Learning How to Crazy Quilt

Learning how to Crazy Quilt and Embellish the Crazy Quilt Block

I’m taking Kathy Shaw’s Beginning Crazy Quilt Course. Class started September 17, 2016.  The lessons are broken down into individual tasks.  I am on the seventh task, which begins the Silk Ribbon instruction.  Tasks 1-6 covered piecing the block and embroidering the base embroidery stitches on each of the ten seams.

Here are my photos of my block as I have progressed through the tasks 1-7.

task-4-web-edit                                                                                           Tasks # 1 thru #4:  Piecing the block














Tasks # 5 thru # 6: Embroidering the Seams with a Template









bcqc-task-7-block-web-edit                                                                                                  Task #7 : Embroidering the Seams using a Shaped Template









I’m currently working on Task # 8: Silk Ribbon Embroidery.

Ms. Shaw offers beginning, intermediate and advanced classes in Crazy Quilting, including embroidery and embellishment. She offers regular quilting classes, as well.  All her classes are very well structured and best of all they are free of charge.  However, be prepared to do homework.  To take her classes you must register for the classes when they are offered.  This is the link to her web site if you are interested  in Kathy’s classes:  www.shawkl.com  Click on the “Free On Line Classes”.  I plan to take the intermediate and advanced Crazy Quilt Courses.

Done is Better Than Perfect!

“Done is better Than Perfect”

A funny thing happened on the way to finishing a gift. I was making the “Welcome Home, Summer! Door Banner” by APQ Quilts and More, Summer 2014, “Welcome Home Door Banners”.  As I was sewing on the binding, I realized the mini check fabric I was using was not a dark navy and white,  but was in fact, black and white.

Black and White Mini Check Fabric

Black and White Mini Check Fabric

I had sewn about a third of the binding on to the banner when this realization hit me.  I stopped sewing and thought, “What am I doing to do? Should I stop and rip it out, find the navy and white check fabric and remake the binding?  I was up against a dead line; we had planned to leave to go to Eastern Washington as soon as Mr. B was off work.  I had only a couple of hours and I still needed to pack, too.  The next thought I had was, “Does this black and white mini check fabric, work as the binding for this project?

I flipped the banner over to look at the front and then I realized, the buttons I was planning to use for embellishment, were black. (watermelon seeds)

welcome home summ-watermelon-webedtI also could use a black and white polka dot button in the center of the daisy type flower.  That was two tie-ends for the black and white mini check fabric.

welcome Home Summer-button-webedt

I also planned to use black pearl cotton to embroider running stitches for the bumblebee’s flight trail.  The button for the bee was black and yellow.



Here were more tie-ends for the black in the mini check fabric, so I decided to keep the black and white binding and continued sewing it onto the banner.





After I finished sewing the binding to the front side of the banner, I folded the binding to the backside of the banner and pinned it in place to sew by hand. I realized the binding looked not just, okay but good, very good.

Welcome Home, Summer Door Banner

:Welcome Home, Summer Door Banner




I was pleased with the color combinations and with the project over all.  I hope the recipient of this door banner will love it and never know a different color binding was planned. (unless she read this blog).  The lesson I have learned (again) is summed up by the quote “Done is better Than Perfect”. Plus I was able to give this gift on time!


Note: The picture is not the banner I made and gave away, unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of it before giving it away.  This banner is one I made for myself.  It hangs in my sewing room.

Happy Sewing!

Until next time,


The Splendid Sampler

The Splendid Sampler


Quilt designers Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson have teamed together along with 83 other quilt design artists and have created “a year long 100 block ‘Epic Adventure’ of quilt making”. Is a mystery quilt that will feature a range of quilting techniques including; applique, embroidery, paper piecing, regular piecing, and English Paper piecing (EPP).  Each of the blocks are 6 inches finished, unfinished the blocks measure 6 ½ inches.  The project started February 14, 2016.  To participate you only need to sign up for the project.  There is no cost for the block patterns. The link below will take you to the Splendid Sampler’s web page.  You can read all about the project and sign up for it if you desire.

