Friday, 13 May 2016

Thoughts Around Yellow...

English paper piecing with Oakshott Scandinavia

The end of April and beginning of May have proved to be Three Weeks of Illness around here. Just as I'd got better from the last bug, I was suddenly hit with a dose of flu, which was surprisingly more debilitating than I'd first thought when it initially arrived in our house in the form of man-flu, and it came complete with tonsillitis for me (which felt particularly sneaky due to it not declaring itself with the first sufferer due to his lack of tonsils). But it's amazing what can be achieved when you are in confinement and forgo a social life - this flower feels like it's sewn itself. 

English paper piecing with Oakshott Scandinavia

I noticed something odd happening while I was constructing this flower though and I'm wondering if anyone else finds themselves doing the same. When yellow is the predominant colour (I'm looking at you, Perpetual Spring) then I'm a huge fan and celebrant of the colour, however, the moment it's mixed in with other colours, I find myself wanting to root the yellow out. And so despite this gorgeous bundle of Oakshotts including a yellow and it looking completely delightful in bundle-form, every time I've cut some petal pieces from it, I've ended up discarding them. 

Oakshott Scandinavia


You can see a mock-up of some yellow inclusion in my magic mirrors above. I found the same thing when piecing my passacaglia cogs - despite the fact that it's seemingly just a riot of colours, I just couldn't seem to make the yellow work for me in there.

English paper piecing with Oakshott Scandinavia

So my flower is continuing to bloom ever-larger as a yellow-free zone, which feels a shame as I loved how the colours looked in bundle form. But I'm interested to know whether anyone else stumbles around the colour yellow and whether there's any art/science theory behind this or whether it's just my own loopiness. I know that yellow is perceived as the brightest colour by the human eye, in part because it reflects more light, so perhaps it's just a personal eye-thing of the yellow jarring because it seems so much brighter than the other colours? Or maybe it's because unless I'm actively craving a rainbow (as for this pencil case or this quilt, neither of which would have worked without the yellow), then yellow adds too much jauntiness.

I'd love to hear how you feel about yellow - or whether you have a colour that you feel like this about that isn't yellow. I did actually struggle with the lilacy colour at the centre of this flower too, but included it on the basis that I was in danger of eroding the glorious Oakshott Scandinavia bundle of its intrinsic loveliness....there's always a danger that I could end up working entirely in shades of white. 

Wishing you a lovely weekend, 

Ps. And no, it's not an illusion, nor is the flower absolutely tiny: the rope bowl holding this flower is absolutely vast! Rope bowl tutorial, here
Pps. I'm planning on writing the pattern for this flower once it's finished, if you're interested. 


  1. I tend to be the opposite--I'll look at a piece and more often than not think "Needs some yellow."

  2. Looking at the fabric bundle, I agree that the yellow doesn't seem to fit with the others. However, if you put it as a narrow piece against a gray petal, it might work better.

  3. Perhaps the yellow would have made more sense in the middle of the flower? I do love the palate you've chosen and think you made the right choice by not adding the yellow petals.

  4. I think you just have to listen to the work. It knows what it wants. And yes, that is ridiculously woo-woo, but it's the truth :)

  5. I've been caving yellow, ever since I started the Farmers wife 1930s sampler quilt project and used yellow there I've craved it more and more, even in dressmaking. Maybe for the mood enhancing properties. I seem to remember it is traditionally a controversial colour in quilting, a bit like brown and purple.

  6. Personally I feel that the 'yellow' in your bundle goes with the blues and greys, but not the pinks and lilacs. Maybe something to do with the red tint in the latter colours? There are so many variations of yellow, and other colours, aren't there, depending on which other colours are in there. Perhaps a more lemony yellow would go?

  7. I have to admit I'm not much of a fan of yellow either. Your thoughts got me to looking around the house at the quilts I've made to see just how much yellow I've used. There's not much. I do love the flower and will look forward to a tutorial on it. I'm glad you are feeling better now.

    I think I agree with Jennifer Hill that the yellow goes with the blues and grays. I wonder if you would like it better if your yellow was the color of butter. It seems like the one included in your bundle looks a little greenish ---at least on my computer. However, it could just be my computer.

  8. Maybe the yellow will go better in another flower, perhaps one where you're not using lilac? I never used to be a fan of yellow (except in the garden), but I'm coming round to it!

  9. I love yellow but admit it's not always to use. But there are many different shades, and you only have to look at all the flowers to see that nature has decided purple and yellow are natural partners.


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