There was a blue and white line that came into the shop, and when I saw it, I believe my words were something like "bleeeh." Articulate, I know. I didn't think much of it beyond that. But when mom was having me edit the Newsletter, when she was discussing those pieces, she mentioned turning it on it's ear and pairing it with magenta, lime or orange to give it a little kick. Magenta and lime would look nice, but orange? Fine, Mom, you got me. I was interested. So I tottered into the batik room, grabbed a bright coral orange and grabbed one of the new blue and whites and...well...the rest is history.
If you look at your handy dandy color wheel (or, if you're just really into color theory) you know that blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel - complementary colors. That means that they're going to amplify each other, giving you the makings for a bright composition. This quilt exemplifies how complementary colors play with one another, and how color placement effects the way the eye percieves pattern.
Here is a smattering of the blocks. Each has a blue half, and an orange half. The middle block is the one that inspired the rest of the quilt. LOVE that combination.
Here are 2 examples of how complementary colors change each other depending on where you place them. This quilt has alternating, concentric diamonds. Look what happens if you start with an orange diamond in the center (left). The blue diamond almost gets lost on the orange background. Orange becomes the dominant player, and while I much prefer orange to blue, this looks chaotic to me. To my eye, it's difficult to focus on the pattern because each fabric is screaming for attention - this is due to orange being a highly reflective color, and the eye has natural difficulty staying focused on reflective colors because they force the eye to move.
Yet, when you start with blue in the center (right), the orange diamond appears to float on a sea of blue. It's a little calmer for the eye to focus on, because the blue becomes the dominant color. It isn't as reflective as the orange, and this allows the fabrics to play a little more harmoniously rather than and each of the fabrics competing with each other.