Quilter’s Color Quest: 4. Colour Wheel

Challenge 4 of the Quilter’s Color Quest is an introduction to colour theory and the colour wheel. Reading the section in Rachel Hauser’s book, The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color, and her corresponding blog post has helped me get my head round some of the language of colour theory and gain a better understanding of how to use a colour wheel.

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison ReidI now know that ‘analogous colours’ are those in close proximity to each other on the colour wheel. Divide the wheel into quarters – it doesn’t matter where the dividing lines fall – and see analogous colours as those sharing the same quarter. ‘Complimentary colours’ on the other hand are those that fall on opposite sides of the wheel. Colours can be ‘tridactic’ – three colours equidistant apart on the wheel. There are other ways of dividing the wheel to help with choosing a colour scheme but for this challenge I was more than content to stick with exploring just these three.

From the collection of swatches I picked ‘Tiger’ orange as my anchor colour.

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Big Dottie – A finished quilt

Wahoo! A finished quilt! Look in my Gallery 2020 page and you’ll see that is a rare occurrence!

I was drawn to Rachel Hauser’s Dear Dottie pattern when she first started sharing it on her blog Stitched in Color. I’d been inspired by lots of the curved piecing that other modern quilters were incorporating into their designs and wanted to have a go. Rachel led a Dear Dottie Sew-Along towards the end of 2019 but I knew I really couldn’t take on another project right then. However I bought and downloaded the pattern thinking I would make the time in the New Year…. Coincidentally an advert for the Classic Curves ruler by Color Girl Quilts had me succumbing to my ruler obsession (again!). I decided to use the ruler rather than the pattern templates to cut out my Dear Dottie fabrics, as a result my finished blocks measure 9½” rather than 6½” – hence my quilt being named ‘Big Dottie’.

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Quilter’s Color Quest: 3. Emotion

Challenge three of the Quilter’s Color Quest looks at using emotion to guide fabric choice. The Quest is organised by Rachel Hauser over at Stitched in Color, using her book The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color and the 150 colour swatches to build an understanding of colour in relation to the fabrics we choose and use.

These blocks are my fabric interpretations of three emotions. Can you figure out what they are? Explanations below 🙂

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Quilter’s Color Quest: 2. Seasons

Quilter's color quest.pngHum! Seasonal colours… Should be pretty obvs, right? Not to me, partly through trying this exercise right after lock-down was announced when my mind was distracted by the conflicts between ‘old normal’ and ‘new reality’ and partly ‘cos I do find playing with colour just plain hard! Which is, of course, why I am working through these Quilter’s Color Quest challenges.

As I started shuffling through the swatches from Rachel Hauser’s book, ‘Quilter’s Field Guide to Color’, I found myself going all indecisive: a season may have a color palette but that surely varies with the weather conditions and time of day? For instance my initial picks for Spring were very much coloured (ha!ha!) by the bright sunny weather we enjoyed most of last week: Bright blue sky, bright yellow daffodils, deep purple crocus, lush green grass… Not the softer pastel colours I’ve learned to associate with Spring. And that’s another thing! What about our learned expectations of seasonal colour? Deep greens and berry reds initially came to my mind when thinking, ‘Winter = Christmas’ but then my thoughts went to the beautiful, subtle colours of a Winter dawn: pale peachy-pink skies, frosty landscapes, a bit of mist…

Anyway! Above is my pick of color swatches for each season: the challenge was to pick a blue, a pink, a green, a neutral, a yellow, a purple, a red and an orange for each of the seasons. You can probably tell I was in a bit of trouble!

I felt happier using a few of my swatches from each season to chose fabrics for the Bear Paw blocks. Some of the fabrics are not perfect matches but I think they are fair representations of the colours I had in mind.

Still not sure anyone would instantly be able to differentiate between my Spring and Summer Bear Paws but hopefully the Autumn and Winter blocks speak for themselves 🙂 The Winter Bear Paw is my favourite.

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison ReidThe next Quilter’s Color Quest challenge involves colour and emotion. I’m already feeling tense :-O I am definitely exercising my word of the year, GROW, with this project!

Linking with Susan and friends for Midweek Makers and I’ll post photos of my seasonal Bear Paw blocks on Instagram @allisonreid.neweverymorning using the hashtags #quilterscolorquest and #stitchedincolor and #quiltersfieldguidetocolor 🙂

Allison