Category Archives: Color Mastery

Color Mastery

Book Tour Fun

I’ve met wonderful women (and men) this week during the first half of the Color Mastery book tour. I’ll be featuring many of these creative folks in future posts and interviews, but here are a few photos first.

Debbie and Marie at Foxtales

Debbie and Marie were so much fun.  Marie used to work at Olan Mills, and she posed all of us for our photos.  You remember the drill:  turn to the side, chin up, hands on your lap.  We were all giggling during our photo session.

Foxtales Book Shoppe

Ellen and Kathy are two of the three women owners of Foxtales Book Shoppe in Woodstock.  What an AWESOME book store.  Really.  Wood paneling, comfy chairs, a children’s room, great personal service.  Will be on my list of shops to visit regularly.  They recommended books for my husband and both of my sons, and they all love them.  I had to do some book shopping, of course.

Coming up this week and next:  Dahlonega, Ringgold, Columbus, St. Simons, and Savannah.  Check out the tour map at Google maps and all the details at the Color Mastery book blog.  I hope to meet you on the tour!

I just talked to Sandi at Colonial Quilts in Savannah, and she was on her way to post a flyer in the local motorcycle shop.  She said many women motorcyclists are also quilters.  Who knew?  That’s a stop I can’t wait to do!

Chatting About Color at the Book Launch Party

I’ve got an entire gallery of photos from the book launch party over at the Color Mastery book blog.  Here are the personal ones:

My younger son announcing the winners of door prizes.  He was all smiles, sneaking sweet treats, picking out fat quarters, and giving me hugs throughout the evening.

My older son would quietly rub my shoulders as I was signing and talking; he was also the photographer for the evening.

My husband David talking to one of my best quilting friends, Pat.  They were both so proud and thrilled for me.

My friend and cheerleader Kay and her granddaughter.  Thank you, Kay, for the wonderful book title!  Kay attended a quilting retreat last year at my home, during which I floated several titles for the book.  Later that week Kay sweetly suggested several other titles, which were terrific, and Color Mastery was the winner!

And finally . . . me.  I’m all smiles after all the two years of loving working that went into Color Mastery.  It was a night to celebrate it all.  Thank you to everyone who came out to support me, Jeanne, and quilting.  Jeanne was thrilled with the shop’s sales that evening.  I was giddy over the book’s sales, and quilters had a blast eating, drinking, and getting tips about color.

I’d be delighted to visit your local quilt shop and do a book signing, lecture, or class.  Tell them about the book, and show them the blog.  I’ve got a page at the book blog just for quilt shops.  I look forward to seeing you at your local shop or quilt guild!

February Newsletter Hot Off the Press

February’s Quilts & Creativity newsletter went out this week, and I can’t wait for you to see it. It includes last-minute details on my book launch this Friday, an opportunity to win a color consultation with me, the scoop on fresh, innovative spring color palettes, a sneak peek at a new product I’ll be announcing at the end of this month, an opportunity for me to visit your bee group in March, and a fabulous burger recipe.

I’ve really changed the way I develop and offer lessons on this blog. I save the detailed lessons for my newsletter, as it’s easier to give a deep treatment to subjects in a format that spans several pages. I chat about personal stuff, announcements, ideas, and anything else that comes to mind on the blog. But if you want the lessons, sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the Newsletter tab at the top of the blog.

You can see back issues of the Quilts & Creativity newsletter here.

Top Ten Reasons to Independently Publish

One of the big questions any author considers is “who’s the best publisher for my book?”  After writing eight books, being published by four different publishers, and independently publishing my own books, my answer has changed over time.  I’ve been published by big houses like Tab and McGraw-Hill, I’ve had a literary agent, and I’ve published myself.  Color Mastery I published through my own “indie press,” Willow Ridge Press, and here are my top ten reasons why:

