the seam itself.  Line can be found in applique, in the fabric print, technique, and in the placement of color.  At it's very core, embroidery is line work.  Add a little embroidery to your quilt and you're using line for effect. Curved or circular piecing is another beautiful incorporation of Line that gives a piece a unique sense of flow and movement. And let us not forget our trusty, striped fabrics!  

Use a stripe to interrupt more organic shapes, or likewise, add some curved lines to interrupt otherwise linear patterns.  Use more curves to give a sense of flow.  Sharp, straight lines create a crispness and can look super modern.  Think about your quilting - a loose meander versus straight line stitching give two completely different looks - and at it' core, top quilting is simply continuous line drawing.  

Here are some great examples where Line is the main attraction in the quilt:

How do you see yourself incorporating Line in new ways in your quilts?  Do you find yourself more drawn to clean, linear lines or more more organic, shapely lines?  Tell us in the comments below!


The Elements of Art (in Quilting!) Part III: Value

We've talked color to death, but Value is an important counterpart to Color and without it even the wisest use of color and placement can make a project fall flat.

Value describes the lightness or darkness of a color and how it interacts in a piece. This is where you find shades, tints and tones.  You can have a wide array of values in a single color, which is why Value is such an important thing to consider. 

Value creates highlights and lowlights.  If your quilt shows a wide range of values, it will be more dynamic and exhibit a greater sense of depth and contrast.  Limit your values and your quilt will blend more and be more static - static sounds like a bad thing, but it doesn't have to be if you're going for a softer look!

One of the tricky things about Value is that at a certain point, values can be difficult to differentiate because they are just. so. close.  So what do you do about that?  Sure, they make those spiffy red lensed specs, but what if you don't have those?  If you have a smartphone, you can see value in the palm of your hand!  Take a picture of the fabrics you are struggling with, but set your camera to greyscale (or, take the picture and use a greyscale filter). If you don't have a smartphone, take the picture and ask a friend to help you convert it to greyscale. Look how much better it helps you see those lights and darks!

 And here's an example using one of those red filters:

Check out how effective the use of Value can be in a quilt - from lots of values to few!

What's your favorite value range to work in?  Let us know in the comments below!