Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Are you a Quilter who struggles with color?

Do you Struggle with Color?

Are you a quilter who seems to struggle with matching colors? Why is it so difficult for some and yet others seem to match their fabrics without a care in the world. If you are one of the people who struggle, then you need to read on and find out how to unlock the secrets of the color wheel. The color wheel is something that is used by many artists, painters, fabric designers and yes quilters! Once you know how to use one, your trouble will be over! No more “ugly mismatched” quilts again!

Color is everywhere.

It goes beyond the fabric in our cloths, and quilts. It touches us in every thing we do, and is in every part of our world inside and out. So if we are so exposed to colors, then why do we have such a hard time matching colors in our quilts? You would think this would be easy and a no brainer. (No offense here, I am not trying to insult anyone.) I was one of the strugglers too in the beginning.

The color wheel is as easy as 1....2.....3.....4


One - the primary colors

All colors start with the primary color, (which are red, yellow, and blue) from there we can mix to create other secondary colors like: yellow and blue make green, red and yellow make orange, and red and blue make purple. From there we can add our black to darken a color, or white to lighten the color which is where the various shades come in red mixed with white makes pink.

Two - pick a primary color and find it's complimentary color.

Using a color wheel is quite simple and it takes the guess work out of what goes with what. In a two color quilt pick your first color, let’s say red, now look directly below that color, what do you see? Green is the complimentary color for red. If you only made two color quilts you could easily find the matching color. But I know that would be pretty boring. So let’s take this a step further.

Three find the "Triad"

If you want to make a quilt with say three colors, then look at the “triad” which is marked on your color wheel. For those of you who do not have your own wheel (might I suggest you get one, they are not expensive and it would help you in the long run).

The “triad”, is 3 colors that are evenly spaced from each other on the color wheel. For example: red, yellow and blue. Go ahead take your wheel for a spin pick a color and see where the triad lands. What did you get?

And four - find the "tetrad".

The "tetrad" is four colors that are evenly spaced from its complimentary color on the color wheel. Let’s see if you can find four colors for a quilt, starting with red. Did you get red, green,yellow and purple? Or did you get red, green, yellow orange and blue violet? No worries here as they are both right! You see in the first example take the complimentary color green then the next color was 2 spaces to the right and 2 spaces to the left. While the second example takes the green, and then moves 3 spaces left and right. So you see they are both right because they are evenly spaced from the complimentary color!

I do hope this sheds some light on color and the use of a color wheel. May you never struggle with color again!

Help like this and loads more can be found at my online quilting classroom. Where we never cancel a class and there is always room for one more!

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