  1. Present Innovative Content. Groundbreaking ideas rarely come from big, established companies, because they’re too entrenched in their own systems.  Color Mastery takes a totally unique and innovative approach to not only color in quilting, but how it provides a road map and focuses on exercises and building great color skills.
  2. Hire the Best. I’ve published two books on my own, and managed a publishing group, and I know how essential hiring the best talent is to the outcome of any book.  Many self-publishers do everything themselves and that’s a mistake.  I hired the best quilt photographer, illustrator, book designer, technical editor, and content editor I could find.  And it shows.  Color Mastery is beautiful, a great read, has excellent photos, and easy-to-follow instructions.
  3. Know Your Audience. That’s the first rule for any writing, is to know who you’re writing for.  I know from my quilting classes that all quilters, from newbies to art quilters, have burning questions about color.  I also know they make a diverse range of quilts, from originally-designed art quilts to baby quilts to reproduction quilts, and they all need color advice.  Color Mastery includes color wisdom any quilter can use, not just quilters who want to make vibrant, in-your-face with color quilts.
  4. Become an Entrepreneur. The world of publishing is much more accessible with the internet.  I can talk to a printer in China, my photographer in California, and my Brazilian illustrator in Washington state easily.  And I can develop distributions channels far more efficient than other companies, saving you money and making the book more affordable.
  5. Develop Relationships. I meet everyone involved in the quilting industry, from quilters in my classes, to shop owners, quilting wholesalers, book authors, pattern designers, and fabric manufacturers.  Because I’m involved in every aspect of my book, from content, to print, to sales and distribution, I’ve met wonderful people I never would have as an author insulated from the industry.
  6. Get the Attention You Deserve.  My literary agent represented over 100 authors.  Big publishing companies produce hundreds of products, from books to CDs, each year, and you get a miniscule slice of their attention.  Most authors don’t realize how little time they’ll actually spend with their editors.  By publishing myself, I get face time with my team when I need it.  I don’t feel lost in a revolving door of authors and products.
  7. Build an Evergreen Title. What’s that?  An evergreen title is one that stays in print a long time, rather than being a fad than lasts only a year or two.  After writing a couple of books, I realized it took just as much effort to write a book that would last for 10 or 20 years as it did to write a book about a fad that would last only one to two years.  And when I buy books, I go for longevity as well.  Trends are fun, but the good stuff lasts and hold lessons for me for years to come.
  8. Earn More. Most authors are horribly surprised at how tiny their royalty checks are and how long it takes to actually get them.  It’s not unusual to wait 18 months to two years for your first royalty check – the author is the last to be paid in the publishing chain.  And if you get an advance, you may never earn more than that.  Most authors also don’t realize they must buy copies of their own books from the publisher, so if you want to speak and sell your books, you must buy them first.  As an independent publisher, I keep far more of my books’ earnings, and I get them sooner.  However, as the publisher I also put up the capital to hire the team and print the book.  Ultimately, I made an investment in myself.
  9. Turn Your Book into Opportunities. A book is just the beginning of my career, and it serves as the ultimate business card.  From one book I’ll develop additional products, book speaking engagements, be offered opportunities to design quilts, fabric, and who knows what else?  Because I have closer relationships with players in the industry, I’m one of the first they think of when it comes to partnerships.
  10. Own the Copyright. Never, ever write a book and let the publisher own the copyright.  I’m devastated when I see women work tirelessly to develop a book and the quilt projects in it, only to practically give it away to a publisher who then owns the copyright.  Basically, you’ve just done a “work for hire” and you have no rights whatsoever to that work ever again.  I value my work and talent far more than that, and so should you.  Don’t give your work away.

I know I had loads of questions as a newbie author, and it’s tough to know who to trust.  Join me over at LibraryThing’s author chat and I’ll be happy to answer any question you have about quilting, writing, or the publishing process.  See you there!

Download a Sample Chapter from Color Mastery

I’ve made a sample chapter available from Color Mastery – all you have to do is visit the Book page of the website and click on the link.  You’ll be well on your way to mastering the color in your quilts in no time.  Because I published Color Mastery through my own indie press, I can make special offers like this to my blog readers.

Most conventional book publishers won’t give away any content.  But I know from my own experience, the more I know about a book, the more likely I am to buy it if I like what I read.  So . . . . enjoy a good read on me!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Color . . . .

Ok, well maybe not everything.  After all, it’s only an hour.  But what an hour it will be.  I’ll be chatting with Morna McEver Golletz in the Professional Quilter Cafe, and of course the topic will be my favorite:  color in quilts.  What an artist date!

What I’m most excited about is having a one-on-one where we can really dig deep into the subject.  Color is so intimidating for most quilters that this is a jewel of an opportunity to really “get” color in a way they never have before.

And since this is a Professional Quilter teleclass, we’ll be talking about color not just for quilters, but also for instructors who teach color classes, pattern designers and how they can use color more effectively in their samples, and for shop owners and how they can really help their customers in choosing colors for their quilts.

Hope you can join us.  It’s only $9.95 and that’s for both the teleclass and downloadable MP3.  You can’t even buy a dinner out for that.  So stay home on Thursday, Jan. 15 and join us at 8p.m. Eastern.  Here’s the link.  See you there!

Renaissance Baby Quilt

Here it is.  The baby quilt that I presented to Lynne last week, along with a smaller version for little sister.  Mother and daughter both have quilts to wrap up their babies in.  There is something so gratifying in giving a handmade quilt as a gift, when nobody does handmade anymore.

The design is my Renaissance quilt from Color Mastery.  Deceptively simple to put together, but oh so sophisticated in its design.  Fibonacci proportions for the strips.  Repetition in the fabrics and blocks gives the quilt unity.  Three bears rule of color for just the right color hierarchy.  And I manipulated the three elements of color just right to get the perfect marriage of colors.

And the best part?  All the fabrics came from my stash.  The backing was over 10 years old, and still as beautiful today (I also used it as the binding).  Knowing how to build a color-rich stash means your fabrics will be as useful 10 years from now as they were the day you bought them.

