Kim Eichler-Messmer

octodecagon madness

 About a year ago I started making little color wheel quilts as color mixing references for myself. I made two little ones using different sets of primaries. The one one the left was muted primaries, the one on the right was bright primaries. I liked the muted one better so started piecing it first. It doesn't lie flat. For the second one, I decided to try bias binding because I had never done it before. It still needs to be finished. They turned out to not be that helpful, but I learned a lot making them.

 Then I decided that what I really needed was a giant color wheel quilt. So I drew the plans for an 80" diameter do-decagon (12 sided) color wheel with eight steps from light to dark in each color. I also figured out the dye recipes and then it sat in my graph paper pad for months. In January I got an intern and it was the perfect time to dust of the do-decagon plans. While I was too busy to work on it, Aaron had plenty of internship hours to fill and already knew how to dye using my method because he was in my surface design class at KCAI last semester. Yay for interns! So, he started dyeing the fabric and somewhere along the way we decided twelve sections wasn't really enough. It should really have 18 sections. That's 144 colors. If Aaron hadn't been around, this quilt would probably still exist only in my head and my graph paper pad. I am super excited that it exists in real life, and so is my cat, Owen.

The quilt after quilting, before trimming and binding. Owen is helping.
The finished quilt with invisible binding. Isn't it like magic?
It really is like magic. Or science. Or something. This quilt was made using my three favorite custom primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). So the gradation happens not only from dark to light but from color to color. There is one big mistake in this quilt (and a couple of little mistakes) and that is the red dye was not consistent. Aaron and I lost track of which red we were using to mix our custom red and some of the oranges and purples came out not right. But I kind of don't care. The next one will be closer to perfect and will have 24 sections. It will be more like magic than this one.