I will post my journey with the Splendid Sampler and my blocks. It seems an ambitious project, but so far, I’m having fun with it.  This is my first time participating in such a large group project.  I’ve been able to chat with quilters from all over the globe.  It’s been very exciting!  Click here to go the Splendid Sampler


Here are my February blocks:

Block One – February 14 – Hearts a Flutter by Pat Sloan                     spendid block 1-web edit


The heart is appliqued onto the four patch .  I used light weight fusible interfacing technique to turn under the raw edges.  the fusible interfacing holds the applique piece in place while being sewn onto the background fabric.

The fabrics I used to make this block are all civil war reproductions fabrics.  I have decided to make all my blocks using civil war reproduction fabrics.  I have collected a good variety of this type of fabric, as it’s one of my favorites.



Block Two- February 21- Wings by Jan Davidson

splendid block 2-web edit

This block is pieced and features a little embroidery for the butterflies antennae.  I also added Bullion Knots for the butterflies bodies.  36 little squares equals lots of seams.  I had to really work hard at making sure my  seams were true quarter- inch, so all my seam matched up. 







Block 3 – February 21  Lots of Love by Melissa Corry

splendid block 3a- web edit


This is also a pieced block.  I enjoyed making these sweet hearts








Block 4 February 24 by Jen Kingwell

splendid block 3-web edit

I had fun with this block.  It featured round circle flowers.  I dressed them up with a bit of embroidery to add “petals” I used a variety of pearl cottons in sizes #3, #5, and ,#8.  The vase or pot also got a bit of decoration too.








Block 5 – Simple Simon by Celine Perkins

IMG_2650-web edit


This is a pieced block. Making it reminded me of making a Disappearing Nine Patch. This block started as a nine patch and then was cut into equal quarters.  As you can see it is sewn back together with sashing strips of blue.






Note: I haven’t forgotten about the Four Patch Quilt I promised.  I’m working on the tutorial for it and will have it ready soon.

Until next time, keep sewing!



Part 7: How to Sew the Perfect Quilt Block

Part 7 : Basic Quilting Guidelines: How to Sew the Perfect Quilt Block or How to Sew Seams with a 1/4th or a Scant 1/4th inch Seam Allowance

The secret to sewing the perfect block is all in the seam allowances. In quilting, the 1/4th inch seam allowance is used because it creates less bulk than the 5/8” seam, commonly used in the construction of clothing. There are a few exceptions to this rule; those include paper piecing, sewing on binding which sometimes uses a narrower or wider seam allowance and sewing Rag Quilts, which uses a ½” seam allowance. Each quilter strives to sew a consistent 1/4th inch seam allowance so that the patchwork aligns correctly.

Some patterns call for a scant 1/4th inch seam, this means sewing the seam allowance about a pencil line’s width narrower than a 1/4th inch. You may find sewing a scant 1/4th inch seam works the best for all your patchwork.

Some sewing machines come with a quarter inch foot,

img2196 quarter inch quilting foot-web

but if yours does not you can use the standard foot. However, you will need to figure out which vertical groove on the machine’s throat plate is equal to a 1/4th inch.

img 2214 needle at quater in_web

You can mark the grove by laying down a strip of drafting tape.

img2233tape at quarter inch_web

Alternatively, the fabric stores and quilt shops carry a few products for this purpose, which you can purchase.


Always keep the edges of the fabric together and even with either the quarter inch foot’s edge or the 1/4 inch vertical grove or edge of the tape.

img 2238fabric against tape_web

img 2210 fabric at edge of qt foot -mark_web

The most important thing is to test your seam allowance before you start your project. To do this:

Sew a seam

  1. Measure you seam allowance with a ruler. The seam should fall just inside the 1/4th” line of your ruler
  2. If necessary, make any needed adjustments
  3. Sew another seam, than measure again

All this may seem tedious at first, but the more you sew the more natural it will feel.

