Sister Susannah

The blocks in the Sister’s Ten Sampler this month are called Susannah.   Now, I cannot imagine having ten sisters, only only had two.  However, having sisters does make me think of the song “Sisters” by Irving Berlin, and that always makes me laugh.   It was made famous by Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas among others.    Here’s a funny tidbit.  Rosemary Clooney, the older sister, is actually 7 years younger than Vera-Ellen who played the younger!

The Susannah block is a windmill style block that uses a diamond in a square, and squares instead of triangles for the blades.

Like last months blocks, Grandmother’s Frame, I used a tool called “Ultimate 3-in-1 COLOR TOOL” by Joen Wolfrom.  It includes two filters or “value finders”, 24 color cards with swatches, and 5 color plans for each color.

Ives color wheel and Ultimate 3-in-1 color tool, by Joen Wolfrom, as seen at

To select colors for the Susannah blocks I used the following method:

  1.  What colors did I not use in the last two blocks?
    – I selected a yellow for block 1, and tangerine for block 2
  2.  For each color I used the color wheel
    – Complimentary colors directly opposite yellow are blue-violet, so I selected a split complementary on the violet side in the Mormor line- Complimentary colors directly opposite of orange are turquoise blue / cyan, so I selected a fabric in that range.
  3. Checked my values with filters.
    I wanted the centers to have a lighter value than my windmill vanes.
    – My background is white, and is the lightest value.
    Note: I selected colors that had more white space in the background for my complimenting colors, and more solid colors for my focus colors.  This worked very well to tie the new blocks to the previous ones created as turquoise and purple were also used in the last two blocks.IMG_8220     IMG_8223By selecting new focus colors for each set of blocks, and trying to use a focus color from a previous block, I think that it will help blend the blocks during final assembly.

SO…  What exactly is Hue or Value for any given fabric or color?
Value is the relative lightness or darkness of a color.

Contrast of value in your fabric selection helps separate object in space, while graduation of value might suggest a contour of the same surface.

Hue also has value.  But hue is the term used for the pure spectrum of colors, which appears in the color wheel.  Theoretically, all colors can be mixed from the three basic hues or primary colors. This post by Nick Pettit, “Value Texture & Color”  has some good descriptions.
Did you know there are different definitions of the three primaries?

“Painters Primaries” are the traditional red, blue, yellow colors we learned as children.
However, have you ever paid attention to your ink cartridges on a color printer?

“Printer’s Primaries” are magenta, cyan, and yellow.
But then there is what we see on a computer screen.

“Light Primaries” are red, blue, green.  The best description I have read for the change is the fact that light is mixed in with the colors.

These differences are challenging when doing digital photography.  When I was into photography as a hobby, I calibrated my monitor to the printer profiles so that I could get image prints that were a close match to what I saw on my screen.



This is the first time I have used any “scientific method” for selecting colors?
How am I doing?  

If anyone is interested, I could go into some details on color perception and how some commercial industry defines their specific colors, tints, shades, and tones.    When I worked in the sunglass industry, different manufacturers would create a color that was “unique” for their product.  We used a Spectrophotometer to identify the spectrum, or energy response, of the color under specific illumination and conditions.  If you ever wondered how calculus would be handy in the fashion industry, then you have discovered one.  The method is not just used for lense colors, but for lots of materials, including fabric!  If you like math, look up the CIE Color space on Wikipedia… 

300px-CIE1931xy_blank.svgCIE 1932 Color Space Chromaticity Diagram


Note:  I am not an affiliate for any products or tools I have talked about here.

2 thoughts on “Sister Susannah

  1. Deborah Knight says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I love the fabrics you’re using. It’s a very slow transition to “modern ” but it is growing on me. And that chart at the end is gorgeous!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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