Sunday, 8 January 2012

Colour My World Challenge

One of my goals for 2012 is to learn and experiment more with colour. You know those people who have a fabulous colour sense? They seem to pick fabulous and complex colour palettes for their clothes, decor or quilts effortlessly. I would not be one of those people.

My colour choices are much better now than they used to be, but there's a lot more I'd like to learn and be able incorporate into my quilts (and decor and clothes, but that's for another day).

I've got a few books and online resources that I'll be using to help learn more about colour theory:
As a fun marker, I took the Online Colour Challenge to gauge how well I see colour. My score was 36 on a scale of 0 (Perfect Colour Acuity) to 99 (Low Colour Acuity). Not bad. We'll see if I do any better at the end of this challenge. I'd be curious to see if quilters end up in a certain range.

My challenge is to pick a colour a month to explore. I'm going to make a small piece/wallhanging about 12" by 12" or 14" by 14" using that colour. I'm also going to try to use my scraps to make these pieces. Each piece will be quilted, but not bound. When I'm done them all, I'll decide if I want to keep them as separate pieces for a wall collage or sash them as a quilt-as-you-go quilt. Not too many rules, but hopefully enough to guide the process and still have it be fun. I also might use these challenges to try some new-to-me techniques.

With Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day coming up and because I'd like a fun colour to start, January's challenge colour is red.

A couple of things about red:
  • It's associated with love, passion, beauty, danger, courage and sacrifice.
  • According to Wikipedia, "Red catches people's attention, and can be used either in a negative way to indicate danger and emergency, or in a positive way in advertising to gain more viewers, or in nature, as a ripe fruit announces its readiness with its red color. Several studies have indicated that red carries the strongest reaction of all the colors, with the level of reaction decreasing gradually with orange, yellow, and white, respectively."

When I think of red, I think of apples, stop signs, red lights, Chinese New Year, cinnamon hearts, cherries, those red paper roll caps I'd hit with a rock as a kid, Canada Day, my boys' winter jackets, red Smarties, a hot stove, bold, candy apples, cardinals, fast cars, 99 red balloons, Red Rum (never should have watched that movie!), blood, cherry pie and cheeks red from the cold.

How about you? What do you think of? If you have any colour resources that you'd recommend, I'd love to hear them!


  1. I really like the colour challenge idea! My local quilt shop has a bunch of colour theory courses, but I just can't justify paying that much for sitting around and talking about the colour wheel. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.
    I got a 35.

  2. Love this idea. I did worse than you did. I scored a 53. There were two hue areas where I seemed to have a lot of difficulty. The others were very close to correct.

  3. The colour test was so interesting. I found it really difficult but ended up with a score of 3! I was so surprised! Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Great idea M-R! Looking forward to seeing your red creation. I often think of a gorgeous bunch of roses when I think of red. My suggestion for a good reference is Jeni's Art of Choosing series over on her blog, In Color Order. Link is -

  5. I love this idea!! I can't wait to see what you come up with!
    I scored 13! Pretty good I think!

  6. I scored 38. What an interesting experiment. I missed this last month but I'd love to join in with your colour challenge :)

  7. Now I see why I missed this. I thought was following your blog but it turned out I wasn't so I am now!

  8. just found this - man, that hue test was not what i was expecting, talk about eye strain!! lol. i ended up scoring a 4 tho, so that's pretty cool.

  9. I ended up with a score of 8 on the color test! I did a lot worse the last time I took it, so this time I took my time and used one eye at a time to tweak the sequences since I already know I have some color blindness in one eye. Hope that isn't cheating. :-)


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