Tag Archives: Color

Quilting’s First-Ever Music Video

I’m so excited to share another quilting industry first with you:  quilting’s first-ever music video.  It features the 12 table runners in the Color Mastery Table Runner enhanced e-pattern series.  We had a lot of fun putting this together, and a big thank-you goes to my son, who really did the hard work.  He produced the original music in the video and put together all of the still photos.  He’s a talented guy, and it was fun to collaborate on this mother-son project.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did developing it.

Thanks for watching the Color for Quilters video. If you enjoyed it, please sign up below for my monthly newsletter that contains color tips, quilt designs, and a recipe. I promise not to use your email for any other purpose: I don’t like SPAM either.  As a thank you, I’ll send you 10 Color Tips for Quilters and a gift of a color wheel chart so you can get started with your own fabrics today!


Color Mastery Table Runners offers:

  • 12 table runner patterns, each 16×40″, featuring a different color each month
  • 10 short instructional videos where Maria shows you time-saving and accurate piecing and quilting techniques
  • 10 presentations offering professional quilt designers tips on each month’s color and how they used them in their own projects
  • table runner projects are great for mini-lessons and no UFOs
  • the most beautifully decorated table in your neighborhood!
  • great opportunity for group projects, bee groups, and quilt guilds. Enjoy a color challenge with different results each month

Click here to learn more about the table runner series:

I Want to Master Color

Maria Peagler Reveals Another Quilting Exclusive on Pat Sloan’s Creative Talk Radio

What a big finish to 2010 we had with the Quilter’s Favorite Things giveaway! We had so much fun with that contest and we had five lucky winners. This Monday, Jan. 10, I’ll be Pat Sloan’s guest on her Creative Talk Radio show. You won’t want to miss this interview, because I’ll be revealing a quilting industry first on her show, and her listeners will get the exclusive scoop.  Join the party to hear us chat about color, Pantone’s color for 2011, and of course there will be prizes! So tune in and don’t miss the fun. To listen in, visit her show’s website and click the listen live button. The show runs from 4:00 to 5:00, and I’ll be on the second half starting at 4:30.

To add even more to the fun, I’ll be posting live on Facebook during the show.  I’ll be asking questions and giving away prizes during the show, so listen in and answer the questions I post from the show to have even more chances to win!

Here’s to a colorful and creative 2011!

Blessings Tree Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Blessings Tree, the November edition of our year-long color-of-the-month enhanced e-pattern series:

Every Thanksgiving I long for a way to permanently record our blessings.  As often as I teach my children the lesson of gratitude and try to practice it myself, the daily carpool, school, work, dinner, and errands tend to take over, and we forget.  Here is a simple way to remember, record, and reflect.

The tree starts out bare, just branches, trunk, and buttons.  During our Thanksgiving day with extended family, we’ll catch up with stories of loved ones lost, children who’ve sprouted so tall you barely recognize them, and hugs and kisses all around.  As we cook, catch up, and enjoy time with those we love so much, we’ll begin adding leaves to the tree.

We’ll each write down on a leaf, with a gold metallic marker, what we’re grateful for this sign, sign and date it.  As more and more family members add their blessings, the leaves begin to accumulate.

Then, before we all sit down to the meal, everyone will add their gratitude leaf to the tree, until it’s overflowing with blessings.

Enjoy your loved ones this Thanksgiving holiday.  Cherish the time together, and continue to remember how richly you’ve been blessed with November’s Blessing Tree pattern.

Here’s a hint for next month:  count the branches on the tree.  Hhhmm, would be great for December, too, wouldn’t it?  Stay tuned and I’ll show you how to turn the Blessings Tree into an Advent Tree for Christmas.

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

Blue-Green: August’s Color-of-the-Month

Since Pantone has declared turquoise the hot color of 2010, blue-green is everywhere.  I must admit, blue-green was never one of my favorites, as I’d seen it used badly in southwestern color palettes, but never in a color scheme I enjoyed.  So, I took my own advice from Color Mastery and worked with this challenging color (for me) until I loved it.  And I do.

You will too after you experience the luscious blue-green quilts offered up this month by indie quilt designers from the Yahoo Quilt Designers Collective.  Get advice from and see the quilts of Pat Sloan, Barbara Campbell, Sarah Whitney, Helen Stubbings, Marilyn Foreman, and Marcy Horswill. To view the show in Full Screen mode or to embed this slideshow in your blog, just click the Menu link.

