Color and Value

The WAQG owns some excellent books to help quilters choose colors and fabrics for dynamic quilts. Some of these books explain color theory. Others show quilters how to use techniques to create spectacular special effects based on color combinations. Our library also has several books featuring redwork, and quilts in specific color families. Updated July 5, 2019.


Alderman, Betty. Favorite Redwork Designs. AQS, 1999. 95 pages. Book #1992. (After brief instructions on redwork embroidery, this book has patterns and instructions for 7 quilting projects.) [Tags: Color, Embroidery, Redwork]

Amsden, Deirdre. Colorwash Quilts. That Patchwork Place, 1994. 147 pages. Books #1551 and #1712, 2 copies. (This book defines “colorwash” as the use of “a graded wash of color, using small patches of fabric.” There are instructions for 7 projects, but most of the book is filled with helpful information on design, color, and technique.) [Tags: Color, Scrap Quilts]

Beyers, Jinny. Jinny Beyer’s Color Confidence for Quilters. Quilt Digest Press, 1992. 134 pages, plus “Color Swatches and Master Palettes.” Book #1781. (The author explains the “master palette concept” and the three ingredients “most important for a successful color scheme,” which she calls shading, “the deep dark,” and the accent. Color photos and black and white diagrams illustrate color combinations and value.) [Tags: Color, Value]

Crow, Nancy. Gradations. Quilt House, 1995.   39 pages. Book #0307. (This beautifully illustrated book shows ways to use gradations of color value and gives brief instructions for 7 projects.) [Tags: Color, Value]

Dahlstrom, Carol Field, Ed. Better Homes and Gardens Two-Color Quilts. Meredith, 2004. 190 pages. Book #1594. (The quilt projects in this book combine white with a single other color, mostly red or blue, to create quilts in different patchwork patterns.) [Tags: Color, Patchwork]

Hammond, Suzanne Tessier. Designing Quilts: The Value of Value. That Patchwork Place, 1994. 79 pages. Book #0305. (This book is in three parts. The first gives information about value and color in quilt design. This is followed by a gallery and brief instructions for 6 patchwork quilts. Finally, there are general instructions for making a quilt.) [Tags: Value, Color, Patchwork]

Krush, Pearl Louise. Garden Party Stitchery. House of White Birches, 2012. 48 pages. Book #1960. (This book has patterns and instructions for floral-themed redwork.) [Tags: Color, Redwork, Flowers, Embroidery]

Learn to Do Redwork. ASN, 1999. 65 pages. Book #1408. (After a brief history of and introduction to redwork techniques, this book contains animal, floral, and character designs and 5 projects.) [Tags: Color, Embroidery]

Magaret, Pat Maixner, and Donna Ingram Slusser. Watercolor Quilts. That Patchwork Place, 1993. 111 pages + pattern. Book #1416. (This book takes readers step by step to the creation of quilts in the style of Impressionist paintings. There is useful advice on fabric selection and organization, brief instructions for 6 projects, an extensive gallery, and a dozen pages of general instructions on quilt making.) [Tags: Color, Design]

Penders, Mary Coyne. Color and Cloth. Quilt Digest Press, 1995. 143 pages. Book #0303. (This book introduces readers to the major attributes of color and fabric—hue, value, scale, visual contrast, and so forth. Each concept is accompanied by useful exercises for helping quilters analyze and select fabrics.) [Tags: Color, Fabric, Design]

Perry, Gai. Color from the Heart: Seven Great Ways to Make Quilts with Colors You Love. C&T Pub., 1999. 112 pages. Book #0304. (After an introduction to color theory, the author offers 7 lessons in combining colors in quilts. Each lesson is illustrated by a gallery of quilts.) [Tags: Color, Design]

Perry, Gai. Impressionist Palette: Quilt Color & Design. C&T Pub., 1997. 128 pages. Book #1550. (This book combines color theory, Impressionism, and landscapes. General instructions for 6 projects are included. The quilts in this book are based on careful selection of small squares to create landscapes.) [Tags: Color, Design, Landscapes]

Schmitz, Kathy. Simple Pleasures in Redwork. Leisure Arts, 2011. 52 pages + patterns. Book #1961. (This book gives instructions for 10 small projects and includes illustrations for embroidery stitches.) [Tags: Color, Embroidery, Beyond Quilts]

Seely, Ann, and Joyce Stewart. Color Magic for Quilters. Rodale, 1997. 256 pages. Book #3121. (This book gives tips on what colors go together and fabric selection. Instructions for 13 colorful quilts are included.)

Townswick, Jane. Color-Based Applique. That Patchwork Place, 2003. 127 pages. Book #0130. (This author uses color blending to make floral appliques of many different shades. She gives instructions for quilt blocks of 12 floral varieties.) [Tags: Applique, Flowers, Color]

Warren, Elizabeth V. Red & White Quilts: Infinite Variety. Skira Rizzoli, 2015. 352 pages. Book #1930. (A catalog of nearly 800 red and white quilts from the “Infinite Variety” exhibition in New York, all owned by a Long Island collector.) [Tags: Color, