As I was going through my mail today somehow I came upon this article (quilting on how to use the color wheel when quilting.   Sometimes I get stuck and when this happens I always refer to my trusty color wheel which I keep pinned to my wall in my studio.   Anyway, I thought i would share this with you in case you need a refresher.   See article below:

Using Color Wheels to Choose Quilt Colors

Color wheels have been used to determine color compatibility since 1666 when Sir Issac Newton developed the very first color wheel.

A color wheel is divided into three categories: the primary colors of red, yellow and blue; the secondary colors of orange, green and violet; and the tertiary colors of red-orange, red-violet, yellow-green, yellow-orange, blue-green, and blue-violet.

To help you better understand the concept of the color wheel, you can see an example of a typical color wheel here:

If you were to draw a line from the red-violet sector of the wheel all the way across to yellow-green sector, you could see that all the colors above are warm and the colors below are cool.

If two colors appear on opposite sides of the color wheel, they are said to complement each other. When you use these colors together to create a quilt, they will make each other seem more intense and bright. When choosing colors for your quilt, you need to make sure that you pay attention to three main color characteristics. These characteristics are visual temperature (warm or cool), value and intensity. 

Subscriber comments:
The Color Wheel.. to make your own: Go to any hardware store or store that sells paint and you can usually get free ‘color swatch cards’. These can be used over and over, mixed and matched…endless possibilities. To make your color wheel, take your color swatch cards and with a standard hole puncher, punch a hole in the top middle of each card. Thread a piece of yarn or string through all cards and tie a knot in the ends, and you have your own color wheel! You can make a warm wheel, a cool wheel, a crazy wheel.. use your imagination!


When determining temperature, you are referring to whether the color is warm or cool in tone. All of the colors on one half of the color wheel are warm, and all of the colors on the other half are cool. When creating a quilt block, warm colors will generally move toward you and cool colors will recede into the block. Warm colors tend to be more bright and vibrant and cool colors tend to be more subtle and soothing.


When determining value, you are referring to the darkness or lightness of a particular color. Value helps you to establish depth within particular blocks. When you place a darker red against a lighter red, you can create the illusion of depth. By learning to utilize the value of colors, you will be able to create the illusions of depth and movement within your quilts.


The intensity of a color is determined by the color’s brilliance. Colors such as reds, oranges and bright yellows have more intensity than tans or pale blues. 

There are endless colors in the world, and the color wheel usually depicts only about 40, so it’s more important to use the color wheel as a guide for all ranges of particular colors than it is to use it as an exact science. By using the color wheel for guidance, you’ll be able to create a wide variety of quilt types.

Monochromatic Quilts

When you make a monochromatic quilt, you are making a quilt from one color category. The quilt can contain different shades of that color, but the base color remains the same. For instance, a quilt containing blocks of nothing but the different shades of blue would be a monochromatic quilt. 

Analogous Quilts

An analogous combination is when you use three to five colors that are sitting side-by-side on the color wheel. If you make a quilt using violet, blue and green, you are creating an analogous quilt. If you wanted to add a little flavor to the quilt, you could choose an accent color from the colors directly across the wheel from one of these three colors. 

Complement Quilts

To create a complement quilt, choose one color and then choose the color directly across the color wheel from the original color you have chosen. Then you will create the quilt to consist of just these two colors. 

By using the color wheel as a tool to help you choose complementing and matching colors, you will ensure that all of your quilts turn out to be masterpieces. 

In the second part of today’s issue, I would like to describe what you need to know about the machine quilting. I am not going to go into details about any particular technique, but will go over some basics to help you get started.

Numerous quilters have found that machine quilting offers many benefits and advantages. You can use machine quilting to produce any kind (or any part) of a quilt: from barely visible stitches holding pieces of fabric together on the inside to multi-color combinations of threads used to add color and variety to the patterns of the fabric itself.

Not only are quilters able to quilt tops together faster than if they were to do it by hand, but some quilters have taken machine quilting and turned it into an art form. 

From invisible stitching to intricate designs, machine quilting offers flexibility and speed. Machine quilting is an easily learned art form, and almost any machine can manage the task with the use of a few special feet. 

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