Petite Pineapples Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Petite Pineapples, the August edition of our year-long color-of-the-month enhanced e-pattern series:

August’s featured color is blue-green, the hottest color of 2010.  Petite Pineapples combines tradition with trend, juxtaposing 19th century-style hand applique with trendy blue-greens of 2010.  This sweet runner uses a clean color palette of teal, aqua, brown, and cream, and bids a fond farewell to summer.  Not a hand-applique fan?  Happy for you, this project is machine-applique friendly.

Petite Pineapples also shows you how easy it is to get a completely different look by changing just one color.  This runner uses exactly the same fabrics as July’s Christmas Cabin, only I’ve exchanged teal for red.  By making one small change, I completely transformed this color scheme, and you can too.  I show you how.

The dogtooth border is a classic hand-applique treatment, and I show you an easy way to cut and applique it, getting perfectly sharp points without any worries.  Subscribers to the pattern series get exclusive access to a video on how make this border, so you can follow along with me.   The freemotion wavy echo quilting design is simple to execute but impressive in the final runner, and I outline exactly how to do it.

Petite Pineapples Pattern Update:  $5.95 (delivered early and automatically to pattern series subscribers – keep reading!)  Add to Cart

If you can’t get to the quilt shop to select your own fabrics, no worries.  I’m offering a Petite Pineapples kit as well.  It’s best to choose your own fabrics for your color palettes, but we all have those times when life gets too busy and we just can’t get to it.  I’d rather you be able to do the lesson with a kit than not at all.

Petite Pineapples Kit: $21.95 Add to Cart

Learn by Doing

In addition to learning how to applique the Petite Pineapples block and coordinate a fresh color palette, you’ll also discover how to:

  • cut and place applique motifs improvisationally, 19th century-style
  • make the applique process effortless with my Applique Checklist
  • make an impressive dogtooth border with my step-by-step instructions and video
  • quilt a freemotion wavy echo design for stunning results

So not only do you get a sophisticated and new original design, you update your skills as well.

Learn New Techniques

Improvisational cutting and placement are new to many quilters who rely on 21-century techniques that focus on precision, precision, precision.  This approach allows you the freedom and flexibility to give each block it’s own unique charm and eccentricities.

If you’ve only relied on freezer paper or fabric glue, let me introduce you to the world of needle turn applique by eye.  It’s a wonderfully relaxing technique that gives each applique motif an exceptional look while harmonizing with the project as a whole.

If you’ve been intimidated by dogtooth borders in the past, or always wanted to try one, this is your chance.  I give you a no-fail technique that details the process, step-by-step.

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

Yellow: May’s Color-of-the-Month

Welcome to the May Color-of-the-Month slideshow, offering tips on using yellow in your quilt palette:  yes you can successfully coordinate yellow with other colors and make it behave!  You can do it!  This month I host Yolanda Fundora, Barbara Campbell, Maribeth Schmidt, Exclusively Quilters, and Rochelle Martin, sharing fabric designs and gorgeous quilts.  Get inspired to create a fabulous summer project and remember to support the participants of each month’s show! (If the text is too tiny in the presentation, click on the Full icon at the bottom to view it Full Screen.)

Ready for more color excitement?  Participate in my Color Mastery social media scavenger hunt for your chance to win over $75 in prizes (fat quarter bundle, table runner kit, and a new book – oh my!).

Sunflower Summer Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Sunflower Summer, the May pattern update to our year-long color-of-the-month series.

May’s featured color is yellow, which so many quilters find to be challenging and avoid using.  No more!  Sunflower Summer shows you how to make yellow play well with others, giving yellow a chance to mingle and be social with its friends from around the color wheel without overwhelming the quilt and giving it that “oh no!” look.  Yellow can be overwhelming in any project, and Sunflower Summer reveals how you can coordinate yellow in any quilting project.

Sunflower Summer Pattern Update:  $5.95 (free to subscribers – keep reading!) Add to Cart

If you can’t get to the quilt shop to select your own fabrics, no worries.  I’m offering a Sunflower kit as well.  It’s best to choose your own fabrics for your color palettes, but we all have those times when life gets too busy and we just can’t get to it.  I’d rather you be able to do the lesson with a kit than not at all.

Sunflower Summer Kit: $21.95 Add to Cart

Learn by Doing

Yellow is the brightest color in any quilt shop, and using it in your quilt’s color palette takes special care and handling.  Without savvy color skills, your quilt can have an off look, even if you use limited amounts of yellow.  I show you the why behind yellow’s glare and how to avoid yellow overload.

