Books on Monday – Color Essentials

This week we are looking at another book I purchased from C&T during their fall sale – Color Essentials: Crisp & Vibrant Quilts by Amanda Murphy. Below is a lovely Amazon Associate link, which, as you know, gives you the opportunity to purchase a book and support this blog with no extra cost to you.

This book is beautifully done. The pictures are gorgeous and colorful. The quilt designs are modern and colorful. The production value of the book itself is high quality.

But I kind of felt a bit like this book was a Kona solids commercial, which is not necessarily awful but if I had known that, I would not have paid big bucks for it. (Okay, I didn’t, because I bought it on sale, but maybe you get my drift.) I don’t like to pay for advertising. I still resent it that there are commercials at the movies. I don’t have a problem with a book on using solids and color theory as long as you don’t mention a fabric line by name.

That being said, if that aspect doesn’t bother you and you want to use solids to make modern quilts, this book has several lovely patterns. Alternate colorways are shown for each quilt, to help you picture how they would look in other colors.

So, on to the Table of Contents!

  • Dedication/Acknowledgments
  • A Rainbow of Possibilities (This is the section on color. It is illustrated heavily with pictures of Kona swatches. Even the color wheel has Kona palette notations.)
  • Try It! (These are the small projects, pillows, table runners, and place mats.)
  • The Heart of the Matter (the quilt projects)
  • Quilting Solids (a note from the longarmer who quilted the quilts)
  • Quiltmaking Basics (a VERY brief discussion of the basics)
  • Supplies/Source List
  • About the Author (On the same page as the supplies list and to the left of it, so I would have expected it to come before the list in the table of contents, but it didn’t and I’m probably being too picky.)

After reading/looking at this book, I hesitated to review it because I don’t like doing reviews that are negative, and it feels like I’m being more than a little negative on this one. But then I looked at the quilts again (and again and again) and thought maybe you ought to know that the quilts are gorgeous. I just have a problem with the fact that the title of the book makes it sound like you are going to learn lots and lots about color – and I didn’t feel like you really will. (The second half of the title – Crisp and Vibrant Quilts – is definitely true though!)

And that is all I’m going to say about that!

Quilt on!

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Evening or Thinking, Not Quilting

Yep. Here I sit with time when no one is expecting me to do anything else and I’m not quilting. Why? Well, I’ve been reading Quilters Newsletter (August/September issue) and thinking. The Hortense Beck article made me think about appliqué and how I really need to do some so I learn some new skills. But the article that made me really think is the article on Modern Quilting.

Am I a Modern Quilter? I’m pretty sure I’m not. First, I may be too old. 59 just sounds old to me – but not nearly as old as my next birthday sounds! So, age may disqualify me.

But what I think really disqualifies me is my love of making traditional block types of patterns. Don’t get me wrong! I love looking at the clean lines of a modern quilt, but I can’t imagine myself making one. Or, at least, that is how my thinking was going. Then I remembered this:

I think this probably qualifies as a modern quilt, unless it is too scrappy. Certainly, it ought to since it is a modified version of Elizabeth Hartman’s Nine Patch Lattice pattern. So, I guess I’m making one modern quilt. Well, two really because I plan to make two of these for the guest room beds. But I really don’t think that two quilts a modern quilter makes.
I have to admit, I like the simplicity and negative space of modern quilts. I love to look at them. Even the brightest of them have a peaceful quality. I really appreciate all the negative space. (I think that says peacefulness to me.)
But for me part of the fun (okay, most of it) is trying stuff way beyond my skill level (unless, apparently, it is appliqué) and fretting over it for years at a time. (I am cringing as I work on handquilting the big UFO in the basement because of all the corners that are cut off or don’t match.) I really like handwork. Really like it! (Yep, I know, appliqué is calling.) And I also like the look of really intricate patterns. 
Yep, this one is about my style. One of those blocks looks way beyond my comfort zone. (I wonder if the sashing should be wider. A little more negative space. And the blocks would be easier to make if I made them 16 inches instead of 12. Hmmmmm!) I’ll probably have to hand piece it to have any hope of the points looking halfway decent! Once I finish those bright cheerful guest room quilts, this is up next. Oh, wait, I think there are a couple of blocks of the month calling me! And….
Note: I did not in any way mean to disparage Modern Quilts or modern quilters in this post. I did not say anything intending to hint that…you know. I did not mean any of this to cause any kind of a controversy. Never mind. Just suffice it to say that I did not post this as anything other than my own random thoughts on a Saturday night. Please don’t take it as anything else.