Louisa Smith Quilt Class: Introduction to Color


I must admit that I took this class because I thought it would be good for me, not because the description sounded very exciting. However I looked up Louisa’s quilts online and it was clear she knew what she was doing. So I signed up and expected a “good for me” experience that was equivalent to a visit to my hygienist.

Well, I was glad I followed my instincts. I learned more in this class than in other classes in recent memory.

When I started quilting, my classes were filled with “ah-ha” moments. As I’ve gotten more experienced, I always learn things, but I haven’t taken anything that has changed my view of quilting. “Introduction to Color” was a game-changer.

Until now, I haven’t given much thought to planning the color in my quilt. Basically I buy fabric when I like it, and put it together in a manner that is pleasing. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to transitioning from light to dark, or to ensuring that there is contrast between my blocks.

One of our first tasks was to divide our fabric colors into pure colors, tints (created when white is added to a color), shades (created when black is added), and tones (when grey or other colors are added to soften the pure color). I sucked at this. Although I could easily identify the pure colors, it was another story with the tints, tones and shades. One of my classmates had a 3-in-1 Color Tool by Joen Wolfrom that contained color strips which helped identify these colors.

We brought in magazines and pieces of fabric. Our next assignment was to find a magazine photo that we liked, and then use the fabrics that were the same color. This was quite hard in a classroom where we didn’t have access to a whole lot of fabric.

Then we moved on to value, which is the lightness and darkness of colors.

One of the highlights was Louisa’s quilt show. Her quilts are spectacular. They can be viewed at her website:


Louisa is energetic and very funny. I attended one of her lectures and it was well-planned and interesting. I can’t say enough good things about her teaching methods and would highly recommend her classes!

One of Louisa's quilts -- magnificent!

Louisa explaining colors in quilt


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