Friday, November 8, 2019

Paint Chip Challenge

STLMQG has had several programs about working with color and color schemes this year. Back in the summer we had a presentation about monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split complementary, etc. color schemes. Along with that, a challenge:

  • Select several paint chips from the many provided.
  • Create a complementary or analogous color scheme.
  • Use the colors you chose to make a mini quilt, not larger than 10" square. 
  • Must be quilted.
  • Can add a neutral if needed.
  • Due at the November meeting.
I pulled paint chips, trying to choose something I could find in fabric, and keeping in mind value contrast and levels of intensity so I'd have something to work with. 
Very pale green, bright coral, bright turquoise, indigo blue
(Sorry for poor photo, the paint chips were very hard to photograph and get true color)

First I pulled the turquoise and coral, which are complementary colors. I knew there'd be plenty of fabric options out there in these colors to do something with. The challenge with complementary colors is to balance the proportion so they enhance rather than compete with each other. 

Then I added the pale green and the dark blue. Together with the turquoise, they're analogous colors. Many of the quilts I've made over the years have been analogous palettes; if I had to say, I'd choose it as my favorite color scheme. 

Having two possible color palettes to work with gave me a lot of flexibility in planning my project. 

Then I dithered. I pulled fabrics from my stash that would work and took them to retreat, but didn't touch them there. I was thinking I wanted to do something improvisational, which is so not me. After the retreat, I decided I wasn't going to participate, and left the baggie with the fabrics and the paint chips laying around in my sewing room. 

It taunted me. 

Okay, I can try to do something. I tried sketching a few ideas, log cabin-ish and wonky strips, etc., and I didn't like anything. Well, I don't have to participate....

Then my husband and I went out to dinner at a restaurant that has artwork on the walls of Santa Fe style doorways, turquoise doors and door frames against adobe walls. 

What if I use my colors to create a doorway?  I did. I cobbled it together improv style, with just a little planning. It took a surprising amount of seam ripping and reconfiguring, but it's done. 

I combined the analogous palette with the complementary color. I don't know if it'll be acceptable for the challenge; it's sort of a split complementary palette. 

Oh well, doesn't matter, I did it and it's finished. 9-5/8" by 9-3/4". Whoo-hoo!

The quilting doesn't show up, but it's there around the door, door frame, and steps, in the ditch with monofilament thread.  

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

Update, Nov. 10: At the STLMQG meeting yesterday, all the Paint Chip Challenge entries were pinned to the wall in categories, Monochromatic, Complimentary, and Analogous, and members voted for their favorite in each category. Mine won in the Analogous category!


  1. Frankly, I think split-complimentary should be allowed and given Extra Credit for being more challenging. I did one of those about 10 years ago and it about drove me crazy because we were also given the block pattern to use which was 16x16!

  2. Finishing the challenge is always the hardest part. Well done!!

  3. Finished in this case is definitely a winner. Good for you!

  4. Oo, I like it! Your dithering was not in vain :)

  5. Wow - what a great interpretation of the colors - I love what you created!!