How to Cheat at Color

I had the best time in Pine Grove California. For two days I taught the How to Cheat at Color class for the Sierra Gold quilt guild. We had time to enjoy the process of learning about color. What a warm, friendly group. Robert Kaufman Fabrics provided the solid fabrics, (we all say THANKS!) We ran out of oranges and need more peach, apricot, fuchsia and purples. There is a dark shade of avocado green that was all used, even the tiny scraps. My favorite exercise is the ugly color log cabin block. Each student chooses her least liked color and glues it into the center of a log cabin block. She then passes the page to the person behind her who adds coordinating fabrics. Very few students dislike the same color and the log cabin results are often spectacular.

ugly-color12  ugly-color11


ugly-color10  Ugly-color9


ugly-color8  ugly-color7


ugly-color6  ugly-color5


ugly-color4  Ugly-color3


Ugly-color2  Ugly-color1


ugly-color13  color-class5


color-class4  color-class3


color-class2  color-class1


Modern Color

Quilt Festival in Houston has invited me to teach in their Modern Quilter classroom this November.

One of the classes is called How to Cheat at Color. We will cover a wide variety of ways to choose color combinations. Of all the classes I teach this is my favorite. Perhaps it is the group setting, with everyone seeing the work of all the others. When it comes to color we get our personal preferences when we receive our DNA. We can teach ourselves to use select color combinations but when we quilt for sanity or serenity we always return to our feel-good colors. I refuse to change that in my students. I want each student to understand which colors please them at an emotional level and how to use colors to win big ribbons. I love the exercise with the “ugly” color. It comes toward the end of class and is very exciting for me, as the teacher, to watch.

This is the handout with links provided in class. Feel free to look them over and take the color tests under Activities.


C&T Publishing offers the 3 in 1 Color Tool and the book Color Play by Joen Wolfrom
Offers color trends analysis for fashion and creative professionals
Color theory in detail

Color Wheel Pro – a program that allows you to see color theory in action: you can create harmonious color schemes and preview them on real-world examples.
Color forecasting and much more.
The emotions of paint color
My favorite color scheme site. Includes the colors seen by various color-blind disorders.
How color affects us and marketing with color.
Color information
Fashion colors for recovering Goths.


Art, Design and Visual Thinking Interactive Textbook.