My gray quilt doesn't actually have a bit of gray in it. As a graphic designer I often dealt with "grayscale" which is the effect, in printing, of shades of gray, achieved by printing black dots on white paper. The proportion of black to white, and the size of the black dots, determines the shade of gray you perceive. There is no gray ink in commercial printing. We also talk about text on pages as gray, with different typefaces and different spacing creating different shades of gray on the page. So I chose to create my "gray" piece by using black and white in different mixtures.
In this detail, you can see that the filigree-like figure is made up of printed text. This is actual print on paper (Time magazine as it happens) laminated to cotton fabric, making it sewable. The shadow behind the design was created by cutting the same design from tightly woven black cotton fabric, then placing a layer of loosely woven white cheesecloth over it to create a fine white grid pattern over the black.
This piece was my second "gray" piece. The first, below, was an interesting experiment, but less successful, in my opinion, as a finished piece. I went through my stash of solid colored fabrics one evening, in relatively low light, and pulled out four that looked gray. I stamped a repeating design on swatches of each of the "grays" and constructed my little piece. The next day I looked at the swatches in clear daylight and what had looked gray the night before was not necessarily neutral gray in the light of day! The purple was the biggest surprise. It had looked to be a very flat, colorless gray laying among all the stronger colors in my stash.
The name of this one is "Gray is relative" which is something I think we all discovered in the course of working with the color.
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About Twelve by Twelve
We are twelve quilt artists who embarked on an art challenge together. We're from different places throughout the world and our artistic styles vary, but we share a love of art quilting and a desire to play, experiment, learn, and grow.
For four years (2007-2011), we each made a 12x12 inch quilted art piece on a designated theme or palette. See our Theme Series and our Colorplay series.
For the 2012 Series, we changed things a bit and made rectangular pieces, 20x12 inches with roughly 10 weeks between each challenge. As before, we had a designated theme for each challenge.
We shared our process, progress, and results on this blog. It remains a key record of our rich collaboration.