Sewing a consistent quarter inch seam will help with your accuracy in creating your quilt blocks. Accurately sewn quilt blocks fit together perfectly to create your quilt top.

Here I had to sew a project with a 3/8″ seam allowance.  I followed the step described above to get the correct seam allowance.  The pictures show the steps:

img2244 finding 3 eights seam_webimg2250Tape Placement for 3 eigths_web












img2259 sewing 3 eights seam_webimg 2262 check for accuracy_web

I will show you what this project is in the near future, until then,

Happy Sewing!




Gold Dragonfly in the Garden

A Black Meadow Hawk Dragonfly on a spent Iris bloom

A Black Meadow Hawk Dragonfly on a spent Iris bloom

A Golden Dragonfly in My Garden

As I was looking through the photos I had taken of  my garden  I found I had photographed the namesake of my blog.  I realized this picture was taken at the time I was preparing to launch this blog.(June/July)


Although I don’t believe in omens, I do believe in blessings. I acknowledge I have received and continue to receive many blessings from my Father in Heaven.  It seems,  the visit of  this beautiful creature,  gave a blessing to begin this blog.  Some may disagree and call the event a     coincidence, maybe it was.  But I like to think it was a blessing.

I did a little research to find out what type of dragonfly, this golden creature is and found it is a Black Meadow Hawk Dragonfly.  It’s black marking will become more pronounced as it matures.


This beautiful creature inspired me to create a pattern for a piece of quilted art.  I will share it with you in the near future. I can tell you it is a combination of embroidery and pieced quilt blocks.

I hope you can look and find blessings in your life.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!



Part 5: Quilting Rules or Guidelines How to use the Rotary Cutter

Special Note:  With the exception of one photo, the hands in this post’s pictures belong to my husband (Jerry).  I knew which angles I wanted the pictures taken, but was having troubles explaining them to him. In the end it was easier to teach him how to hold the rotary cutter and cut fabric.  So I took the pictures and Jerry was my model.

How to use the Rotary Cutter

Body posture– Always stand while you are using the rotary cutter (unless you have a physical disability) you will have less neck and shoulder fatigue.

Always cut away from your body. You will have more control of the cutter when cutting away from your body because you can see where you are going. This also allows you to cut more accurately and stay in alignment with your ruler.

Cutting the fabric

The following directions are for right-handed cutting. (I will do my best to describe left-handed cutting in the parentheses)

  • Place fabric on the mat; lay it with the fold toward you as you are facing your cutting table. This goes for right and left-handed cutters. The edge of the fabric you are going to cut will be on the left side of the ruler. [Refer to the photo] The bulk of your fabric will be on the right of your ruler. (Left handed-cutters: The edge of the fabric you are going to cut will be to the right side of the ruler. The bulk of your fabric will be on the left of your ruler.)


  • Firmly place your non cutting hand on the ruler, in the middle of the ruler so your fingers are away from the cutting edge of the ruler. Place your thumb near the bottom of the ruler [refer to photo below] and your finger tips a comfortable distance up the ruler, don’t stretch your fingers out too far. [Refer to photo below, this is my hand ]


  • With the rotary cutter in your right-hand hold it so the handle is at a 45 degree angle to the table top. (Left Handed-cutters: Follow the directions above with your right hand on the ruler and directions for holding the rotary cutter in you left hand)


  • Place the rotary cutter against the ruler’s edge, a little before the fabric [see photo above], then cut away from your body, stopping when the blade is about even with the figure tips on your non cutting hand. Do not lift the cutter away from the fabric; just hold it in place while you reposition the non cutting hand on the ruler. (Left handed cutters, follow the same directions.)


  • To reposition your non-cutting hand, walk the hand up the ruler. Put the thumb in the new position followed by your figure tips, remember to place your fingertips a comfortable distance up the ruler. The cutting hand stays still until the non-cutting hand is in the new position.
  • Now you are ready to cut again. Continue to cut away from your body, stopping when the blade is about even with the figure tips on your left hand. Follow Step 3 and 4 to reposition your non-cutting hand and continue cutting until you come to the end the fabric.


