One of my goals for this year is to put together some new talks that could be presented to guilds. When I was in the Quilt Judging class we spent quite a bit of time talking about colors and using a color wheel. This got me to thinking about using the color wheel as a jumping off point for a new presentation.
Several years ago we had purchased a book by Victoria Finlay called “Color….a Natural History of the Palette”…..
In it, she talks about the various colors, giving histories of how and where they were developed. It has been interesting to learn more in depth information, although some of it is a bit weird and sad!! For example, “Lead White”, was made by applying vinegar or another acid onto lead panels. The corrosive action would leave a white deposit of lead carbonate. This deposit was powdered and left to dry in the sun. Unfortunately, Lead white was poisonous if swallowed and many early artists were affected. It was even used in women’s makeup for many years and many died from lead poisoning.
But enough about White….this blog is about color!!
I started looking for a good color wheel to purchase and landed on “C&T PUBLISHING Notions Essential Color Wheel Companion”……
It is 12 inches in diameter which is a great size to work with!! On the outside, the colors are divided into 24 segments while the inner radii show the various tints and shades of those main colors.
Now…moving onto the quilt part of this blog…..
A few weeks ago I was reading a copy of McCalls Quilting Magazine and this quilt caught my eye……
I really liked the idea of making something that could use up a bunch of the scraps that I have been saving and also liked having some open spaces to add quilting texture to. As I thought further, I decided to make a color wheel quilt, forcing me to learn more about color by actually using it!!!
I made some changes to the pattern shown here, including making it much larger and also using bias binding to finish the edges of the strips.
I then delved into my “string” bin and began sorting the appropriate sized strings into color groups…..
…..that looks like a good start!!
Then I took the color wheel and began splitting the colors into sections, starting with the first 6 colors….Yellow thru Orange Red…..
The generous size of the color wheel became important when I started pulling fabrics from my fabric boxes. It was easy to slide the wheel down the folds of fabrics and look for ones that matched best…….
Before I started piecing each section, I lined strips of the color up on the design wall to see if it looked okay……
I quickly learned that I should NOT use the rotary cutter to trim up the edges on the pieced design…..it is TOO easy for it to slip on the many seams and actually cut into the piece…..yes, this came from a learning curve!!! Instead I used a super sharp pair of scissors to do the trimming, although I didn’t trim it all the way to the edge. I will do that just before I applique it onto the background.
After a day of sewing, I had completed a quarter of the colors and I love how it looks…..
….although I cant decide what color to use for the background…..
That is only ONE of the unknowns in this project,. Others include….
- what am I going to put inside the on-point square…. more squiggly lines, circles, starbursts, applique flowers, etc.?
- am I going to hand applique the bias tape on or do it by machine?
- do I want to do a gradation background, or even alternate between blacks, greys and whites….or other colors?
- what sort of quilting do I want to do?
- what do I want to add to the outside triangles?
I truly enjoyed looking for the differences in colors and actually got to the point that I could distinguish Orange-Yellow from Yellow-Orange!!!
Anyway, it is off to a good start. It would actually be further along, but I started binge watching the “Great British Bake Off” and kept stopping to watch and enjoy!!!
I will leave you with this quote from Georgia O’Keefe…..