Book Review: Quilt Colour Workshop

Quilt Color WorkshopQuilt Color Workshop by Fat Quarterly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I started this book I loved it. The color theory section is well illustrated and explains color theory well.

When I got past the academic part of the color theory I was disappointed.

Then I looked carefully at the color sections and liked the book again.

Thus, this is a solid ‘3’ in the 1-5 scale.

There are four pages of color theory in this book, which I thought was great as I went through those pages. Then, l I realized that four pages was all there was on color theory. A cursory look told me that there was only block and quilt patterns after the 4 pages of color theory and I was disappointed. The book was basically a pattern book. Still I soldiered on and found that the authors had cleverly tied the color theory pages to the patterns and that made the entire book into more of a workbook than a 4 page color theory pamphlet with block patterns.

In the color theory sections all of the types of color combinations are explained using quilt blocks and semi-real fabric designs. This technique makes color theory more relevant for quiltmakers, because most of the use involves patterned fabric, in different scales. To that end the authors write “Value is a measure of how light or dark a colour is. Saturation is the level of black, grey or white in a color, ranging for pastel to a full-intensity colour right with pigment. With a patterned fabric you can have the same colour, but the amount of white present will affect how light or dark the fabric ‘reads.’ ” This is relevant for quiltmakers, because many, many fabrics are made up from more than one color. Often white is included in the fabric to create a design.

The authors also say “One of the problems for quilters is that colour theory is mainly used for describing the relationship of solid colours, or the mixing of them. The huge variety of patterned fabrics with multiple colours creates some interesting problems.” The Fat Quarterly and the authors have hit the nail on the head with this statement. You can see from my Fabric of the Year quilts that creating gradation is not that easy with quilt fabrics. the first problem is that   you can’t physically mix them, but secondarily, because you cannot guarantee that they will be solid. Quiltmakers, notoriously, love brightly and colored fabric.

The book explains the color relationships in multicolored fabrics and how to create a quilt using one of the color schemes described in the color theory section and the color wheel. Examples of current fabrics (pg.11) are included.

The short section on color theory is followed by a Color Wheel Quilt pattern, then by various pattern sections organized by color. Each section has a series of blocks colored in different ways and labeled with the type of color scheme it is. Larger projects and home decor projects are also included.  I like this idea for a few reasons.
1. the reader can see what blocks look like when colored in different ways.
2. the coloration of the blocks supports the section on color theory (pg.7-11) in a very graphic and overt way.
3. the made up examples of blocks using different fabrics added to the support of the color theory and difference in how the blocks look.

After the blocks in each section are a few patterns, some of quilts, some of studio and home decor patterns. The format follows for all the of the colors: blocks first, then quilts or home decor projects. The projects and blocks are based on classical patterns, but venture off in their own direction. The blocks are interesting and the quilts are a bit off the beaten path. there are a wide variety of projects that would appeal to all different kinds of people.

The last section is a few pages on techniques. One or two paragraphs describe a multitude of different techniques used to make a quilt. Photos from the various projects illustrated the section providing continuity. There is a conversion chart from English and metric systems to inches in this section. I can imagine that this would come in handy in the future.

There is a pattern section in the back with full sized patterns. You will have to put pieces together that are too large for an 8 1/2 x 11 page.

View all my reviews