Tag Archives: Color Mastery

Confused about Color?

I put together a list of the many resources I’ve created over the Color Mastery journey and put them into one place for you.  Wow.  No excuses not to have outstanding color in your quilts any more!

Color Tips for Quilters by Maria Peagler

Come Celebrate with Me

If you asked God to grant your biggest dream, what would it be?  My answer would be different depending on when you asked me.  Some dreams come and go, while others stick with you, and others you work diligently to see to fruition.

My first dream?  A happy, healthy marriage.  No small feat for any couple, but my parents experienced an acrimonious divorce, my dad’s been married three times, and my mother all but swore off men.  Not exactly a start that holds hope for marital bliss.  When I married David, I had no experience with what a stable, Christian marriage could be.  This month we will be celebrating 20 years of just that.  Thanks God.

My second dream?  Motherhood.  I didn’t grow up imagining being married or having children.  I came from a unique family, and my mom really encouraged me to get my education and be a career woman so I could be independent and support myself no matter what happened to me in life.  I did all that, married a delightful man, and five years later we had a son.  Another five years later I gave birth to our second son.  Two of the most wonderful boys you will ever meet.  Again, thanks God.  I was, after all, a good mother.  Maybe even a great one.

My third dream?  Interestingly, I didn’t even have the imagination for this one.  All I knew is that I loved books.  I grew up quite the bookworm, often getting lost in the library shelves at my school, rereading my favorites and discovering new volumes with glee.  Librarians loved seeing me come through the door and would guide to me the newest titles.  On Career Day, we students heard from laywers, doctors, policemen, and of course, teachers.  Not a single author in the bunch.  It never occurred to me I could become one.

So it is with great pride, humility, and joy that I share my latest news:  Color Mastery is a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin 2009 award for Best Craft Book of the year.  I am being recognized for excellence in publishing.  I’m a publisher.  Not just the author and quilt designer (which would be quite enough, thank you!), but I’m also the editorial director, sales and marketing team, and finance department.  It’s a job whose work never ends, but on most days it doesn’t seem like work.  Instead, it feels like. . . . .bliss.

So again, thanks God.  And thanks to all of the quilters who have been so loyal to me in supporting Color Mastery.  Quilters are really the big winners here, as you are getting some incredibly creative, beautiful, and outstanding books from independent presses.  In fact, all three finalists in the Craft category for the awards are quilting books.  Wow.

Come celebrate with me this enormous accomplishment.  It’s going to be a month-long party here and at my Color Mastery blog.  I’ll be holding contests, giving away stuff, and will be offering many surprises along the way.  Let the party begin!

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!

Behind the Scenes

After I shot this video at Dragonfly Quilt Shop in Watkinsville, GA, I gave a lecture to the Cotton Patch Quilt Guild in Athens, and drove home for a late-night arrival.  The same day, my elder son attended a workshop at the local Apple store on how to use iMovie.

I’ve been the computer expert in our home for a long time, and I taught my son how to use Word, how to navigate the internet (with supervision), and even how to create a blog for a math project.  So he was excited to help me with my video.

I planned on creating a black screen with a white title for the Title screen and ending credits, which I can do with the Flip software that came with my camera.  But after he saw my results, he offered to help me do much better.

He showed me how to create the fancy title screen with my book’s cover and the white title superimposed over it, and the ending black frames with the credits on them.  Actually, he wanted to do it all himself, but I’m trying to teach him how to educate others:  never do for them what you can help them to do themselves.

That’s my same motto for my classes.  I never do the work for my students, or else they won’t be able to replicate their experience when they get home.  I gently guide students as to how to achieve results, and everyone’s path there is different.

So thanks, son.  My video looks oh-so-much better.  Who knows what you’ll be teaching me next?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Color Mastery Pincushion

I’m humbled and thrilled at the response from quilters and reviewers to Color Mastery.  I’m giving lectures and workshops, producing videos on color, and building relationships with quilters across the globe on my blog, email newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook.

I’m starting to work on my next book, talking to shop owners, industry experts, and fabric companies.  But the opinion that really counts?  Yours.  Quilters.  Real, honest-to-goodness, everyday quilters that make baby, bed, wall, memory, and every other kind of quilt.  I’m here to serve you.  Could you take a moment to help me?

