Thursday, March 12, 2009

Color Class Color Wheel Quilt

I am working on a new quilt. I teach a class in color for quilters and I have been wanting to make a color wheel quilt for a long time. I have designed lots of them over the years but never found one that I liked enough to make, or that illustrated all the color theory ideas I wanted to cover in the class. Here is what I came up with finally, and have been assembling the fabric to start making this weekend. The central ring of points depict tints of each color (white added) and the middle ring of points depicts the hues or pure colors. The outer ring of large points are the shades of each color (black added) and between the shades are the tones of each shade (gray added). The border juxtaposes each hue (larger triangle) with its shade (smaller triangle) to demonstrate how the contrast of light and dark (value) creates depth and three dimensionality.

The idea of color schemes posed another challenge, so instead of making a series of quilts or blocks in various color schemes, I decided to make black flanel overlays I can put on the quilt with holes cut out to reveal each of the color schemes, ie. complementary (across the color wheel from each other), tertiary (3 colors equi-distant from each other), etc. I could move these to change the colors in each scheme by lifting the overlay and pivoting it, showing different color combinations.

The quilt will be large (70" square) so that the colors will be visible in a large guild meeting room. The overlays will be made from foam core with black felt coverings so they can be easily moved and applied to the quilt with velcro dots. I thought it would be easier to move an overlay, than to make the quilt out of foam core and move each color piece. I could just picture myself in the middle of a guild presentation and having all the color triangles fall on the floor! I would love to know what you think of my idea, and how you think this would be as a prop for my presentation. I have done this presentation several times, and use power point slides to illustrate all the ideas. But I thought that a real quilt might make a better visual aid than slides, especially when answering questions after the presentation. Let me know what you think. Thanks in advance for your feedback.


  1. I really like your quilt design and the ideas you have for using it in a presentation. Not only are they able to see the colors as you present them, but later they can actually take the quilt and fold the colors next to each other to see the contrast directly. Very hands-on.

  2. Hi!
    Love the quilt. Bring it out as a kit.



I'd love to know what you think! Thanks for sharing your ideas.