What you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask!

Hello Friends.   Happy Easter.  It has been a wet day for the bunny.  A real rainy Easter weekend here in my neck of the woods. This week we saw the return of the deer, who like to graze in the front yard and soon will be eating my asparagus. The sand hill cranes are back and I am sure a plethora of other critters that have not yet wandered into the yard.  Despite what the calendar may say, I find Easter always marks the beginning of spring for me.  I put the winter quilts away and pull out the bright ones.  My wardrobe changes as I begin to wear some brighter blues and peach type colours.  Over all, it marks for me a feeling of light and airiness. 

Last week I started you on an exploratory adventure into deciphering colour terminology.  So let continue with a few more definitions


Our journey begins this week with “Analogous” colours.  These are 1, 2 or 3 neighbouring colours from each side of a selected colour. 

Complementary colours are two colours that lie opposite one another on the colour wheel.  This is probably the most common and widely used colour scheme.

Next up, we have “Split-Complementary”.  Here we combine both complementary and analogous colour schemes.  Your selected colour may be the centre colour in the analogous colour plan and accompanied by a complementary colour.  In quilting, I like to refer to this complementary colour as an accent colour. 

Lastly, is the “Triadic” colour scheme.  This colour scheme finds its partners lying equal distance from each other on the colour wheel. 

Oh Goodness!  How is one supposed to know all this?   Well, that is exactly why I like the 3-in-1 colour tool.  As I mentioned in last weeks’ post, this quilter’s colour helper takes that worry away and gives you all you need to know about making those colour choices for your next quilt.  That my friends is just skimming the surface, but hey with a good tool, a few friends and a well informed quilt shop, you will find colour choices easier then you think.

Well now, that was fun!  As you mosey along in your days, make note of some of the bill boards, cloths and just about anything, including all that, that Mother Nature offers.  What colour combinations do you see when you're going along with your day.  Have your camera handy – you never know when a colour scheme tickles your fancy!

I am on the road again, for the next few weeks, as I am teaching out and about in Northern Ontario.  I will post when I get back but please follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I will keep in touch with all the goings on.

Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, watch for deer, and maybe buy some pencil crayons.  


What the heck is "Monochromatic"

Hello Friends. It seems like everyone is in full swing this month finishing up projects from the winter season.  I had a lovely email from one of the Timmins quilters who shared with me a photo of her finished Hunter’s Star quilt.  Margaret took part in the weekend workshop back in the fall of 2015.  It is so nice to see the work everyone has put into their creations. I love her barn raising layout.

There have been some new quilts started and finished as well.  After seeing the “Starlight” quilt I made for one of the girls in hubby’s office last Christmas, Garlene fell in love with the pattern and has made her quilt in mauves and purples and added the pieced border which I opted not to do on mine.  Take a look at how different the two quilts look side by side. What a difference fabric selection makes.

I have been thinking a lot lately about colour. On any given day here in the studio students ask,

“What colour goes with this fabric?” “How do I pick colours for my quilt?”

So I thought I would see if I could shed some light on the subject of colour and through the next few posts demystify the colour dilemma.

Let me first introduce you to my favourite tool.  I do not like or know how to use a colour wheel.   However, I love my 3-in-1 Colour Tool, by Joen Wolfrom.  This tool looks like an array of paint chips that include the colours of the colour wheel: blue, red, yellow, green, orange and violet or purple.





Locate your fabric colour on one of the card chips. 



The back of the colour cards provides you with a selection of colour schemes to choose from.  There are some really big words in this section so I will go through them one by one. 

The first is “monochromatic”.  A monochromatic colour scheme means using fabric which are all the same colour.

For example, a quilt made from all red fabrics (not counting the background as a colour). You could use all the same red fabric or a variety of reds, but all fabrics are red none the less.






We also call these quilts that use one colour and a background “two colour” quilts.  Colour wise, monochromatic quilts are the easiest to pull together.

Now go look in your stash and make a monochromatic block.  Hmmmm!  We will leave it at that for now.  I will cover more next time as we continue to demystify colour and terminology. 

With the days rapidly flying by I wanted to remind you that the Rayside Balfour Quilt show is on April 22nd and 23rd.  I plan to pop by for a visit and see all the lovely quilts on display.  Also, the Northern Neighbours Workshop in Trout Creek is fast approaching.  A big shout out to all the quilters attending and I'll see you soon.  A big event at the end of the month for our northern communities, with the Quilt Day 9 event in Englehart.  I’m coming and with bells on,  I know that we will have a hoot of a good time. Just a reminder, Registration for the Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium with Kathy Wylie closes on the 19th of April.  The Sunday Apliquick class is full but there are still spaces left in the Saturday Hexie class.  Tickets will be available at the door for the Trunk Show if you find yourself free Friday evening. We would love to see you there.  So, a busy couple of weeks here in the north, as our weather starts to warm driving becomes bearable once again!

Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, happy spring and watch out for deer.




We're talking about colour

Hello Friends.  .  Since getting back from Holidays in February, time has been on hyper-speed.  But that is just how things go sometimes.  While I was away I was able to do some extra reading and research.

 I stumbled upon a decorating article that tied into quilting.  My internet exploring lead me to the “Colour of the Year”.   Brakes on!  Colour of the year! Is this something that I should make note of?

I quilt in colours that speak to me at the moment.  Sometimes it is tied directly to the pattern that I plan to do and sometimes it the season or just my mood that day.  I can honestly say that I have never given trends any thought when choosing colours for my quilts. This year I vowed not to use green.  You see, I love green. When in doubt – I pick green.  Well wouldn’t you know it, this years’ colour is GREEN! LOL

As quilters, we often get stuck in colour ruts.  Much like piecing where the layout is familiar and comfortable or the piecing does not require a learning curve.

Most quilters have a favourite colour that speaks to them.  It is a colour that they gravitate to when choosing colours for a new quilt.  It is important to explore new colour ways.  Just like new designs and layouts, it opens the creative mind to the possibilities of a new palate.  “But where do I start”? This is a question I am asked a lot.  This fear occurs because many quilters do not feel confident when choosing colours.  I can see you nodding your head now as you read this.  

As you go through your day, lets say walking through the grocery store or perhaps the mall, observe the colours around you.  The mixtures of lemons and oranges next to the apples and bananas.  Or perhaps a rack of new spring t-shirts on display in front of a store. Colour combinations that speak to you and make you say, “I would of never thought of that”. 

You can start to take pictures with those fancy phones we all seem to have so that you can refer to them later. I like to take pictures of flowers in the summer.  I put them as a slide show on my screen saver as a kind of catalyst for new inspiration, especially in the winter when our landscape is a mixture of whites, greys and black. 

It is hard to think of new colour combinations when we have a stash to use in a colour way that is tried and true.  But limiting ourselves does not allow for growth and adventure. It’s always fun to see where a little push may bring us.

Speaking of new layouts and colour ways, I would like to share a few photos of completed quilts from the Storm at Sea workshop that took place in early November. Thank you so much for sending along photos of your quilts.    

Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, quilt with a new colour, and watch the snow melt.