Making the Quilt “Trinity”

In the winter of 2004, my computer took on a whole new role.  I used it, along with an ordinary ink-jet printer, to print all the fabric patches for a quilt.

Husqvarna Viking had issued a call for entry and the competition theme was “Color, Couleur, Colore, Kulör!”.  I had the idea to create a color wheel using hexagon-shaped patches, but wondered how I would ever manage to collect enough fabric to make each hexagon a slightly different hue.

I knew how to mix color on the computer.  The three primary colors in digital printing are cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMY).  Shown at full strength, these colors are produced by entering a value of 100, i.e. C100 is 100% cyan.

Primary Colors

I could use increments of each shade, from light to full strength, and add black to shade to dark.  An entry of 10 produces a light value of cyan (C10), 50 creates a medium value (C50), and adding 50% black (K50) shades full-strength cyan.

Shading Colors

I could mix colors together to produce secondary colors.  Cyan plus magenta creates a dark blue-violet color.  Magenta with yellow is a reddish-orange.  Cyan plus yellow produces a hue of green.

Secondary Colors

Creating colors on the computer is interesting, but how could it help me with this quilt?

I knew I could print onto fabric.  I had tried a number of products over the years, but I particularly liked Bubble Jet Set by C. Jenkins Company.  Even better, they had just announced Miracle Fabric Sheets, 8½” x 11″ sheets of fabric already pre-treated for printing and backed with freezer paper.

This seemed like the ideal solution.  I could print the unique color formula for each hexagon patch onto the fabric sheets.  Then I could cut out the patches and prepare them for English paper piecing, which I did on my sewing machine.

Printing onto Fabric

Cutting & Basting

Sewing Hexagon Pairs by Machine

Sewing Rows of Hexagons by Machine

By using this process, I was able to create a quilt with a white hexagon in the center that radiated out to black at the edges.  The six edges of the white hexagon form six lines, three with the primary colors of cyan, magenta and yellow, and three with the secondary colors formed by mixing the primary colors together.  In between is every possible combination of blending those hues.

I called the resulting quilt “Trinity”, in recognition of the original three colors at the foundation of the design.


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Comments

  1. Hi Bev,
    For more information on printing on fabric, please see my post on labels at http://hollyknott.com/kathy/2011/06/finishing-steps-labels-part-1/.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions.
    Good luck!
    Kathy

  2. I would love to learn how to do this using my printer. Will you be publishing instructions on how to do this. thank you

  3. Lorraine Powelson says:

    This is amazing. I saw it in “The Quilter’s Color Club book and couldn’t believe how beautiful the colors blend and meld one into the other – very creative. I was so curious about the process I googled your name and found your web site and learned more. I want to try something like this when I retire next year. Have you thought about publishing instructions? Thank you for creating something so beautiful.

  4. Stunning….very impresseive!!!

  5. Thanks! I used a tiny zigzag stitch to sew each hexagon patch together by machine. Stay tuned for a future post on this subject: English Paper Piecing by Machine.

  6. kathy … beautiful looking quilt… but how did you sew the edges tog by machine? i’ve only learned hand sewing

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