You can still make beautiful quilts, with stunning color, even when the economy has us all cutting back.  Yes, the stock market is volatile, but my fabric stash is solid as a rock.

Color Mastery Now Available for Pre-Order!

It’s a big day in the Willow Ridge Press studio.  Color Mastery is now listed on my distributor’s website at AtlasBooks.com.  You can pre-order your own copy and be one of the first to hold it in your own hands.  I decided to use a distributor for book sales and fulfillment so I can concentrate on what I enjoy most:  quilting, teaching, and writing.  I focus on what I do best, and AtlasBooks does a much better job of packing and shipping the book to you than I would.

Color Mastery is also available for pre-order over at Amazon, and will be in your local quilt shop in February.  What if you don’t have a local quilt shop, like in my town?  You can always order online, or directly from me, and I’ll even autograph it.

When I wrote Color Mastery, I challenged myself to make beautiful quilts with extraordinary color using only the fabrics in my stash.  That has become even more important lately with the recent economic news:  when food, gas, and energy are rising and incomes are dropping, what happens to the “fun stuff” like buying fabric and quilting?  Usually it’s the first to go!  But it doesn’t have to.  That’s where Color Mastery comes in.  It’s the only quilting book on color designed to be used with your stash, showing you it is possible to squeeze better color from the fabrics you’ve already got.

And here are two special gifts, that if ordered separately, would be $39.95, available exclusively and instantly for my early bird orders:

  • a special pattern for a color wheel pincushion
  • a collection of every technique (over 50!!) in Color Mastery for getting better color from your stash.

These two bonuses are a special thank you to my readers that order the book early.  That way, you can go ahead and get started on fantastic color from your stash, even before the book arrives.

Just send me (info@colormastery.com) your AtlasBooks or Amazon transaction number, and I’ll email the special gifts to your inbox – you don’t even have to walk to the mailbox.

I’ll even add a third special gift if you include the email address of your quilt guild newsletter editor, so I can tell them about some free articles available from Color Mastery to guilds.  Don’t you just love getting surprises, exclusively for you, in your mailbox?

Olympics in China: That’s Not All!

Can anybody read Chinese?

Can anybody read Chinese?

The Olympics aren’t the only exciting thing occurring in China. This package arrived on my doorstep from Hong Kong: the bluelines for Color Mastery. I sure wish I knew what this said. I’m sure it’s something quite boring, like “folio 1 of 7,” but the writing looks so elegant.

Color Mastery color proofs

Color Mastery color proofs

I’ve been poring over (thanks Marla!) these proofs to make sure the colors are dead-on accurate. I drove Gregory Case, my photographer, crazy with my questions and his constant assurances that, yes, the colors would be accurate even though they didn’t look that way on my monitor. Gregory was a therapist before being a photographer, and he told me I needed to take the leap and experience the result, even if I made a mistake. Wow, therapy and photography all from one guy!

I took these proofs with me everywhere this week: home, carpooling, even pee-wee football practice. Quite the contrary to Alicia’s experience when she and her husband Andy secluded themselves in a quiet diner to look over hers for her book. I remember those days, bc (before children).

My pee-wee football player

My pee-wee football player

Here’s son #2 in his pads and uniform, ready to hit somebody! This is a new experience for me, and not an easy one. Watching my son get knocked to the ground repeatedly during practice is tough. And for 7-year-olds, there’s no such thing as a clean hit: they grab onto anything they can to bring you down: shirt, mask, hit from the back. My husband tells me the goal for son #2 is to get through practice without quitting or crying. He will, but I might not.

Color Mastery Cover

As promised, here it is. The cover for Color Mastery:

Color Mastery by Maria Peagler

My cover designer is fabulous, and she did such a tremendous job on this. I wanted Color Mastery not only to be a color bible for quilters, but a book that begged to be taken off the shelf and pored through for its beauty alone. We did just that.

Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts

Color Mastery Cover Sneak Peek

Congratulations – it’s a book! This is a sneak peek from the cover of the upcoming book I’ve been hinting at:

Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know how passionate I am about color. Now, I’m sharing that passion with you, and giving you a glimpse at the book throughout the week.

Color Mastery will be available in your local quilt shop in February ’09. That sounds like a date in the distant future, but it will be here before we know it! I’ll be attending my first quilt market this May to meet and greet with distributors to ensure the book will be available in your area, even if it’s internationally!

Note to international readers: send me the link or email for your local quilt shop and I’ll chat with them to find out their distributor who supplies their books. I’m at mariapeagler(at)tds(dot)net.

Look for a blog I’m developing that will be solely about Color Mastery. I’ll then be returning to the regular content I do on this site: quilting, creativity, life, and and how they all interact.

Next up: Color Mastery’s Table of Contents. Be the first to get a top-secret look into the chapters and projects that will open your eyes to the world of artistic color in your quilts!