Contrary Wife

Contrary Wife… No, not me…  (Though, if the definition of contrary is “perversely inclined to disagree or do the opposite of what is expected or desired.”, then Yes, I might be that woman occasionally!)

Contrary Wife IS the next block in the Two Sisters sampler quilt.  There isn’t much to it.  Half square triangles paired with squares in a 9 block.   If you look closely, you will find that I alternated tones between the two.  Take a look at them in mono.   Which colors are your eyes more drawn to in each block?  I’m curious?

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Here is a fun exercise.  Look at the picture in color, then close your eyes and give me a comment on what color you remember most from each block.  How does it compare to the way you view the mono image above?

You might wonder how I decided on my color scheme this time…  I wonder too.  I really just selected some colors that I thought looked nice together, that my daughter would like, and that weren’t too “matched” to my other blocks.

However, our minds are powerful.  If I compare my selection to known color combinations,  then I actually didn’t really stray from partial triads or complementary colors.  What do you think?  The only thing “contrary” about these blocks is that I swapped the intensity in the pattern between the two.  It shows up more in the mono image.

Colors:  (Color Wheel, Intensity, Proportion)
Pink / Gray  : When I look at the block, I “remember” the pink
image011Pink can also be thought of as magenta, or a primary color on the Cyan-Yellow-Magenta color wheel.  (See this one from Surrency Studios)
Grey is a mix of secondary colors, and can be created a multitude of different ways and goes well with just about anything (as long as it has the right tint).
Purple Turquoise  :  When I look at the block, I “remember” the turquoise. main-qimg-c6c88e61bb8be95c1dee8a46a82cc583-c

Purple and turquoise are equidistant from each other on the color wheel.  They produce high contrast while maintaining harmony.  If I was to add a third color (besides white), then I might select yellow-orange. (It does look nice on the yellow background…)



However, in both cases, my eye caught the less intense tones that were closest to primary colors.  Do you see them the same as me, or is it all in the eye of the beholder?  I’m sure a color expert could explain that to me.

I think if I ever have the chance, I should take some art classes.  I would either drive the art teacher crazy with them hoping I will pass through quickly, or I would find someone else with my love for the science of color.

Happy Quilting!

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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.

Selecting Coordinating Solids – Online, sight unseen!

Have you ever found a perfect collection of yardage fabric, fat quarters or other precut  and dreaded the process of taking them to the fabric store to find all of the coordinating solids?  (That’s me every time!)

I always see questions on quilting forums wondering what fabrics match certain lines.  For my latest project, Curve it Up, I decided to try out the Moda Palette Builder site.  I am in love!  I order most of my fabrics and supplies online as it leaves my spare time outside of work for my real hobby, sewing and quilting (not shopping)!  I am color challenged, and can use all the help I can get.

Step 1: Take photos of your print fabrics, either one at a time, or simply copy an image from a seller or manufacturer that shows the fabric or the whole line!

I purchased this line from Missouri Star Quilt Company!

True Colors – Anna Maria Horner Fat Quarter Bundle
by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics

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 Step 2:  Check out this site and upload your fabric image(s), and follow their directions.

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Move the white circles around your fabrics to select the colors you are interested in pulling out.  I know that I have enough fat quarters to use in two quilts, so I orders enough solids to coordinate as well.    (These are not my final color images, so the words are blurred, as this is not exactly what I ordered)  I am happy to share what I did order if you are interested.

When working with an entire collection of prints at once, I found it difficult to pick the smaller areas, but zooming in on my browser helped.

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You can add additional colors (up to 9) to your selection by clicking the  green (+) box.  This adds additional circles that you can move around.  DO tweak the shade selection until the “Bella Solids Shade” looks like it represents your fabric.
I spent some time doing this, and ordered quite a few 1/2 yard solids.  I was very happy with the outcome!  What do you think?  I will be using these prints and solids for the upcoming quilt along.

Step 3:  Order your fabrics with confidence!

I think that the only fabrics that was not quite right was my white background.  There are so many shades of white, I wished that I had selected a slightly more off white fabric for this line of fabric.   I ordered the Bella Solids – Off White Yardage, and could have gone just slightly more to the cream side. I will have to pick up some fabric color cards one of these days.  (one for the wish list).  However, I’m going to go with it and see how it turns out!


Curve It Up – BOM – (Coming Soon!)

This quilt pattern, “Curve it Up” by Sew Kind of Wonderful was gifted to me along with the “Quick Curve Ruler” .  Over the next year, I plan to post information about the quilt construction and use of the curve it up ruler.  Come learn with me!

Here are my plans:

Blog 1 – Curve it Up:  Pick your fabrics!  – Overview of Moda Palette Builder
Blog 2 – Block 1
Blog 3 – Block 2

Let me know if there is anything else you want to see! I’m new to blogging and don’t know what others would like to see yet.