Color Study 2: Purple to Blue

by Judy Tucker

Color Study: Purple to Blue with Compliments.  A  table runner, 17.5 x 40.5 inches

This color study was a real challenge.  Purple isn't my favorite color and I really struggled even defining my purples.  I went to a local store with a large collection of Kona cottons and found what I thought was the perfect spectrum of blue to purples fabrics.  Until I got home and laid them out…

What is purple?  What is violet blue?   What is real blue?   The only one I was confident about was red-violet/magenta.

I'm not sure the color in the photo is all that clear either.  But here are my red-violet, purple, blue violet selections and blue selections.

For this project I used 2 sets of analogous colors:
     Purple, blue-violet and blue
     Yellow-green, yellow and yellow-orange
Two of the colors are transitional colors.  (They are called transitional because they are made by mixing 2  primary colors).
     Purple--a combination of red and blue
     Green--a combination of yellow and blue

The yellow is the compliment of purple and yellow-orange the compliment of blue-violet.   I picked the green rather than orange for the block because I liked the effect better.
I then added some orange accents because that is the compliment of the blue.  I also chose orange thread for quilting.

Still unsure about what real purple is, I raided my stash and found 2 another purples so there are 3 purples in the project.  I think in the end, the purple in my border is the best purple of the three.

The first set of pinwheels I made combined blue and purple (middle block on the right above).  I didn't like them that much. They seemed harsh to me.  I'd jumped a step on the color wheel from purple to blue, bypassing the blue-violet.  So then I made several more blocks with blue-violet and blue, which I found more pleasing (top and bottom block on the left).  I put both pairings in the table runner for comparison.  This is a color study so I thought it would be good to include both pairings!

Blue with blue-violet (left),  Blue with purple (right)

I also found that the purple color seems to change depending on which other color I paired with it.  More than once I picked out a block which I thought had a purple I didn't want to use in the table runner, only to find that when I put the "wrong" purple right next to the "right" one they were the same!

I think one of my issues with purple (i.e., why I don't like it that much) is because it absorbs so much light.  Sewing the purple was like sewing black. I found it hard to see my stitches or where I was going.  I much prefer lights and brights!

Here's something else I noticed.  Standing up close to my computer monitor the colors in the wall hanging look washed out.  When I stepped back, the intensity and color was much truer to life.

I really like the completed table runner.  It's vivid!!

Here is the flip side:

This color study was a lot of fun and I learned a lot doing it.
I have an idea for a small project (just one block I think) using color gradations.  I'll keep you posted!