Choosing colors can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of quilting, but also one of the most frustrating when the match-ups just don’t seem to work together. Most quilters rely on their instincts to put a palette together, but don’t have the skills to determine what the problem is when it just doesn’t look right. Enter Color Mastery.
Peagler is an award-winning fine art quilter and writer who teaches quilting workshops on color and design. While taking up watercolor painting, she learned how to use a color wheel and realized that its principles could be applied to quilting. Other books have introduced the wheel to quilters, but usually focused on one of the three color elements—hue, value or intensity—more than the other two. Peagler chooses a more even-handed approach. “I didn’t take this approach just to be different,” she explains. “I did it because it’s crucial to understanding how to make the most of the color relationships in your quilts.”
The first part of the book focuses on creating color wheels from quilters’ own fabric stashes, an exercise that simultaneously teaches the elements of color while examining a quilter’s inventory and identifying areas that may be lacking. For instance, intensity refers to how bright or dull a color is. People tend to gravitate toward one end of the spectrum or the other, which can result in a shortage of fabrics from the opposite end that would add dimension to their quilts.
The second part uses the color wheel to create projects reflecting six different harmonies: groupings on the color wheel that work well together. Each quilt project includes a list of materials, color diagrams, step-by-step directions for creating the quilt, and a color photo of the finished project.
Peagler’s writing voice is friendly and humorous, but she remains focused and professional throughout this guide, resulting in a book that is both highly informative and interesting to read. Her passion for color is contagious, and the exercises are meaningful and fun to do. While the book is geared toward quilters with at least a basic knowledge of quilting, she also explains how these concepts can be applied to other fiber arts such as knitting, weaving, and cross-stitch. Peagler equates her book to a “road map” for putting together colors that work, and she delivers on her promise when she says, “Follow the map…and your quilts will be transformed from blah to brilliant!”