Spinnin’ the Wheel

Not just ’cause I’m sitting here watching Wheel of Fortune, either. I spent quite a bit of time today spinning that color wheel, trying to come up with a combination of fabrics that I would be excited to work with.

I have a notion to work with curvy circles or quarter circles and cut them up. Also wanted to work with some of my hand dyes, so here’s where I started.


Orange and blue-complementary-nice…but what to put with them? I am not a two-color person!

So, I thought I’d add some more blues and threw these up on the wall.


Okay, but not too inspiring and I didn’t even want to try to put other stuff with these two. Moving on, how about a bright batik that has orange and blue? It was too busy to put with the first selection of orange and blue, but I really wanted to use orange.


Not lighting any fires. Hanging on the design wall was a combination that I was thinking of using for a challenge. The reddish hand dye is our challenge fabric.


Too challenging for my brain right now. That color wheel is failing to inspire me!

My eyes fell on some browns that I purchased a long time ago with the idea of making a quilt for my daughter. It’s still a good idea and I thought that starting with dark, rich neutrals would be a nice change from my usual bright color palette. There are a couple of other pieces that go with this group, but I was uninspired before I finished laying them all out!


On the corner of my cutting table I saw a little pile of fabric that I had started a class sample with and never finished. Along the same lines as the previous choice, but just a bit brighter and easier to add some dark orange to this group.


Turned back to the stash and found a treasure trove of scraps in a compatible color palette. These two piles of fabric could work together! A friend was going to throw these strips in the trash, because she had used all she needed for her quilt and was not a scrap quilt maker. They are cut from fat quarters, between 5 and 6″ wide and there are 28 of them!


If I can’t make something out of these, I should not call myself an improv quilter! They are perfect for working a style of improv that I don’t do a lot–because little strips take longer, take more thought and I’m basically lazy. But I’m thinking of actually making a large quilt with these in the modern quilt guild style.

And if I get tired of working in this manner, I’ll just give that wheel another spin and try something else! Heaven knows, I have fabric in every color on that wheel!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday--check it out!

13 thoughts on “Spinnin’ the Wheel

  1. I really empathize on the color selection process. I am currently agonizing over getting the right colors to start a project that will last for over a year! I have a nice stash…why won’t it play nice? lol

    I can’t believe your friend was going to toss fabric? Isn’t that sacrilegious or something? 🙂


    • I’m still agonizing over fabrics! I have several project ideas–nothing that will last for a year! But my fabric stash will not play nice right now either. What’s with that?

      Yes-it was a LOT of fabric that she was going to throw away. Definitely sacriligeous!

      On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 10:46 PM, Quirks Ltd.


  2. I like the strips you ended up with, but the oranges and blues are my favorites. I thought you had some winning combinations with a lot of “pop” with those. Of course, those are my favorite colors!


    • I have several projects spinnin’ through my brain now. Don’t know which one I’ll go with but orange is my favorite color so I WANT to do that one first!


  3. When I am at the beginning stage, and am starting with the fabric, vs. with my pencil and paper and design paper, I ask myself some questions. What color do I want the project to be? What will I use as an accent? Then i put together twice as many fabric choices as I might actually need and move on to creating a design in which to place them. Sometimes the design is a very simple module of whatever shape I come up with. I piece a few of those and then put them on the design wall and audition other fabrics to see where that leads me. We all work in some kind of fashion to get the juices flowing…..I look forward to seeing where you go with this. I do hope you will find a wat ti uset your lovely orange with the circles in the pattern. I could see it in a predominanatly orange and yellow piece, with bit of blue to accent….kind of the revers of the normal blue with orange. But….new color choices are always a challenge!!



    • I rarely use a drawing and work directly with the fabrics that spark an idea. My design wall is an essential part of how I work now. When I go back to the studio next, I still think that my orange fabric is what I want to work with the most right now! We’ll see…but I sure have lots of choices!

      On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM, Quirks Ltd.


  4. I am doing the same. I am putting together a workbook to teach the color wheel to quilters, (not painters) It is much harder for quilters because they have to rely on what is on the shelf. I found that my stash (as an art quilter) is too limited. Quilters have much bigger stash collections. Gotta go out and buy more varieties.


    • I have fabric of every color, but I’m finding that I need less of the prints I usually buy and more solids. There is always a need to buy more fabric!!


    • Judy, I visited your blog and was delighted to see that you live in Spfld, MO. I live on the south side of Lake Bull Shoalls, just north of Flippin and Yellville. Would love to trade e-mail with you if you are at all interested. I do original quilts, but am not into embellishment as much as you are. I also do not have an art background, but did work on the Jinny Beyer staff at Hilton Head for 12 years, as well as being a member of an Art Quilt group called “New Image” based in the Northern VA area near Washington DC. Sue Pierce, Domini Nash and Lesly-Claire Greenberg were also members of this group.


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