Basic Design for Beginning Quilters: Color – Hue (pt 3)

April 22, 2013

9patch10web_smToday we have a very quick little lesson on COLOR. Don’t worry – it’s easy. (If you missed the first two here is Part 1 – Shape and Part 2 – Texture.)

Say you wanted to make a scrappy blue and white quilt. You head to the stash and pull out ten blues with different tone on tone patterns but they all read as the same blue from two feet away. Why? They are all the same HUE.

If you stand two feet away from a scrappy blue quilt where every blue is the same cobalt hue it doesn’t look very scrappy at all. It looks a little flat and boring.


Hue – is the color, the wavelength on the light spectrum, the difference between teal and cobalt and violet. It is which part of the perimeter you land on the color wheel. I remember it by saying Hue is a name like Hugh – the name of the color.

What happens if you move just a little bit around the edges of the color wheel, adding just a little green to your blue on one side and just a little violet on the other? It’s called and ANALOGOUS color scheme. I remember this one by saying the color has “a pal named Gus” which sorta-kinda rhymes with “analogous.”


What happens is that you get sparkle!


It’s not boring any more and yet the whole quilt still reads as deliciously scrappy and BLUE!


How far can you push the Analogous color scheme and still call it a blue quilt?
Pretty far I think. So long as most of the quilt still has a lot of blue in it.

Do you have color questions?
Go ahead and ask and I’ll see if I can address them in future posts.

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  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I just found your page and read about texture, shape, color. More, please!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks very much for your 3 part color lessons! I like the way you explain it! Sparkle is a wonderful word and makes me want to dig in my stash for the blues and guses. Would I have even more sparkle, if I were to add the tiniest bit of complementary color Orange?

    • Reply
      April 23, 2013 at 1:15 am

      A complementary orange would more than sparkle – it would BLING!
      I’ll write about that eventually too….

      Thanks for the comment!

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