Book Review :: Transparency Quilts

The clever folks at the Modern Quilt Studio, Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, have combined a color tutorial and ten modern quilt projects into their book "Transparency Quilts". Published in 2011 by C&T Publishing, this book is a unique lesson in applying color theory to fabrics, patterns and quilts.

Let me just say at the outset that this is a great addition to any quilter's library. First off, there's the whole idea of applying color theory to fabric, which is a twist on applying color theory to, say, paint. The focus of this book is to use color theory to produce patterns in fabric that mimic transparent surfaces, and begins with a case study for creating color palettes. The authors explore the role of balancing color hue and saturation in composing a successful transparency effect. The transparencies explored in their quilt projects are modeled on various concepts, including plaids, geometric patterns, circles, and vertical strips. It's clear that Ringle and Kerr have spent time and energy developing these concepts, and yet their explanations and examples are clear and concise.

Then there are the goodies! The book includes 10 quilt projects, each one rated for skill level and/or time. The directions are clearly separated into logical steps like cutting, block-making, and quilt assembly. The layout is clear and uncluttered, and it seemed to me that each project is very do-able. !Bonus! Each quilt project is sized three ways: Wall/Baby, Napping (mmm. . . ), and Full/Queen. Every project is laid out with easy to follow graphic illustrations, notes and tips for layout and construction, and homey photos of each completed quilt. !Bonus Two! Color variations are illustrated for each project, so you can compare the effects of using different color combinations. The authors have even shown the quilting pattern and thread color they used for each of their finished pieces. 

The more I looked at this book, the more I wanted to make at least a couple of these quilts. Ringle and Kerr have really done their homework and put together a really great lesson on composition and color for the modern quilter. Someone at our December meeting will win a copy of this book and take home a great reference and project compendium--will you be the lucky one?

The Book : a December PMQG give-away!

Weeks Ringle with a variety of transparency quilts