DCMQG is ten years old this year and the guild challenged us to make mini-quilts that represent 10 in some way.  For some time I have been intrigued by the idea of transparency and layering of colors.  My concept of 10 would use the letters, T, E and N.  I started with my sketch book and played around putting one letter on top of the other.

In my work life, I taught middle school science for many, many years and one of my favorite topics to teach was light, more specifically playing with colors of light and how mixing light is different from mixing colors of paint.  I had this little sample pack of theater lighting gels that I used show students about different colors of light and the absorption and transmission of light through the gel.  When I started to play with those gels to see how they could help me develop some strategies for selecting colors for transparency, it made me think about something else.

A little background on light …  skip onward if you are familiar with this. Sunlight (known as white light) is the combination of all colors of light.  If you see sunlight going through a prism the light is split into a rainbow, those colors commonly called ROYGBIV.  Now suppose instead of splitting white light, you wanted to create it by mixing separate colors of light.  Red, green and blue are the primary colors of light.  If you mix green and red light you get yellow light, red and blue gives magenta light, and blue and green gives cyan.  Thus, yellow, magenta , and cyan are the secondary colors produced by mixing pairs of primary colors.  This is the same concept as mixing colors of pigment, but the outcomes are different.

So, now imagine a green T, red E and blue N superimposed on each other.  Places where the green T overlap the red E will be yellow, but places where the green T overlaps the blue N will be cyan.  Places where all three letters overlap will be white since red, blue and green light combine to form white light.  There are a few places in my sketch that are not filled with any letter, so that would be without light, or black.


I colored my sketch to help me figure out color placement then drew a grid on freezer paper to scale up my design and make templates and constructed the top.


Next up was to check my work by taking pictures through green, red and blue filters.  If all was as I expected the T should show up when looked at through the green filter as only green light will come through.  Remember, yellow and cyan also have green light in them.  The same principle applies to the red E and blue N.

Onward to quilting.  I used clear monofilament as I did not want anything to interfere with the color values.


And then I again photographed the quilt through green, red and blue filters.

I might not have use the exact same filters, but the overall effect is the same.  Now that I found that concept to work, I want to go back to my original idea of using the gels to play with transparency.  Stay tuned!



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2 responses to “TEN

  1. Carolyn Slappey

    So cool Lynn!

  2. This is so amazing. I wish we would be seeing these in person! Of course at some point we’ll be able too. Great job Lynne!

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