I need to know what you look for and need in a quilting book.  I have my own ideas from my teaching, but I need your opinion.  As a small independent publisher, I must be wise in what I publish so I don’t enter into a subject over-published or compete with the big guys who have large advertising budgets.  Quilting books seem to have exploded lately, and I want to make sure I serve an area that needs it.  It’s what I did with Color Mastery:  saw a need and filled it.

And in gratitude for your time and response, I’m sending you a pincushion pattern immediately after you take the survey.  My way of saying thanks.

Click here to take the survey.  And keep an eye out for some really exciting content upcoming here at Quilts & Creativity.  2010 will be a super-creative year for all of us!

Georgia Quilt Council’s Fall Convention

Quilts on the Square

Last weekend I attended the fall convention of the Georgia Quilt Council in Carrollton, GA.  After all the years I’ve been quilting, this was my first time attending the council’s meeting, and I was impressed.  These ladies know quilting and know Georgia.  I met many wonderful quilters, appraisers, shop owners, historians, guild officers, and teachers.  It was a “who’s who” of quilters in Georgia.  I was so busy in my booth I didn’t take photos of the speakers, but here’s peek at one of the quilts displayed at the convention:

dsc04377

Carrollton welcomed us with quilts hung in the shop windows on the town square:

Carrollton GQC Quilts

dsc04387

dsc04386

Quilts Hung in Bookstore

Next was a tour of the facility that will house the new Southeast Quilt and Textile Museum:

Southeast Quilt and Textile Museum facility

dsc04384

The above photo is of an interior wall of the facility, which used to house cotton bales for GoldKist.  The building was badly burned in a fire in the early 1900’s, and you can still see the outline of the hay bales on the walls.

I had a lovely time at the fall convention, and here’s a quick bulletin of events coming up and an invitation to join me.  If you can’t, hop on over to my Color Mastery blog and enjoy the resources there until you can attend one my lectures or workshops:

Oct. 13, Creative Quilter’s Guide to Color, Cotton Patch Quilters, Athens, GA

Oct. 17, Machine Quilting Mastery, Sew Memorable, Dawsonville, GA

Nov. 7, Color Mastery for Any Quilter, Quilt Shop on the Square, Ellijay, GA

Nov. 23, Simple Color, Stunning Quilts, Scrappy Quilt Guild, Calhoun, GA

Hope to see you soon in one of my workshops – let’s make a colorful quilt together!

Facebook for Quilters

How would you like to have an exclusive one-on-one color consultation with me for your next quilt?  My July 2009 email newsletter has a special section on social media for quilters.  Today we’ll look at specific ways you can use Facebook to connect with like-minded quilters across the globe, and how you can win a one-on-one color consultation with me! Facebook is a great way to share and talk with the big names in quilting you may not ever have a chance to meet in person, as well as chatting with quilting friends between guild meetings.

Color Mastery on Facebook

Did you know the fastest growing group on Facebook is the 55+ demographic?  Quilters, from hobbyists to professionals like Mark Lipinski, Jodie Davis, Lazy Girl Joan Hawley, and me share and connect with fans and quilting community.  I connect with my students, readers, friends who’ve moved to far-away states, elementary school pals and neighbors on Facebook.

Try it and join my Color Mastery fan page.  Everyone who becomes a fan this week will be entered into the contest to win a color consultation with me on their next quilt.  I’ll announce the winner on the color Mastery fan page on Monday, Aug. 17.  There you’ll see my latest news, events, videos, and catch up!  Join at http://www.facebook.com.  I’m at http://www.facebook.com/mariapeagler.

mp-facebook

Here’s a short video on how Facebook works:

Next up:  Twitter for Quilters!

Quilt Camp at Willow Ridge Press Studios

Quilt Camp at Willow Ridge Press Studios

This week I hosted six children in my quilt studio to make Quillows.  They were practically giddy they were so excited! We planted the seeds of lifelong sewers and quilters, and they were beaming with pride and tightly hugging their Quillows when they left.

dsc04126

On Monday we started by making a mini-Quillow.  This turned out to be quite important to understand the whole process.  The real Quillows were so large it was easy for the campers to get lost in the fabric and what step we were doing, and they really liked doing the smaller sample first.

