Favorite Books on Color

October 30, 2007 § 1 Comment

Okay, I think it might be time to make another Favorite Books list. This time, let’s talk about color. I will never forget the color class I took in college. I don’t remember if we ever talked about the color wheel that everyone is familiar with. I’m sure we did. But, I do remember a lot of talk about the origin of a color. How is that color created? What color needs to be added to make this new color? And our final project was to recreate as close to an exact match as possible of a wallpaper sample. Sadly, that was a few (cough) years ago and I didn’t keep any of my assignments.

While working in a quilt shop, I often hear that choosing fabrics is one of the things folks struggle with most. Let me just say… I think you can learn about color and gain confidence in your choices. Color sense is not a magical gift. Although, some may pick it up faster than others, it is not impossible to learn good color sense.

So… here are some of my favorite books that talk about color.

Color PlayColor Play by Joen Wolfrom was the first book I purchased about the topic of color. I like to refer to it more for the inspiration that it contains, than to actually study about color. But if studying is what you are desiring, this book talks about the color wheel terminology – primary colors, secondary colors, shades, tints, etc – with examples of quilts pertaining to each topic.

3-in-1 Color ToolThe 3-in-1 Color Tool is the companion tool to the book Color Play. I think it would be a tremendous help for newbies in the world of color. This is how it works:

1. PICK a color or fabric & MATCH the color to one of the 24 Color Cards

2. CHOOSE a color scheme from the 6 options provided for each color.

3. SELECT fabrics that match the Color Cards

4. or… SELECT another scheme and fabrics

5. MAKE your quilt

Visual ColoringAlthough, I don’t own Visual Coloring another book by Joen Wolfrom, I have flipped through the pages often ( and drooled) while I am at work. This book talks about using nature as inspiration for color combinations among other things. And the photographs are stunning! Definitely inspirational!

Quiltmaker's Color WorkshopQuiltmaker’s Color Workshop by Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr is also a good book on color. Again, it contains much of the same information that many books on color do, but the quilt styles are geared towards the modern, fresh quilt designer in mind. It also has a more relaxed feeling than some other books and may feel less intimidating to new quilters.

Color for the Terrified QuilterColor for the Terrified Quilter by Ionne Mccauley & Sharon Pederson is also a great book for new quilters. I love that these authors give you small assignments, mock-up blocks, to develop your color sense. One day I went through my stash to create a color wheel (image above) from fabric (an exercise in Chapter 1) and also adding values from light to dark. It was a real eye-opener for me to see what colors I tend to buy and what colors I tend to avoid. I highly recommend doing this exercise for yourself!

Lastly, check out this site, Color in Motion, for visual illustrations on the psychology of color. But beware, you may be stuck there for some time. It uses really clever Flash technology.

§ One Response to Favorite Books on Color

  • Nicole says:

    How very helpful! Thank you for sharing this. I too have a problem when it comes to choosing fabrics in a shop. Most of the time I’ll buy whatever I like and when I’m at home, trying to find some combinations, I realize that I’m missing some “basic” fabrics.
    I guess I’ll add some of the books to my wish-list, but might have to get the Color Tool right away!

    Oh and I must not forget: Your two last quilts are so beautiful!

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