This process may seem unnatural, but with practice the movements will become comfortable and smooth.

How to Square the Fabric

Before you can begin cutting strips for your project, you will need to square up the fabric to get a good clean edge so all the strips will be straight and uniform. *Note: I recommend you practice cutting on inexpensive muslin before you try cutting on your more expensive fabric.

  • Make sure the salvage edges are together. You may need to iron the fabric to remove puckers and wrinkles. I f you need to iron the fabric, you will need to allow it to rest and cool off before cutting. If you cut it immediately after ironing it, the fabric will shrink up a bit and the strips will not be the correct size. Remember the Laws of Physics: When heat is applied to something, it expanse and when it cools it shrinks.
  • Now that you have smooth wrinkle free fabric and the selvage edges are together, you are ready to square up the fabric. Besides your fabric, you will need your rotary cutter, a 6” x 24” long ruler, a 5 or 6” square ruler and a mat that measures at least 17” x 23” (These are the measurements of my Olfa Cutting Mat).
  • You will be cutting strips that are cross grain cuts. (Refer to photo)


  1. Lay the fabric on the mat; lay it with the fold toward you as you are facing your cutting table. This goes for right and left-cutters. For right-handed cutters the bulk of your fabric will lay to your left. (Left handed cutters, the bulk of your fabric will lay to your right.)
  2. Place the 5 or 6” square ruler on the fabric with the bottom edge aligned with the fold of the fabric (refer to the photo). Next place the 6” x 24” long ruler right up against the square ruler (refer to photo)
  3. Cut the uneven edges of fabric with you rotary cutter and discard the scrap. Now you have a nice even, straight edge and are ready to cut strips for your project.

IMG_1246-editedAvoiding the “V” When Cutting Strips

Your fabric strips will only stay straight as far as your ruler is wide, which usually is 6 inches. After that, sometimes the fabric strips beyond the 6 inches will develop a “V” when you open the folded fabric.  To avoid this “V” you will need to square up your fabric after every few strips. Yes, you will lose a bit of fabric, but it is better to lose a half of an inch or so then to have to recut strips because they have developed the dreaded “V”, which is a bigger loose.   There is a saying, “Penny wise but pound foolish” be “pound wise” and square up after every few strips.

Happy Cutting, Kathy

Next time: How to Read a Quilt Pattern


A Correction

It was called to my attention that in my last post titled, Part 4: Quilting Rules or Guidelines – The Rotary Cutter, Its Care and Safety, I used the wrong term, screw, when I should have called it a bolt.  As it was explained to me, a screw has a pointy end and a bolt has a flat end.  I have corrected this error.

Thank you for your understanding.

Happy Quilting, Kathy

Part 4: Quilting Rules or Guidelines: The Rotary Cutter, Its Care and Safety

A Little History

The Rotary Cutter revolutionized quilting in a way no other tool has in the history of quilting. The first rotary cutter was introduced by the Olfa Company in 1979 for cutting out pattern pieces for garment (clothing) making. Quilters quickly adopted it for quilt making. Acrylic rulers and cutting mats soon followed as did strip cutting techniques. Using the rotary cutter, ruler and mat, accurate quilt pieces can be quickly cut out.

Prior to the invention of the rotary cutter, quilters used handmade templates usually cut out cereal or shoe box type of cardboard. Using a pencil, quilters would trace the shape on the back side of the fabric. The quilter then cutout the shape plus ¼” seam allowance all around the shape. The template edges would be worn down by the repeated tracing, creating inaccurate pieces. To avoid this, the quilter made many templates. Long bladed dress making shears were used to cut out the shapes. It was difficult to accurately cut out small quilt pieces using the long bladed scissors.

Folding fabric into squares, rectangles, and triangles was another method used to form the shapes of quilt pieces to cut out. Once the fabric was folded in to the desired shape, the quilter then cut on the folded line to create the desired quilt pieces. This technique also rendered inaccurate quilt pieces.

