Statement of Problem: Why bother? Well, I've found that people (including me) have a hard time talking about color. Everyone has their favorite colors, of course, but "green" is not really enough to design a quilt around. People who are color savvy will sometimes list their favorite color combinations, and a rare individual will also throw in an idea of color quality, with words like "pastel" or "jewel tones" or "smoky."
But since a quilt design needs to encompass not just color, color combinations, and color quality, but also color value and the relative proportions of all of the above across the quilt surface, it's pretty brutal to talk about without looking at quilt images. So, you end up flipping through a stack of quilt books and magazines, looking at a random selection of posibilities, slapping down sticky notes everywhere, and it's a huge mess. Well, no. It's not really that huge of a mess. I'm just trying to get you all excited about my innovation.
Innovation: I selected 38 images that represent a wide range of possible quilt color combinations, and mounted them on cardstock, like so:
Methodology: The subject is instructed to sort the cards into three piles based solely on colors. One pile is the color combinations that the subject really likes, the second is the color combinations that are "all right," and the third is the color combinations that the subject doesn't like. When the piles are complete, the interviewer and subject examine the stack together, looking for common themes in the subject's choices.
Results: I tried this out with Mrs. 5000, who is always ready for anything, at lunch today. It worked, in the sense that I learned things about her color taste that I hadn't realized before. She is not crazy about extensive white or very light areas on quilts, for instance, and has more of a thing for jewel tones than I expected.
Conclusions: Encouraged by this first trial, I will apply the procedure to Neice #1 this coming weekend, in preparation for beginning the design of her graduation quilt. Hopefully, it will help me come up with a quilt that will be all, like, aesthetically pleasing to her.