Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Report--Due Monday: Quiltmaker's Color Workshop

This week's book report: Quiltmaker's Color Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr

What I like about this book: This book is essentially a color theory book for fabric artists rather than painters. As they put it:
This book is not about learning how to figure out which colors 'go together,' but rather determining which colors effectively and beautifully express an idea.
It is a beautiful and very detailed book that goes far beyond the basics of the color wheel and helps quilters have a better grasp on why and how to get that good 'feel' for a color scheme. This is especially helpful for someone like me who can identify a great color blend in a finished quilt (usually when admiring someone else's work!) but can get stymied standing in the fabric shop and trying to make a decision. Having never been to art school I can get a bit intimidated to branch out color-wise. The book lays out examples and detailed color information for achieving things like "quiet" "ethereal" and "vivacious". I used the cover picture quilt *Zanzibar* and the information in this book to pull together the prints for the quilt below:
I made this for our wedding, in place of a book we had our guests sign a quilt square and then after the wedding I turned it into a quilt. (Wow. That was a long time ago. I can when I look closer at my quilting...ok, my crow's feet are another tip off.) This book helped me identify the right color scheme for such a unique quilt.
The book also illustrates several different color schemes for the same quilt pattern, which is a great way to spark creative thinking as well as gain an understanding of how color impacts the look of a quilt. It also includes lots of suggestions for 'color' activities like cutting up white paints strips and trying to identify the underlying color behind the white. The last third of the book is filled with pictures of quilts and artist's statements about their inspiration and color choices, which is wonderful insight into the process of creating a quilt. There are also four easy to follow quilt workshops.

What I do not like about this book: Because the book follows 'emotions' rather than a strict color theory lesson I don't feel like I come away from the book with an absolute understanding of color. I kind of like to have things concrete and this book emphasizes that the color should 'feel right'. But, I think perhaps this might be better in the long run, in terms of developing my own style and intuition.

Final Grade: A for the twin wins of inspiring and useful.

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