Should it stay or should it go?

by Susan Fletcher

Should it stay or should it go?

June 21/19. I finished photographing and putting the last of 179 dyed yarn cotton fabric listings on my website this week. It's nice to be able to do some clean up and catch up on the website after all the neglect during the 'big move'!  New sashiko products and more fabrics are coming soon.

Today I thought I'd show you some of the new fabrics and along with that, here is something I learned in design school, that you may find useful too.

When you are planning a textile project, and picking your colours/fabrics, you can make it easier by thinking about the 'feeling' you want it to give off. Naming the 'feeling' clearly in your head will tell you whether a piece of fabric is suitable or not. 

Most of us do this instinctively by simply buying the colours and fabrics we 'like', but then there is the problem of which of those to put together and which to leave out of a particular project.

This could be as simple as thinking "bold" or "gentle".  Yoko Saito's book Taupe Theory, A Study Guide is an excellent resource for this. She uses the 'colour feeling' of foods (tea and milk, orange peel, chocolate browns) as guides for choosing which colours should stay and which should go for a project. 

A little more complex (but rewarding) result might come from thinking of the colours that make the feeling of an environment: summer berries and bushes, old brick buildings on a deserted street, antique books and old oak furniture. You are not making images of these things, you are choosing fabric/color/texture that gives you the feeling of these things. When you cut and piece them together into a bag or a quilt, the colours will give off the feeling of the image you held in your mind. 

Here are a few of the new fabric listings and my thoughts for what they might 'say'

dyed yarn cotton fabrics purples

Purples! Think berries and flowers, autumn shadows and urns, grapes, girls dresses,

dyed yarn cotton fabrics blacks

Charcoal gays and blacks! Think nights, dark shadows, drama, and those things that need black nearby to make them pop 

yarn dyed cotton fabrics bricky reds

Bricky dusty taupe-y reds, some with a hint of pink, some leaning toward brown. I love these colors. Think birds, berries, earth, pottery, and that street of brick buildings. Think Yoko Saito's Mystery Quilt book. 

dyed yarn cotton fabric for Japanese quilting

Taupes! These ones are pale creamy coloured, they make me remember malted milky chocolate. 

taupe dyed yarn cotton fabric

More Taupes. These are a little cooler and browner, some are like english tea without the milk, some are more like milk with just a bit of cocoa mixed in to tip it toward a light creamy brown

dyed yarn fabric

Talk to you soon


Susan Fletcher
Susan Fletcher


Owner A threaded Needle

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