Grandmother's Colorwheel

Grandmothers Colorwheel
FabricQuantityCutting InstructionsComments
White-on-White1 yardCut 24" x 24" squareFor background. You may also consider using a Cream-on-Cream.
Multi-Colored Print or Hand Dye3/4Cut 2 strips @ 3.5" x 24"
Cut 2 strips @ 3.5" x 30"
Cut 4 strips @ 2.25" x WOF
For borders and binding.
Black or Black Print1 - 6" square pieceCut into circle using Template A & Template BYou may select another color if you prefer.
Muslin1/8 yardCut 4" x 29"Fold the short sides in 1/4", press, and repeat.
Fold in half, lengthwise, with folded ends facing in. Press with iron. (For hanging sleeve.)
Misc. Materials1 yard batting and backing of your choice, and matching thread.
24 Step Hand Dyes for Colorwheel 24 - 2 5/8" x 7" rectangles of graduated colors to match the colorwheel. Great time to go through those scraps, and work on your color theory as well.


Be sure to print the templates page before you begin. Refer to the printed dimensions of the fan wedge to ensure that your printer settings match the template settings. You may need to go into your advanced printer settings. I use "center on page" and at "scale = 100%" on my Canon printer to get the right dimensions.

Step 1 - Cutting The Wedges

Using the 2 5/8" x 7" strips from the Hand Dye Packet, align the Fan Template on top of a stack of 6 strips, and cut the sides off. (Use caution going forward as the edges are on the bias.) If you are having trouble keeping the wedges aligned, use fine silk pins to hold all layers together, or cut fewer wedges at one time.

Step 2 - Sew The Wedges

  1. Fold each wedge in half, lengthwise, right sides together.
  2. Finger crease the top half of the wedge.
  3. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, stitch across the top portion of the wedge, beginning at the raw edge and sewing towards the folded edge.
  4. Use chain piecing to speed up the task.
  5. Press the seam to set it, then clip off the corner of the wedge near the folded corner.
    Wedge Step 1
  6. Press the seams open, use your fingers, turn the wedge tip right-side out (use a boning tool or other device to get the very tip pointed out), and then align the seam line with the crease you previously made. (This will ensure that your wedges are all symmetrical.) Press the wedge flat using your iron.
    Wedge Step 2
  7. On a large surface, lay the wedges out in proper color order, right side up. (Please note, my wedges are off a bit, align the yellows so that they are in the correct gradation order.)
    Wedge Step 3
  8. Starting at the most red, pair the wedges in twos, in correct order. (You may wish to number them using a pencil on the back side of the wedge as it will be the "wrong" side and not show through.)
  9. Starting at the top of the wedges (see the arrow in the 2nd picture), and using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew the pairs together. Remeber to chain stitch to save time.
  10. Press all seams open.
  11. Continue steps 7, 8, 9, & 10 until all of the wedges have been sewn together. It is important to lay them out in order after each pair have been sewn to preserve the colorwheel order.

Step 3 - Applique the Colorwheel to the Background

Step 4 - Attach the Center Circle

Step 5 - Add the Borders

Finishing Touches

Sandwich, baste, and quilt the quilt as you desire. Don't forget to attach your hanging sleeve! I would recommend stitch in the ditch with a neutral thread between each wedge, outline stitch on the background fabric repeatedly, about 1/8" apart, to set the colorwheel "ontop" of the rest. Then, using a primary colored thread, or perle cotton, quilt concentric circles inside the black center circle.

Closing Thoughts

This is a great quilt to test and learn your colors. Hang it on the wall in your sewing room and you will never be at a loss in regard to color theory. Please refer to my Color Theory tutorial at to brush up your skills.
Consider making your own colorwheel using scraps from your basket. Small scale prints will work best. This would be a great exercise in color theory. Feel free to use the pattern to teach color theory to your guild, or class room.

Here is my completed version: Grandmother's Colorwheel

I hope you have enjoyed this pattern and share it with your friends. :-)

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