Quilter’s Color Quest: 5. All Colors In

All Colors In! Rachel Hauser’s latest Quilter’s Color Quest challenge is all about creating fabric rainbows. Using the My Word for 2020 icon by Allison Reidswatches provided with her book, The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color, the challenge is in three parts. First organise colours of the rainbow into four ‘families’: classic pure hues; pastel tints; dusty tones; and jewel shades. Hum! Hues, tints, tones and shades? I had to flick through the book to find an explanation of what these words actually mean…

    • Hue = a pure colour
    • Shade = hue + black
    • Tone = hue + grey
    • Tint = hue + white

Here are my swatch rainbows:

The second part of the challenge: choose one of the rainbows and expand it to twelve swatches in order to practice creating smooth transitions between colours. I decided to stay in my comfort zone and worked with ‘dusty tones’.

I’ve always been drawn to ‘dusty tones’ when choosing clothes or home decor. After ten years of patchwork quilting I realise I do enjoy playing with jewel shades too. Autumn is definitely my colour season though, so I guess that explains my ‘dusty tones’ preference. However, there are some deep ‘jewel’ colours associated with Autumn: I’m thinking berries, dramatic leaves and intense sunsets.

The final part of this challenge: to translate the swatches into fabrics and make the next batch of Bear Paw blocks.

Not surprisingly, I found a good supply of dusty tones in my scrap and stash bins! Although I couldn’t find a dark blue/purple fabric to match the ‘Midnight’ swatch card I’d chosen (bottom left of photo). Again, not surprisingly it was the purple scrap bin that provided me with the least choice of suitable fabrics (purple rarely features in my colour schemes!).

My ‘All Colors In’ Bear Paw blocks.

I’m learning so much through these challenges. As Rachel writes, ‘Color is about self-discovery. There is no ‘wrong’ – there’s just your personal preference’. I think being able to understand and articulate our color preferences using hands on experience along with accurate use of the language of colour has got to be an advantage when it comes to selecting fabrics and creating quilts that rest easy with ourselves or the recipient.


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