I took a class on Tuesday at my local quilt guild taught by a wonderful fabric/pattern designer named Nancy Rink. She taught us how to use Joen Wolfrom’s 3-in-One Color Tool. Since I am the Queen of Quilting Gadgets, of course I happened to have one in my tool inventory, purchased when I was a brand new quilter, but I had really never even looked at it closely. I was surprised early on that I was blessed with a pretty good sense of color, so it just gathered dust in my cupboard, but I reasoned that we can all learn to improve our skills. I’m really glad that I decided to take the class, because I learned a lot about color that I only understood in my “gut”, but now understand why things work the way they do together. We were instructed to bring a black or other neutral background fabric, a focus fabric, and a variety of tone-on-tone or solids, a design wall, and a camera, but not our sewing machines!
Using the tool, Nancy taught us how to use the color wheel, and the individual cards to make different blocks, all of which had the neutral background and at least one piece of the focus fabric. Here is how mine came out.
The first one is Monochromatic, using our focus fabric, and picking from the card that our focus fabric was found on, pick other fabrics that were on that card. This was really fun because we all were free to dig through everyone else’s fabric to find just the right thing. (She had told us to expect to share in advance.) My focus fabric is the medium green surrounding the center.
Block 5, Split complementary, starting with the focus fabric, go to the complementary fabric and then add at least two colors next to the complementary fabric.
Block 6, Triad, starting again with the focus fabric, pick the two other colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel, and make one of the three colors your dominant color.
Block 7, Tetrad, which is four colors equidistant around the color wheel, one of which is your focus fabric.
Block 8, Polychromatic, which of course just means many colors, so including my focus fabric, I put in as many of the other colors I had already selected into the block as I found appealing.
The class was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. It was interesting how each block looks different, but still plays nicely with the others. The one I struggled with the most is the Triad because of the orange-red that was called for, but now that I look at the photos, it does work. I probably will use the pieces in a scrap quilt I’m working on and won’t sew these blocks together into a quilt like was intended. But when I’m struggling with picking just the right border or sashing or third color to bring into a quilt in the future, I have another great tool to help guide me along the way.
I’ve also been away from blogging for so long because I have a foot injury, and have spent much of my time going from the podiatrist, to getting tests, back to podiatrist, more tests, and on and on. Keep in mind, the closest town to where we live is 30 miles one way, so every trip in is a least two hours. Then I came down with the stomach flu and spent two days on the couch with trips only to the bathroom or the bedroom to lay on the bed. This is my second day of not having to lay down most of the day. You know how sick I was because I didn’t even walk into my sewing room from the time I dropped my stuff off from class on Tuesday, until yesterday afternoon when my quilting buddy came to sew. I managed to then sit in a chair all afternoon and ripped out four log cabin blocks that I was unhappy with. That’s absolutely pitiful for me, usually spending a least three hours a day working on a quilting project. I can hardly wait to get my energy back.