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Friday, June 01, 2007


Book Review: Visual Coloring, by Joen Wolfrom

Visual Coloring: A Foolproof Approach to Color-rich Quilts
By Joen Wolfrom
C&T Publishing, 2007
Paperbound, 96 pages, $27.95 retail
Click on the title for a discounted price!

We have observed previously in our reviews that one of the most intimidating aspects of quilting for many people is the selection and coordination of colors. Many quilters have no color training, often do not trust their own eye, and have no practical rules of thumb to guide them.
Joen Wolfrom, known for her ravishing quilts and innovative techniques, is offering a solution in her new book, Visual Coloring. Her method has the great advantage of being very simple and automatically adapted to your personality and color preferences. Explore the world around you for color combinations that please you (nature is a great place to do this, as well as printed matter), put the images you collect (by your own photography, easier all the time with digital cameras, or by clipping magazines, books, calendars, greeting cards . . . the list is endless.) Save these images in folders keyed to different color combinations -- desert earthtones, for instance, or sky and water blues. The process of compiling these collections serves several purposes -- to make you more comfortable with color, to help you identify the colors you are drawn to, and to provide you a baseline from which to choose fabric colors for your quilts.

So why, to explain such a simple idea, do you need a 96-page book? Well, if you didn't have the book you wouldn't see the many colorful examples Wolfrom provides, and the technique by which you apply this color system to fabric (and quilt design) selection. You would also be missing out on the stunning quilt gallery that demonstrates how the technique works, and the detailed instructions for applying it to five included quilt projects.

Joen Wolfrom has proven her credentials as a master of color in her art and in her previous books, such as Color Play. In this book she cements that reputation, with an amazing color tour de force and an elegant, thoughtful approach that at once challenges quilters and puts them at ease with color.

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