I love hearing from customers and social media followers! They inspire me so much.
A week ago or so I received a lovely email from someone who follows me on Instagram (@mjkinmantextileartist). She said she loved the Elizabeth quilt pattern and wondered if I’d ever release a colorway for a Golden Topaz.
I started thinking about what a Golden Topaz Elizabeth might look like and asked her to send me images of several examples of topazes that she loved. I wanted to see which colors she was thinking of and their intensity.
Betsy sent me the two images you see here.
The first is a trillion-cut (or trilliant) gemstone. The term trillion or trilliant is used to describe a gemstone cut that is triangular in shape. Originally, trilliant referred to a diamond cut developed by the Asscher brothers in Amsterdam. The trilliant cut was essentially an adaptation of the brilliant cut for triangular diamonds, with straight sides and usually 43 to 50 facets.
The second is an elongated cushion-cut gem with glowing hues.
When I compared these gems with the coloration of the Elizabeth pattern, the first thing I noticed was the relative absence of white and the lighter values. While both topaz images flash a little bit of white and bright yellow, most of the gems are a medium to deep orange.
Customizing the Elizabeth Colorway
When customizing a gem quilt pattern, it’s always a good idea to sit with both the pattern image and the image of the inspiration gem and compare the two.
In this case, I realized that the original Elizabeth pattern predominantly had white and light values. If I were to gauge it, I’d say that perhaps half the facets where white and very light colors, while the other half were medium and dark values. To go further, I’d estimate that a quarter of the facets were white, a quarter were various light gray values, a quarter were a variety of medium to medium-dark values, and the remaining quarter were dark and black values.
When I did the same with the trillion-cut golden topaz, I estimated that fully half the gem was made up of medium values of gold and amber hues, while barely a quarter were medium light (with only a few glints of white), and the remaining quarter of the facets were a dark or black color.
What does this mean for the colorway?
Well, both the blue diamond and golden topaz colorways would start with white and end with black. BUT I wouldn’t assign the same codes for them.
Instead I’d find out which color code had the fewest facets and pair that color code with my white fabric. Then I’d find the code that had the second fewest facets and pair that code with light yellow fabric, and so forth.
The color code with the most facets would be paired with the color fabric that I deemed the most prominent: a medium orange. The color code with the second most facets would end up being paired with the second most dominant color, a reddish-orange.
Here are two color charts for the Elizabeth pattern. The first one is the actual color chart from the Elizabeth pattern in the blue colorway.
The second is the revised colorway I created for Elizabeth using the technique described above.
The Final Golden Topaz Design
About a year ago, I updated the Elizabeth design in Adobe Illustrator so that I could isolate the different facets by code and change their colors. (Now I do that with all my patterns for the DIamonds & Drama Queens BOM patterns so that I can create a wide variety of colorways to inspire members.)
Here is an image of the final colorway I decided on. I thought it represented the colors of the two inspiration gems fairly well.
When I shared it with Betsy, she liked it very much. However, she had perceived a gem with more orange-red hues rather than the red-orange hues I trended toward. So I changed the color of the “W” code (the code that had the MOST facets in the design). This is the result. She loved it! It’s a very subtle change, but it made all the difference for Betsy. Isn’t it amazing how our brains perceive and resonate with images differently?
My next step for Betsy is to create a chart of fabric selection form Kona solids, Moda Bella solids, and Paintbrush Studio Fabrics solids to give her as a “thank you” for inspiring me. I’ll share the same with you once I get them done. Stay tuned for a post letting you know when you can download them for yourself Until then, be well and shine on!