Visual Systems: The Quilter's Eye Gallery

Proportional Color Inventories

In his book, Color: A Workshop Approach, David Hornung states: “When we take a palette from an outside source we break away from visual habits and encounter color combinations we might not otherwise consider. The exercise of matching color and estimating proportions trains the eye to assess color objectively.” (115)

A proportional color inventory is really only possible with an object with a finite number of easily identified colors. Graphic arts and other designs with clearly defined shapes and colors lend themselves well to a proportional color inventory. Many pieced quilts fall neatly in this category, but use caution with quilts that have complex color progressions or large numbers of different printed fabrics: these would best be explored in a non-proportional inventory. In Visual Systems, some of the most appropriate are the Amish quilts, which use few colors, often in unusual combinations.

Click images below to view larger and read more information about some of the quilts included in the exhibit.