Learn New Techniques

May’s Sunflower Summer pattern uses a modified Dresden Plate block, and you’ll learn how to make perfect points without having to turn them under using hand applique.  All of the sunflower petals are done on the sewing machine!  I also demonstrate how different backgrounds can make a color completely disappear or look too strong, and how you know when your colors have achieve a wonderful harmony.

Forget quilt as desired!  I’ve included quilting designs, the very ones I used in my own project, that make Sunflower Summer really shine.  I created wonderful textures throughout the quilt, and you can too!

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

Secrets of Accurate Half-Square Triangles

The Spring Tulips table runner uses a lot of half-square triangles (HSTs) in the pieced tulips blocks.  In fact, every table runner I’ve designed so far uses them.  For much of my early years as a quilter, cutting and piecing accurate HSTs was a mystery to me.  I followed all of the instructions, tried the triangle paper, triangles on a roll, and just didn’t find a way that suited me.  I even did Debbie Caffrey’s method of cutting bias strips, seaming them, and then cutting the HSTs.  It was accurate, but a headache too.

I needed something simpler.  I like simplicity:  clean, accurate, easy, no weird tools, just the basics on how to do it right.  I finally figured out the secrets of accurate HSTs, and now I’m sharing them with you in this checklist.  I’ve become a huge fan of checklists after reading Atul Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto.  It’s a fascinating look at how pilots, surgeons, architects, and other creative and technical people nail down a procedure so there are no mistakes.  So here’s my gift to you:  a HST Checklist for getting them right.  Every. Time.

To view this full-size and print it out, click here for the link.  I suggest putting it next to your sewing machine or cutting table:  someplace visible so you don’t miss it!

Colorful Quilt Inspiration

One of the questions I’m most often asked is “Where do you get your inspiration?”

My short answer?  “Everywhere.”

That’s usually not the answer people are looking for.  They want specifics, like publication name, date, and page number, so they can see it too.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

I don’t rely on any one source for inspiration, as I don’t want to be too heavily influenced by any one artist, quiltmaker, or writer.  I want my work to be uniquely my own, taking inspiration from the corner bakery, blooming Tulip Magnolia, sunset over the Appalachians, and smiles on my beautiful children’s faces, as only I see them.  My quilts are an expression of the beauty I see in everyday life.

I do capture much of that beauty in my journals, so I can refer back to it later.  That’s where photographs, magazine images, fabric swatch exercises, and sketches come to live and gather and multiply into stunning quilts.

I’m truly amazed every time I sit down to design a quilt.  I never run out of ideas, color palettes, or possibilities.  I’ve heard other writers complain of writer’s block, but that was never a luxury I allowed myself.  I continued writing, pushing through the fear of “this sounds awful” to some really great stuff.  That doesn’t happen when I design a quilt.  It’s all joy.  Playing with color, shape, and fabric is as good as it gets.

Love Apple Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like you to meet Love Apple, the February update to my new Color-of-the-Month pattern series:

Learn by Doing

This month’s color lesson is all about value, and you’ll learn how to work within a single color palette and still get enough lights, mediums, and darks to make your baskets and pomegranates stand out.  Then take this lesson and apply it to every other quilt you make!

Learn New Techniques

This month’s update even includes quilting designs!  I listened to my loyal subscribers and they wanted suggested quilting designs, so I offer two different free-motion quilting designs in the pattern.  And I show you, step-by-step, how to make accurate half-square triangles that keep their points without getting cut off.  I also have step-by-step photos on how to precisely place the appliques so there’s no question where they go. Each month will showcase different techniques so you can become a more versatile quilter.

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks: Old Glory is Mine!

old-glory-by-maria-peagler

When Carolyn Beam from Quiltmaker asked me to participate in their 100 Blocks issue I was thrilled to contribute, as Quiltmaker is the magazine I recommend most to my students.  It’s a great learning tool, and their 100 Blocks collector’s issue does not disappoint.  It’s packed with appliqued, pieced, and mixed-technique blocks, so no matter what your taste, you’ll find something that you love and can’t wait to make.

qm100blockscover200px

Here’s a sneak peak at the behind-the-scenes detail of my block:

Inspiration: I used my color journal as I discuss in Color Mastery:  10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts.  You would think I already know what’s in my own journals as often as I write about them.  I was wowed by how many patriotic quilts and memorabilia I had pasted in those pages.  I have three patriotic quilts in my den (above the mantel, over the sofa, and on the foyer wall), but I knew a patriotic block would be a classic that quilters would love to make and use often.  I do wish I could have included photos of my journals here, but they are at Quilter’s Newsletter being photographed for an upcoming excerpt of my book.