Rotary Cutter Care and Safety

The rotary cutter is a tool that needs to be used properly and carefully. It is extremely sharp and can inflict deep cut if not handled with care and knowledge. From personal experience, I advise you to keep your total attention on the rotary cutter while cutting; even the slightest distraction can cause an accidental cut requiring a visit to the emergency room for stiches. Most rotary cutters come with a “Blade Guard” and a safety lock. This guard is there to protect fingers from the razor sharp blade and the lock if engaged will protect everything from your fingers, feet, toes, floor, passing children or pets from being cut from an accidental drop. Always engage the lock every time you put the rotary cutter down even if you set it down for a second.

Types of Rotary Cutters

Rotary Cutters come in sizes 18mm, 28mm, 35mm, and 60mm. The medium size and large cutters enable you to cut fabric into strips and other pieces, without templates, quickly. There are two basic styles:

You can see the arrows on the black sliding guard and lock. Pulling the guard down uncovers the blade.  Pushing up places the guard back over the blade.

18mm Rotary Cutter

28mm Rotary Cutter

Back of 18mm Rotary Cutter

Back of 28mm Rotary Cutter







The first are cutters which have a guard you pull back with a finger or thumb to expose the blade. When you push the guard back into place the blade is covered.



blade closed img 1366 open blade

Y0u can see the arrows on the black sliding guard and lock. Pulling the guard down uncovers the blade.  Pushing up places the guard back over the blade.

The second types of cutters have a spring which automatically pulls the blade back into the blade guard. The blade is exposed when you apply pressure to begin cutting. This type of guard seems safe at rest, but if it is dropped or knock off the table the blade will come out with any type of pressure. It will inflict a cut on anything or anyone the cutter comes in contact with.

35mm Olfa Rotary Cutter

35mm Olfa Rotary Cutter

This style of cutter has a push button lock (mine is red). You push the button closed to lock the blade inside the rotary cutter and you press it open from the opposite side (see photos).

img1273 editedimg1272 edited














I repeat, get into the habit of locking the blade every time you set the rotary cutter down. The blade guard also protects the blade itself. The blade can get nicked or damaged in a drop so that it is not able to correctly cut fabric. If this happens you will need to replace the blade. A replacement blade can cost between $5.00 and $8.00. You can save a bit if you buy replacement blades in multi packs of 5 or more. A multi pack of 5 costs about $25.00. Watch for sales at the national fabric stores and then stock up.

Parts of the Rotary Cutter

Labled parts-Rotary Cutter

Labled Rotary Cutter

How to Change the Blade of the Rotary Cutter

  1. Unscrew the nut on the side of the rotary cutter and remove. Set it aside

img 1263 nut

18mm Rotary Cutter

28mm Rotary Cutter









2. Remove the small metal washer (Notice the inside hole of the washer has two straight edges. These will help you to put it back together correctly.) Set the washer next to the nut.

img 1261 metal washerimage 1368 washer









3.Next is a large plastic washer or the sliding guard and lock, remove this and set it with the nut and metal washer.

img 1258 plastic washersliding Lock and guard

4. Next is the blade, carefully remove it. Even though it needs replacing it is still sharp enough to give you or anything it comes in contact with, a nasty cut. For now set the blade aside with the other parts.

img 1257 bladeBlade








5.The bolt with large head is the last piece to remove (it will literally fall out of the cutter) set it with the other parts.

img1250 labled bolt











img 1373 Bolt

6.Clean the lint off the inside parts of the cutter.

img 1250 clean lintimg clean lint












7. Once the lint is cleaned away, reassemble the rotary cutter

8. Replace the large head bolt (Refer to photos above)

9. Every carefully remove the new blade from its packaging and place it on the bolt.

10. Put a tiny drop of sewing machine oil near the center of the new blade.

11. Place the plastic washer on the bolt

12. Place the metal washer on the screw; make sure the flat side of the inside fit the flat sides of the bolt

13. Place the nut on the bolt and tighten until finger tight

14. Place the old blade in the plastic case of the new blade and discard into the garbage. If it didn’t come with a case then tape the old blade to a piece of cardboard and discard.

