The Playful Color Theory Workshop: Murmuration with Rebecca Bryan

The Playful Color Theory Workshop: Murmuration with Rebecca Bryan


“Playful Color Theory Workshop - Murmuration” 

Saturday, April 18th 9am- 4pm

Price $215

Member price with member code $190


If you’ve ever watched a murmuration, you’ll remember feeling captivated by the birds flying in rippling swells of wings and feathers. In this workshop, we’ll immerse ourselves with undulating waves of color, creating our own colorful murmuration. You’ll take home Playful Color techniques and as well as the beginnings of your own Murmuration quilt. The goal of this workshop is to make color easy and fun!

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Supply List

Hey now, if you are planning to make the Murmuration Throw sized quilt you’ll find the materials list below. It’s not necessary to bring all 9 yards of fabric to class. I mean you can… but it’s heavy…

Materials for the Throw Size 62” x 72”

  • 1/4 yard Assorted Dark Fabrics

  • 1 yard Assorted Dark-Medium Fabrics 

  • 2 1/3 yards Assorted Medium Fabrics

  • 1 2/3 yards Assorted Medium-Light Fabrics

  • 2 yards Assorted Light Fabrics

  • 1 1/2 yards Assorted (Near)White Fabrics 

  • 70” x 80” Batting

  • 4 1/2 yards Backing

  • 5/8 yards Binding

  • 122 Diamond Foundations (Download the Foundation here.)

Note: Since the quilt top is pieced a bit improvisationally, the yardages listed are estimates. 

Materials for Dabbling

The trick to the Murmuration quilt is using fabrics with a wide range of value. So even if you plan to just try the technique you’ll want to bring plenty of fabrics. But if you’re just dabbling maybe just a few fabric widths from each fabric.


The success of the quilt lies in the breadth and depth of your color range. Below, I’ll walk you through some helpful strategies that will help you build a “Color Deep Dive”

Personal Notes on Color Selection: I choose blue solids because I had the most variety of blue solids in my stash. I used a wide wide range of blues and blue greens and neutrals, probably up to 50 colors. It’s possible 50 fabrics was too much because when I pieced the diamonds some of the colors were so close together it was hard to tell what was the correct order. So the lesson here is balance: choose a wide variety but not so many colors that it becomes difficult to tell the fabrics apart.


The success of the quilt is simple: use a wide range of values.

Here’s a step by step breakdown for building a Color Deep Dive, which will ensure you create a quilt that stuns and shimmers. This process will help to think through your fabric selection:

Step 1: Choose your color. It could be your favorite color or it could be the color you have the most of in your stash. It’s probably a combination of both!

Step 2: Start building your Color Dive by arranging your fabrics in order from darkest value to lightest value. Consider this your rough draft.

Step 3: Have you Color Dive go deeper by adding in any values you’ve missed. Frequently we lack the lightest and the darkest colors in our Stashes. Don’t be afraid to add near black, e.g. dark navy if you’re using blue as your feature color. You may need to visit a fabric shop to add depth to your color pull. 

Tip: You want to avoid using black and white as these fabrics are achromatic and will create the appearance of holes in your final quilt. I’ll explain more in class!

Step 4: Once you’ve created your Color Deep Dive, start grouping your fabrics into the categories needed for the Murmuration Quilt: Dark Fabrics, Dark-Medium Fabrics, Medium Fabrics, Medium-Light Fabrics, Light Fabrics, and (Near)White Fabrics.

There’s a few ways you can get enough fabric for each category. For example, we need 2 1/3 yards of Assorted Medium Fabrics.

  • Use less of more fabrics: you could elect to have an 1/8 yard of 20 fabrics to comprise the 2 1/3 yard assortment.

  • Use more of less fabrics: You could choose to have 1/4 yard of 10 fabrics to comprise the 2 1/3 yard assortment.


I’ll cover cutting more in depth in class, but so that we don’t have everyone swarming the cutting tables (that makes for angry students!) please pre-cut strips from 5-10 of your Fabrics. From each fabric, you’ll be cutting strips in a variety of widths. I cut strips in the range between 1” – 3” wide. 

From each fabric, you’ll be cutting strips in a variety of widths. I cut strips in the range between 1” – 3” wide. 


The entire Murmuration Quilt uses 122 Diamonds. In class you probably won’t be able to finish all 122. (If you do you get to teach class, ha!) It takes my about an hour to make 4 diamonds. So I recommend bringing 10-20 diamond foundations.

Download the diamond foundation


Bring  your sewing machine and cutting mat but the museum will have  irons and ironing boards.


The main technique used in the workshop is paper piecing. Funny story I *hate* paper piecing. I would be remiss in missing my chance to tell you about my favorite foundation piecing technique, Freezer Paper Piecing. Learn more 

Brush up on traditional paper piecing 

Artist Biography: 

Hey I'm Rebecca Bryan, of Bryan House Quilts. I love teaching people how to make quilts. My passion is helping quilters bring more color to their work by teaching my Playful Color tools and strategies. 

You may recognize my work from my books Modern Rainbow - 14 Imaginative Quilts that Play with Color (Stash Books, 2015) or Modern Triangle Quilts: 70 Graphic Triangle Blocks - 11 Bold Samplers (Stash Books, 2017). I've also been featured in numerous quilty magazines and TV Programs. I teach quilters, just like you, all over the world. 

And when I'm not quilting or teaching, I can be found enjoying a hot cup of coffee (Mocha's are my go to treat!) and a good book, with Bruce Wayne the Weiner Dog curled up on my lap. I also enjoy painting and spending time with my family, husband, and four children. 

If you're dying to know more here are 5 random things you might not know... We seem to move a lot, though it's never in the plan. Ha! I am a night owl. I wish I exercised more. My closet is hella messy but my sewing studio is hella organized. I'm a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl but I do love me some hair and make up - ya know, just to upgrade my casual style. 

I look forward to seeing you in class but if you can't wait until then, you start learning with me today by going to 

Cancellation Policy and Refunds

WMQFA reserves the right to cancel any program up to 10 days prior to the event. When WMQFA cancels the workshop, lecture or event, students will receive a full refund. When WMQFA cancels a program due to extreme weather, every student will be notified, and if the program cannot be rescheduled, refunded.

In the event that you are unable to attend a program that you registered for, please request a refund 30 days prior to the program. For refund requests made 30 days prior to an event, a full refund less $25 will be provided, or you may apply your full costs towards another workshop or program. For classes over $250, a non-refundable fee of $100 will be assessed to any cancellations instead of the $25 fee. WMQFA is unable to offer refunds for programs with a $25 or less cost. While WMQFA is understanding, “no-shows” will not be refunded. No refunds will be given within 30 days.

Class transfers may occur up to 30 days prior to the class provided it does not cause the class to drop below the minimum for operation. Individuals are also welcome to send a friend in their place at no additional cost instead of a cancellation or transfer, and this can be done at any time.

If you have any questions about the cancellation policy, please contact the Education Coordinator at