Friday, July 8, 2011

Simple, dimensional shapes: Joen Wolfrom Designs

We've always been partial to dimensional quilts, and Joen Wolfrom is a master of the genre. Joen has been part of the quilt-teaching and designing scene for 30 years, and she is known for her expert use of color and her simple, clean design lines. Joen is the owner of JWD Publishing, a pattern company that publishes high-quality patterns for quilters of all skill levels and interests.

Northern Lights, by Joen Wolfrom, at JWD Publishing

Northern Lights is based on a simple rail fence pattern, made with 1-3/4" strips. The variations in value and color from one block to the next make this quilt's beautiful, yet simple design vibrate with energy. "Northern Lights" is also a stunning example of a rainbow quilt.  We took this photo last year at the 32nd anniversary of The Cotton Patch in Lafayette, California (the quilts were hanging from the trees !)

Stepping out, by Joen Wolfrom, at JWD Publishing

The shading of four-patch and square-within-square blocks gives an interesting optical illusion; the warm four-patch blocks in the lower right advance, while the cool four-patch blocks in the upper left recede.  The variations in value, and the color contrasts, keep the eye moving across the surface of this quilt. See if you can identify the focal point.

Tropical Morning, by Joen Wolfrom, at JWD Publishing

"Tropical Morning" is made entirely of simple half-square triangles.  The lattice arrangement of light, medium and dark values creates a variety of three-dimensional shapes, from pyramids to prisms.  You probably know about Joen Wolfrom's popular books on color in quilting... this quilt is a striking example of the use of analogous blue-green and green-yellow color schemes.

Image credits and links: For more information, see Joen Wolfrom's website. Her latest book, Adventures in Design, will be released in the fall of 2012 and joins Joen’s other books, including Visual Coloring, Color Play, The Visual Dance, and many others. Joen Wolfrom is also the inventor of the popular 3-in-1 Color Tool.  You can also find JWD Publishing on Facebook.


  1. I especially like that last one. It must have been fun arranging those blocks. I made a quilt all in shades of blue and green for my Grandson and once the blocks were done it was such fun to play with the arrangement.


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