Next time: Part 5: How to Cut With the Rotary Cutter


Part 3: Quilting Rules or Guidelines – Pretreatment of Fabric

Part 3: Quilting Rules or Guidelines – Pretreatment of Fabric

This presentation was supposed to be “How to read a Pattern and The Pattern for the Fabulous Four Patch” however; I realized just how much information I was literally throwing at you. There is information you need before we can jump into the quilt pattern. To provide you with this information, I have broken the steps of Basic Quilting down a bit more.

Fabrics for The Fabulous Four Patch

Fabrics for The Fabulous Four Patch

Pre wash or not to prewash the quilt fabric

Some quilters prewash all their quilt fabrics and others do not. It is a personal choice.   Most fabric sold in quilt shops are high quality quilt fabrics that usually don’t bleed. In the 30 plus years I’ve been quilting I’ve had only one quilt project where one of the fabrics (a navy blue fabric) bleed onto the surrounding light fabrics. If I think a fabric may bleed then I do a test to check its colorfastness. Below are directions to check if a fabric is colorfast or color safe.

Example of color bleeding

The picture above is a small section of a Charm Quilt I made with my mom.  No fabric is repeated in this small quilt.  One of the red prints bled on to the white half of this half square triangle, turning a part of the white tone on tone print a light shade of pink.

Test to Check a Fabric for Colorfastness

  1. Cut a small sample (about a 1 1/2”) piece of fabric.
Colorfast Test

Colorfast Test









2. Soak it in warm (bath temp) water.

Colorfast Test - fabric in warm water

Colorfast Test – fabric in warm water









3.  Next, set it on a white paper towel and then wait a minute or so.

Colorfast Test -Wet fabric resting on paper towel The color of this polka dot print did not bleed - it is color safe!

Colorfast Test -Wet fabric resting on paper towel
The color of this polka dot print did not bleed – it is color safe!

4.  Remove the fabric sample and check for color on the paper towel.If there is no color on the paper towel then the fabric is colorfast

5.  If there is color from the fabric, place the fabric in the washer add a cup of white vinegar (no detergent or softener) put the washer on gentle cycle. Allow the washer to go through a whole cycle i.e… Wash, rinse, then   final rinse. When the washer stops pull the fabric out of the washer and give it a good shake (you are shaking out the scrunched up fabric) put the wet fabric in the dryer select the setting for delicates. Remove fabric when    dry, then iron. You may want to spray on starch or sizing before ironing it, to give the fabric body.

I prefer not to prewash my fabric unless I believe the fabric will bleed on to the adjoining fabrics. I like the feel of the fabric as it is right off the bolt. The starch it has in it helps me to accurately cut out pieces for my quilt projects. However if I do need to prewash a fabric, I follow the steps I described in the previous paragraph.

Note: Don’t prewash Pre Cuts such as Charm Squares, Jelly Rolls or Buns, Layer Cakes, etc… They will fray and you will lose a lot of their fabric


Next Time: How to use the Rotary Cutter, Its Care and Safety

Part 2: How to choose fabric for your quilt:

Part 2: How to choose fabric for your quilt:

In this presentation we will discuss color, texture, scale and how these words relate to choosing fabric

You experience color every day. You probably have a favorite color, or if you are like me maybe you have more than one favorite. I have three favorites. Maybe you use your favorite color in decorating your home. Perhaps the color of your car reflects the favored color. Just as you use color in your surroundings you will use this experience and preferred color or colors in your quilting.