L. topstitching her Quillow.

Overheard at Quilt Camp this week:

  • “Duh!” – a lot
  • “I don’t want to sew through my dog’s eye/nose/mouth!”
  • “The machine came unthreaded . . again!”

Mini-Quillow

Here’s our Quilt Camp by the numbers:

  • 5 girls
  • 1 boy
  • 3 homeschoolers
  • 3 private schooled
  • 1 horse fabric
  • 1 chick fabric
  • 1 dog fabric
  • 1 floral fabric
  • 1 plaid fabric
  • 1 motorcycles & baseball fabric
  • 6 pincushions
  • 250+ pins
  • 24 yards of fabric
  • 12 yards of batting
  • Priceless memories and confidence.  These campers completed a long quilting project and have the skills to tackle any sewing project they want in the future!

A big Happy Birthday wish to Camper E. who turns 12 next week and had her rock-climbing birthday party today!  A rock-climber and a quilter – you go girl!

Art Week: Gee’s Bend Quilts

dsc04049

Today’s the final day in the Quilts & Creativity Art Week, and I’m concluding with a bang:  quilts from the Gee’s Bend quilters.  I’ve featured works of art from the Big Canoe Fine Art show in honor of my own art quilts that are on display at the Ann Litrel gallery in Woodstock.  Previously I featured works of sculptureglass, and wood.

Even though the Gee’s Bend quilters are from our neighboring state of Alabama, I’ve managed to miss every gallery showing of their quilts.  When they were at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, our family was in the middle of a move.  When a play based on their story was featured in Dahlonega, I was teaching.  I’ve finally gotten to see their quilts in person!

More pieces from the show:

dsc04050

Gee’s Bend quilters rely on simple designs and piecing, coupled with bold color schemes for a dramatic impact.

dsc04066

This is a Housetop design, a variation of Log Cabin, often seen in Gee’s Bend quilts.

dsc04042

The exhibit is in a show home in Big Canoe, and this is one of its closets.  This would be my dream closet, full of about $35,000 worth of Gee’s Bend quilts, at least.

dsc04047

So much of color is intuitive – even with no formal art training, this quilter used the complementary colors of yellow and violet for vivid contrast.

dsc04043

A bold interpretation of a Bow-Tie quilt, done in black and white solids.  Wow.

dsc04046

The red fabric in this quilt is satin and it practically glows.  You can see the sheen in the photograph, but it’s even greater in person.

dsc04070

The fine art show included some smaller Gee’s Bend quilts in the $500 price range for people who wanted to start their art collections at a smaller scale.

dsc04048

This quilt was my personal favorite, as it had so much going on I could have looked at it for hours and admired the fabrics and piecing.  The quilting was a simple cross-hatching, just perfect for a quilt that had such busy piecing.

The Big Canoe Fine Art show continues through July 19, and you can stop by and say hello to my husband David of Peagler Custom Homes.  He has two gorgeous homes, one on the golf course, and another on the lake, that are themselves works of art.

Tonight I’ll be at the Ann Litrel gallery from 5-9p.m., and I’ll be speaking on “Color Artistry in Quilt Creation.”  Hans Rueffert, the local Jasper chef and Food Network star will be cooking up dishes across the street at FoxTales Book Shoppe and signing his visual feast of a cook book, Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow.  I own a copy of his cookbook and you should too.  Hans found out he had stomach cancer after his stint on Food Network and has a philosophy on life that is not to be missed.  Tonight’s Friday Night Live theme is Beach Party.  See you there!

Color Mastery Workshop at Stitching Barn

Color Mastery Workshop at the Stitching Barn

I spent a gorgeous weekend in Eatonton, GA, near Lake Oconee at a delightful new shop called the Stitching Barn.  Becky Pittman held her grand opening last week and invited me to present a Color Mastery workshop on Saturday.

The shop really was an old dairy barn and is absolutely charming, both inside and out.  Here are photos of the front, with a lovely porch and old equipment.

