Bobbin Bear Designs Quilting Artist Fran Foskey with “European Cruise” original quilt designed by BBD. Fran is suggesting use of the Color Brochure that is included with a Color Wheel.In April I journeyed to the Harlan United Methodist Church biennial quilt show where I attended a near standing-room-only lecture by Fran Foskey owner of Bobbin Bear Quilting Designs ( on “Color Confidence”.

Fran’s program on how she chooses fabrics to bring out the “WOW” factor in the quilts she designs is an absolute delight. She begins by teaching color basics-the differences between achromatic (no color) monochromatic (one color) and analogous (any four colors in a row on the color wheel) color schemes. Fran demonstrates on the color wheel the difference between warm and cool colors and the difficulty in combining the two.

Fran shows a quilt she made with an achromatic black and white color scheme and how the introduction of an ounce of red impacts the entire quilt giving it pizzazz. She also shows how proportioning the amount of the other colors a gallon of one a quart of the other is what makes the ounce of red pop.

Allowing us to explore this concept, Fran shares fabric from her enormous stash so everyone has lots of pieces to practice combining an ounce of this, a gallon of that, with a quart to make their own stunning combinations. Even those who think they lack “color sense” take Fran’s principals and magically create zippy combinations and share them with an appreciative audience.
Fran’s fabric tips for dramatic quilts:

•Use fabrics you love. If you don’t love the fabric, you won’t love the quilt.

•Choose fabrics with different tones: dark, medium and light.

•Plan to use a gallon of one fabric, a quart of another and an ounce of another.

•The ounce fabric is generally a bright fabric and will draw the eye to it.

•Use tone-on tone fabrics. They add dimension that plain fabric cannot.

•Use a bridge fabric-a fabric that has several colors that bridge it to the other fabrics.

•Stripes, polka dots, and kid novelty fabrics bring interest and charm to quilts.
After the lecture I introduce myself to Fran. We find we share a common bond. When we quilt whether by long-arm or needle and thread, we both can’t help thinking about the recipient and pray over our work that what we have created with our hands will bring joy to the new owner’s heart.

Lois Eubank is the owner of Born Again Quilts a restoration studio. She can be contacted at