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Value can be confusing to the new quilter, but choosing the right value can actually be more important than the color you choose in some designs.  Value is the lightness or darkness of color.

Lavender, for instance, would be a light value of the color purple.  The reason value is so important when selecting fabrics is that it provides the needed contrast when building quilting blocks.  When you add pieces to a block, you want to see their shape.  If there is not enough contrast, the design will get lost.

Value can be difficult see.  You can move back and squint, or like me, take off your glasses, but even then you don't always get it right. 

There are instruments you can look through to ascertain value, but I've found the easiest way to see the true value of colors is to scan them, and then change the picture to gray scale.

Look at the picture in color.  Now look at it in black and white.  It is very easy to see the value in black and white, and see that the fabrics are out of order.

  Good use of value will add crispness, contrast, and interest to your quilt.





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