Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Rainbow Connection

If my 10-year-old self heard my 40-year-old self say this, she would be horrified, but it’s true: I’m not crazy about rainbows. I think they are overdone, especially in quilt form, and it takes an extra-special one to stop me in my tracks. (One that did recently is this amazing reverse-applique color wheel over at Riddle and Whimsy. That background fabric—wow!)

That’s not to say I haven’t made a rainbow or two myself. I made my Boyish Rainbow Quilt for my older son, at his request, and I sewed a fabulous rainbow pencil roll, designed by Pink Chalk Studios, for him as well.


I thought I was done with rainbows until I signed up for Stitched in Color’s Curves Class. One of the projects is a wheel quilt. The class doesn’t start until next week, but I thought I’d get a head start by working on some fabric pulls, so I went straight to my scraps to see what might work.

I quickly became excited at the possibilities and began sewing scraps together in chunky strips. (Have I mentioned that this class hasn’t started yet and I’m ahead of the game on something for once?!) I’m pleased at how things are turning out. I think the trick to building a color wheel is ensuring the transitions are gradual, and I have 16 shades to get from the start to the finish of this one. Do you think it works? I’ve had to return to my scrap bin to fill out the oranges and finesse the blues. If you think I need to rearrange or rethink something, I want to hear it!


I plan on using some patterned neutrals for the background quadrants. Unfortunately, both you and I will have to wait to see how that turns out. I’ll be putting down this project until the class is well under way.


Heads up: The Curves Class begins January 19. It’s not too late to sign up. (We’re going to have so much fun conquering those scary curves!) If you can’t swing a full class right now but need your own color wheel quilt, the pattern is available separately here. I plan on documenting my adventures with curves here on From Bolt to Beauty.

Update: You can view the final quilt here.

Linking up to Main Crush Monday (for the first time!), Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, WIP Wednesday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Oh Scrap! ...

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20 comments:

  1. Very nice rainbow, I think that your 16 shades work well together and make a very nice gradual transition.

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  2. I think your color transitions are mostly very good, with two that may need massaging: the blue to purple, maybe lose the dark blue or switch the dark and medium blue; and the pink to burgandy jump seems pretty far and may need another color in between. HOWEVER, that's my opinion, and you certainly can just roll with it and sew it up as-is when you get into the class. It will look just FINE, as you obvously have a good eye for color. I look forward to seeing and reading about your progress on this very colorful project!

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    1. Thank you, thank you. I'll take another peek at these in person (admittedly, the pics don't always portray the reality of colors well). I'd happily avoid the pink altogether (I'm not a pink kind of girl); I might be able to finagle something else in between the cranberry and mauve. That might be as good as it gets for me for blues. Hmmm ... let me have a think and I'll post more pics in day or two!

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  3. I'm impressed that you are this far ahead! Wow! As for the colors, I think they look great! As you said, the pictures sometimes distort color (I find that to be particularly true with plums and purples). But if the pink transition is too drastic, perhaps you could make your pink wedge more of a scrappy pinkish, burgundy, plum family rather than an all out pink wedge. Either way, I think it looks great, and I'm thoroughly impressed!

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    1. You remember that I have two unfinished quilts that were supposed to be Christmas presents, right? This is just procrastination masquerading as progress!

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  4. Your color transitions are really well done Michelle! Even more so, in light of the fact that you haven't gone out and bought fabric for this! lalaluu has a good point about the dark blue not being a smooth transition. I have found though that sometimes a little discordance adds more excitement to a piece.

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  5. I'm also taking the curves class - I'm impressed that you've already started working on this project! I like some of the suggestions you've gotten about the transitions, but I definitely think you could make it as is and have a fabulous color wheel quilt.

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  6. Thanks for the shout out!

    Love your rainbow. Maybe the darker blue needs to go on the outside next to the purple and perhaps the burgandy could be on the otherside of the purple transitioning into the pinks with transition to the red?

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  7. I think your rainbow is a grown-up rainbow. It's not super bright, scream in your face colors, and it looks super cool. Can't wait to see how this turns out! :)

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  8. Oh, I love rainbows and am so happy you have revisited them with your color wheel!

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  9. I, on the other hand, really enjoy a rainbow quilt, but you're right, there are a lot of them and it has to be real show stopper to catch my eye. This one is coming along nicely... can't wait to see the finish. Sounds like a cool class!

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  10. I'm a huge rainbow fan! Love seeing what you have done!

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  11. I think your color wheel looks great. I think it could be the photo, but the yellows look a bit dark. If you are looking to your scrap bin, work with what you've got! Can't wait to see what comes of your class!

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  12. looks like you have a great start on that color wheel. I took the curves class ages ago and it is still one of the best classes I've taken. I hope you enjoy it.

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  13. I think your colour wheel is looking great. I love the subtlety of making it with print fabrics :)

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  14. I have really been liking the color wheels I've seen around the blogosphere and would like to have one for myself. I'm not confident at working with scraps yet, so that will be a project that will have to wait a bit. I really like the way yours looks and will be excited to see how it progresses as you take the class. Curves are a bit scary! :) Thanks so much for linking up to MCM!

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  15. I love color wheels and yours looks like it's going to be great! I never was fond of rainbow quilts but they are really growing on me lately :)

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  16. I think every sewing room should have a color wheel and yours is the best I've seen. I may just have to make one myself. Very nice!

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  17. Very pretty! I love playing with scraps and gradating fabrics - whether it be a complete rainbow or just a colorway or two. I think you did a great job!

    Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

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  18. This looks great so far! I cant wait to see all the fun things you make :). Living viciously through you on this one!

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