Learning about color and other random thoughts

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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.

003Block 2 is Complementary, which is the focus fabric and the color directly across the color wheel, using lights and darks of either of the two colors.

004Block 3 is Analogous Counter-clockwise, moving counter-clockwise from the focus fabric, using 3-5 of the adjacent colors without skipping any of the colors.

005Block 4, Analogous Clockwise, using the focus fabric, moving clockwise around the color wheel, using the next 3 to 5 colors without skipping any.

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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.
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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.
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Block 7, Tetrad, which is four colors equidistant around the color wheel, one of which is your focus fabric.
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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.
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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.

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4 thoughts on “Learning about color and other random thoughts

  1. stitchinggrandma June 14, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    Oh gosh…a touch of the ol’ Norovirus I bet. I am convinced that is what got me when I came back from Colorado …the grand kids had all had a bit of it while I was there and the “incubation” was just right. Clever little tool for the color challenged. I can see it going shopping with you next trip! Thanks for the detailed explanations. Hope your feeling better. Get that hubby to wait on you hand and foot for a few days. (Tell him I said so…….) 😉

  2. oneblockwonderwoman June 15, 2015 / 5:48 pm

    Feeling almost normal today….until I had to spend three hours helping hubby cover the giant plum tree with bird netting, which I did not want to do ever again, but he insisted. Yeah, it was only 96 degrees when we finished! Plus I fell off the ladder….suppose I could say he pushed me? LOL! Fortunately I wasn’t hurt. I don’t even like plums all that much, and we have a dwarf elephant heart plum whose fruit I do like. Let the birds have the other ones I say…but then alas, as frequently happens in long-term marriages, no one was listening. 🙂

  3. ivoryspring June 24, 2015 / 6:25 pm

    Thank you for visiting and commenting. You got to take a class with Nancy Rink – I am totally jealous!!!! Those blocks are beautiful! Sorry about the stomach flu — no fun!

    • oneblockwonderwoman August 3, 2015 / 4:13 pm

      Thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry it took so long to reply. We’ve had internet problems for over a month now. The class was wonderful.

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