Quilty Reading

Color Harmony for Quilts: A Quiltmaker's Guide to Exploring ColorColor Harmony for Quilts: A Quiltmaker’s Guide to Exploring Color by Bill Kerr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a good book for quilters (and I suppose other crafters who deal with color) who want to get beyond discussions of the color wheel, complementary colors, related colors, and split complementary…etc. A multitude of quilts are shown with artist statement and author analysis, then a few at the end with only the artist statement. Would make for a good teaching tool to use the end as exercises to see how much from the first section could be applied.

I appreciated the premise that instead of looking for predefined color combinations, we should look at what a color combination accomplishes and judge by how that furthers the idea of the quilt. (While I can appreciate all the authors’ points about the big idea, I find it hard to create that way. Worth pursuing.) I am not convinced that color alone established the mood they ascribed to a quilt (and I am not sure they would claim it does either, though sometimes it sounded that way). Two in particular (Cosmopolitan and Ethereal) needed shapes in addition to color.

They do use a color wheel to show the range of hue and value in the quilts they discuss. And especially helpful is the graph showing proportions of colors along with the swatches of the colors to show how proportion affects the look. Another helpful feature is showing the color palette on a different traditional quilt design and varying it by adding and subtracting hues and values and discussing the changed effects. I would have appreciated if they had kept the design more constant in this part so that I could register more the color changes, though I assume they were trying to show each color change to its best effect.

And finally they suggest exercises to become more conscious of color, exercises for individuals and groups. Some of the exercises could be interesting guild meeting programs (with a little adaptation)

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Filed under books, design, quilting

2 responses to “Quilty Reading

  1. I’ll have to take a closer look at that book. I usually choose from what I have, being a scrappy quilter. I almost never plan a quilt and buy fabric for the design, simply because that’s an expensive proposition. One reason I like following Judy Laquidara’s free quilts is that she shows several color combinations with each one. I can see what I like and what I don’t, and that’s always my bottom line. Still, it would be interesting to see how others look at color. I’ll check to see if the library has it first. =) Thanks for the good words.

  2. Cher

    nice to hear a review of this book. I took a color theory class for quilters and gained a lot of great information. That said, I like to throw together a lot of different color combinations that are unexpected.

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