Before you make a trip to the fabric store or quilt shop to purchase fabric, I want to go through a couple of activities to help you decide what colors of fabrics you will need to purchase for your project. If you go into the store or shop unprepared you will become over whelmed by the rainbow colored walls of fabric you will encounter on your shopping trip. There are simply too many choices. How do I know this? Because it happens to me and I’ve seen it happen to the most experienced quilters. It doesn’t matter the skill level, if the homework or prep work hasn’t been done, it is very difficult to keep or find ones focus on what colors and, scale of fabrics needed for a particular project. The times I have tried to “wing it”, the fabric usually winds up in my stash  waiting to be used, because it’s not what I needed.

Do you remember a time in your childhood when you got to pick out one or two pieces of candy? Do you remember trying to decide which one was just the right one, but there were too many choices? It was hard to choose. A trip to the fabric store or quilt shop to purchase fabric is a lot like trying to decide which is the right candy.


Activity #1

This activity will help you to narrow your focus on which colors or theme of fabric you will need. Take the time to answers a few questions.

  1. Who or what is the quilt for? Is it for a new baby or grandchild? Is it for your living room, bedroom or camper?
  2. What purpose is the quilt for? Baby, graduation, wedding, retirement etc…
  3. If the quilt is for someone else, what colors do they like? Some examples: If for a baby find out what color the baby’s room will be. If for a child, grandchild, graduate or wedding, what are his/her favorite colors?
  4. If you are making this quilt for yourself. Is it for a certain time of the year, Christmas, Fourth of July, or seasonal, spring, summer or fall? What room will the quilt go in to and what is the color is the room decorated with?


Having answered the questions above, you should now know:

  1. Who the quilt is for or what purpose the quilt will serve.
  2. The colors you are going to use in the quilt.


The Color Wheel

Fabric for the quilter is like paint for the artist. You will use colored fabrics to make your piece of art or rather your quilt. To reacquaint yourself with color and its relationship with other colors, let’s take a look at the Color Wheel. Maybe you remember this from elementary school? Take a look at the Color Wheel below. Notice it has 12 colors.

Color Wheel with Primary, Secondary and Tratiary colors


We are going to start with the Primary colors Red, Yellow and Blue.

Color Wheel with Primary colors


By mixing two of each color together we get orange from red and yellow, green from yellow and blue, and violet or purple from red and blue. These colors; green, orange and violet are the Secondary Colors.

Primary and Secondary Colors-1a-edieted


To finish the color wheel, when we mix a primary color with a secondary color we get the Tertiary Colors: Red-orange, yellow-orange, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet.

Color Wheel with Primary, Secondary and Tratiary colors


Activity #2- Color the Color Wheel

-You need a box of crayons 16 or 24 count will do (the Crayola Crayons have the same color names I’m using. If you are using another brand and the color names are different do your best to match up the colors used in this activity

-A copy of a blank color wheel (click on the link here for a printable blank color wheel) Free Printable Color Wheel by Mr. Printable http://pdf.mrprintables.com/mrpco02-blank-ltr.pdf    Note: This is a safe site

                                                                                                                                                                   Blank Color Wheel











You may think this is a silly activity, coloring is just for kids. Doing this activity is the beginning of seeing colored fabrics and how they react and work with other colored fabrics. That “wall of fabric“, I mentioned earlier will become your box of crayons.

  Color Wheel Directions

  1.   Take the crayons for the Primary Colors, blue, red and yellow out of the box
  2.   Color in the spaces for the Primary Colors, blue, red and yellow
  3.   Take the crayons for the Secondary Colors, green, orange and violet (purple) out of the box
  4.   Color in the spaces for the Secondary Colors, green, orange and violet (purple)
  5.   Take the Tertiary Colors, blue-green, blue-violet, red-orange, red-violet, yellow-green and yellow-orange out of the box
  6.   Color in the spaces for the Tertiary Colors, blue-green, blue-violet, red-orange, red-violet, yellow-green and yellow-orange

Put your finished Color Wheel someplace you can see it for the next few days, while you work through the remaining information.



Let’s take a look at color and what happens when we add the colors Black, Gray or White. When black is added to a color, it makes shades, as in a darker shade of blue is navy blue. Whengray is added to color the result are tones. When white is added to a color tints are made. The more, white is added, the lighter the color becomes; these are also referred to as pastel colors.