Stitching Barn Front

Stitching Barn Front - alternate

Becky has not only lovely fabric, but knitting and smocking supplies as well.  I met her knitting and smocking teachers, both experts and so willing to share with their students.  Becky runs the shop with her daughters, so quilting is a family affair for the Pittmans.

Great retreat potential at the Stitching Barn.  Gather your quilting buddies, rent a lake house, and take a workshop from Becky.  Sounds like a delightful plan to me.  Let’s go!

Over at my Color Mastery blog, I’ve posted photos of the exercises we do in class and some interesting results we had from them.  Don’t miss it!

Nesting

I feel like Dorothy after she dreams of faraway places and travels to Oz, only to find out there really is “no place like home.”  I adored every moment of my book tour, all the women (and men) I got to know personally, their stories and quilts, and spring Quilt Market was a fantastic experience.

And now . . . home.  I’ve been hiking among the mountain laurel and ferns.  Sketching every day.  My goal is to sketch each day in June.  To walk in my community and find the everyday gems I’m usually too busy to stop and appreciate.

I’m cooking – a lot.  Nothing like food on the road to make me crave my own healthy cooking.  Today my younger son and I made mini-pizzas for lunch, including our own pizza dough from scratch.  “It’s as fun to make as it is to eat!”  Yep, he really did say that.

And quilting.  Even some hand work at night.  Nothing I can share now, but I promise you’ll see it soon.

The pool every day.  I’m getting golden brown even though I use an SPF 50 sunscreen.  Today we were forced to take a break because it was raining – a downpour really.  So, we sat on the screened porch and napped instead.

This weekend I’ll be at Lake Oconee in Eatonton at the Stitching Barn teaching my Color Mastery workshop.  Join me and shop owner Becky Pittman for a fun-filled Saturday.  Call 706.485.0028 to sign up or just say hi to Becky.  Her shop is brand new this is grand opening week, so stop by, fondle fabric, and enjoy a bit of retail therapy.  I will.

A Color Feast at Sew Bee It

First impressions mean a lot, and I was greeted with a feast of color and a warm welcome as I entered Sew Bee It quilt shop in Ringgold, GA.  Owner Gloria Black gave me a warm hug, introduced me to her fantastic staff, and gave me a tour around her incredible shop.

If I worked at Gloria’s shop, I’d be broke all the time, because every dime of my paycheck would go for the fabric she offers.  Tons of Kaffe Fasset, Amy Butler, Meinke, dupioni silk, beautiful threads and embellishments.  And the samples.  Lots of samples!  And book! I could go on, but you get the idea.  Gorgeous stuff.

We had about 70 quilters attend the lecture on color – a packed house for a small quilt shop!

I will definitely visit again when I have time for some retail therapy.  Until then, next stop:  Sew Much Fun in Columbus, GA!

Color Lecture, Southern-Style

All we were missing was a glass of iced tea as I gave my Color Mastery on the front porch of Magical Threads in Dahlonega, GA.  Pictured here with me are Betty, LeAnn, Anita, Cheri, and DeLynn.  Anita and LeAnn were just starting out as quilters, having made several baby quilts, while Cheri and DeLynn were art quilters.  And they were all thrilled to learn how they can each use their favorite colors in their own quilts, even though they all like different colors and have unique styles.

I’ll be away from home and the computer as I travel to middle and south Georgia this weekend and early next week, and promise more tour photos and news to come!

My Slideshow’s Gone Viral

Guess what? I’m a Rock Star!! Or so says the team over at Slideshare.net. They notified me my slideshow on How to Make a Quilter’s Color Wheel has gone viral, with over 400,000 views.
Here’s the link to the slideshow and the free color wheel chart you can download to do your own. If you enjoyed the slideshow, check out the video tutorials I’ve done on YouTube: short, fun, easy tips on how to get better color in your quilts. I post a new one each month, so subscribe and get them delivered to your mailbox. I’ve got a variety of ways you can stay in touch. You can subscribe to my blog, to my email newsletter, and to my YouTube channel.

My middle-school-aged son will never believe it: Mom’s a Rock Star!

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.