Design: I adore simple, elegant blocks, and do not enjoy making quilt blocks with a lot of tiny little pieces.  It’s actually far more difficult to design a simple block that looks sophisticated than it is to make one with 70 pieces.  This one came together after I remembered my mission:  Connecting, Playing, and Longevity.  Old Glory connects me with so many other women of generations past who honored their country by making patriotic quilts.  Playing?  I had fun playing with the pinwheel design in the star area of the block.  I played with several options and decided on this version after I loved the movement it created.  And what block design could have more longevity than a patriotic block?  It’s one that will be made again and again.

Colors:
Red, white and blue of course, but which ones?  The flag block needs high contrast for each part of the design to show well.  I mapped the hue, value, and intensity of each color, so I’d know exactly which ones would work together to create harmony.  Blue is the easiest, as navy is the classic dark, dull blue used in most flags and quilt blocks.  So what about the red and white?  I went to my stash and found two red fabrics:  both pure red (no orange or raspberry hues) and they were a dull intensity and medium value.  The white fabrics were both bright white and would be more intense than cream or off white, but were needed to balance the navy and red.  I adore how they all coordinate to give a crisp look.

Construction: Here’s a secret:  all 1/4″ seams are not created equal.  For this block, and others I’m making for a quilt I designed for a fabric manufacturer’s block of the month, I find a true 1/4″ seam works well for strip piecing.  However, when you piece triangles, a scant 1/4″ is far more accurate, as a true 1/4″ makes the block too small.  Try it on the Old Glory block and it you’ll find this method works beautifully and gives super-accurate results.

I envision Old Glory set in a quilt with alternating plain blocks and lots of gorgeous feather quilting.  Wouldn’t it look great for July 4th?

Follow the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily Nov. 9-13 at  for inspiration, ideas and giveaways! The collector’s issue is in your local quilt shop, or purchase it at the Quiltmaker website.

Here’s your own chance to win the issue and make your own quilt using Old Glory!  Leave a comment telling me how you would use Old Glory in your quilt or project, and I’ll choose a winner Thursday.  Watch here for your name to be announced!

Do I Need an Excuse to Visit a Quilt Shop?

More photos from my trip to Athens and Dragonfly Quilt Shop.  As you walk in the shop you’re surrounded by gorgeous fabrics and samples that you can’t wait to make!  Love the beautiful white armoire filled with goodies.  The shop had a Kaffe Fassett table to get quilters excited about his workshop at Dragonfly.  Deb stands next to her quilt made with Kaffe fabrics.  I loved the Dresden Plate quilt – it looked totally vintage.

After I gave Annette her color consultation and we recorded the video, the Cotton Patch Quilters and I went to dinner at Loco’s, which started in Athens.  The moose tells their story.  Later I gave my Creative Quilter’s Guide to Color lecture, but no photos:  it was a whirlwind to end by 9p.m.!

Last, but not least, my Machine Quilting students at Sew Memorable Quilt Shop in Dawsonville.  We had a full house and ladies came with all-metal Singer sewing machines to the latest new Viking, and you know what?  They were all successful!  Can’t wait to see those quilts, girls!

Color and Inaugural Fashions

Did you notice the colors our presidential families wore to the inauguration?  Among a sea of black wool coats, both men and women accessorized in bright, vivid colors.  And the most popular?

Yellow.  And that wasn’t an accident.  Michelle Obama’s yellow dress and jacket were the most highly-contrasting color she could choose to be visible next to her husband, dressed in a black coat.

Style blog Limelight declared yellow 2009’s signature color in their post, “Yellow is the New Black,” praising First Lady Obama’s choice of a yellow dress.

Bill Clinton wore a yellow scarf against his black coat.  Both George Bush. Sr. and Barbara Bush took yellow one step further and wore yellow turtlenecks with violet scarves.  Again, yellow and violet are complements that have high contrast, so their outfits guaranteed they would stand out in a crowd.

And if our government officials weren’t wearing yellow, they sported either bright blue or red scarves or ties.

You can see all these colors in action in NPR’s slideshow of the inauguration here.

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?

Noticing the Beauty in the Everyday

It’s apple-picking time in north Georgia. Aren’t these apples gorgeous on a sunny day?  Imagine these colors worked into a quilt.  There’s so much light on the red that they look orange, like peaches.

I took these photos with my camera phone, and they turned out much better than I imagined.  In reality, these apples were burning with a scarlet color where the sun hit them.

Some of those apples are just too darned high.  But he can dream, can’t he?