My WIP — Learning About Color in Quilting

I bought a kit to make a color wheel years ago (1993), but never made it as I knew for me the tight points would be an issue.  I decided it was time to tackle it.  I did better with the points than I would have then, but still am not perfectly happy.  The problem is the seams are wider than the points which makes it difficult and then there is the problem of pressing said seams.

Anyway, here it is.  I have finished piecing it (machine and hand), but have not decided how I want to quilt it.


With some of the left-over fabric, I planned and pieced this which I call my Ohio Star color wheel.

Color wheels are used to help learn color theory.  My color wheel kit was designed by Susan McKelvy (author of Color for Quilters.

From the insert which came with my color wheel kit:

Color terms illustrated in the color wheel

Pure Colors:  The color wheel is made up of pure colors (the truest and brightest versions of each color).  This wheel is made up of twelve pure colors.

Light-Dark Contrast (Value):  There are many values of each color from light to dark.  Three are included in this wheel – a light value (tint), the pure color, and a dark value (shade).

Warm-Cool Contrast:  Colors have warmth.  On this wheel, the cool colors (greens and blues of the sky and sea) are on the left and the warm colors (the yellows, oranges, and reds of fire and the the sun) are on the right.

Analogous Colors:  Any colors next to each other on the wheel are analogous.

Complementary Contrast:  Every color has a complement – the color directly opposite it on the wheel.

Colors look different on different backgrounds.


The twelve colors in my color wheel are

The 3 primary colors:   Red, yellow and blue

In traditional color theory, these are the 3 pigment colors that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues

The 3 secondary colors:  Green (yellow and blue), orange (yellow and red) and purple (red and blue)

These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors.

The 6 tertiary colors:  Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green.

These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That’s why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange.


About rlbates

plastic surgeon who quilts, loves family, dog person, walks/jogs, a work-in-progress
This entry was posted in color, quilting, theory, work in progress and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My WIP — Learning About Color in Quilting

  1. Susan says:

    I understand the seam allowance/point problem, but it is beautiful!

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