Color Wheel Tints: Color + White

Color Wheel Tints: Color + White




Color Wheel - Shades: Color + Black Color Wheel - Shades

Color Wheel – Shades: Color + Black
Color Wheel – Shades


Color Wheel - Tones  Color + Gray

Color Wheel – Tones Color + Gray


  Color Value

Color Value is the term that refers to how dark or light a fabric is. Value is an important characteristic because it helps quilters decide how to arrange patches of fabric to make them either blend or contrast with each other.

Cool and Warm Colors

Red, orange and yellow are warm colors.

Blue, green and violet are cool colors.

Cool and Warm colors



Colors can evoke feelings; reds have a warm feel and blues a cool feel. What do you think of when you see the color red? Chili Peppers, Fire, hearts, etc.. These all evoke a warm feeling while blues, greens, or purples give a cool effect of ice, water, trees, and mountains. The same hold true for fabrics.



Color Terms and Using color in the Quilt

Monochromatic: When a quilt is monochromatic it has a color scheme made up of one color but in several shades of that color.


Complementary: A complementary quilt is made with a color combination of two hues (color) oppisit each other on the color wheel.

A Thimbleberries Pattern

A Thimbleberries Pattern


Analogous: An analogous quilt is a combination of colors that are side by side on the color wheel. For example the colors green, blue and violet create a calming feeling. But the combination of red, yellow and orange creates a warm color scheme.

Pattern: Newcastle from Quilter's World

Pattern: Newcastle from Quilter’s World


Triadic: A triadic quilt has a color combination of three colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel. It also has contrast from light to dark.


Doll Clothes

Doll Clothes

Two Color Quilt: A two color quilt is made up of two colors the first white. Quilts in the colors red and white and Quilts in blue and white are the classic examples of two color quilts.

Pattern: Empire from American Patchwork and Quilting

Pattern: Empire from American Patchwork and Quilting


All of this information is a lot to absorb, but I’ve given it to you by the book, so to speak.


Focus Fabric

  • One way to choose fabric is to pick a “Focus Fabric” first and then use it to select other fabrics that match in color and style. When picking the fabrics to go with you Focus Fabric, choose some prints with different scaling. Scaling refers to the size of the print, you can use small prints, some with medium prints and if your quilt has large blocks in it you can also include large prints. Using a variety of print sizes gives your quilt texture and interest. You will also need to choose some fabrics that are light and others that are dark; these will give your quilt contrast so you can see the pattern of the quilt blocks.
  • Cool Colored fabric Scaling-IMG_1043
  • Warm Prints Scaling

When I select fabrics for a quilt, I usually start with a Focus Fabric. But I also use my feelings or rather my feel for a fabric. It’s an instinctual feeling. I’ve had to work at the “art of selecting fabrics” and develop my sense of color value and scale when selecting fabric for a quilt.

Below are two samples of starting with a focus fabric and coordinating fabrics. The first is in warm colors and the second is cool colors.


Warm Color Fabric Collection

Warm Color Fabric Collection


Cool Color Fabric Collection

Cool Color Fabric Collection




Fabrics which are 100% cotton are, desirable for quilting. Cotton is durable and stays soft over time. It is unwise a combine 100% cotton and cotton blends, in your quilt top because the cotton shrinks a tiny bit when washed and dried, the cotton blend doesn’t. The quilt top of mixed fibers will have a bumpy, lumpy appearance after it’s washed and dried. I’m not talking about that soft bumpy look an older quilt has.

The Fabulous Four Patch

This is the project you will be working on.

It will be a two color quilt.

Designed with EQ5

Designed with EQ5

Blue Four Patch Designed with EQ5

Blue Four Patch Designed with EQ5

 You will need:

3 yards – Main color Fabric

2 3/4 yards Background Fabric

Next week: Part Three- Introducing the Quilt Pattern, How to use the Rotary Cutter, It’s Care and Safety

Happy  Shopping,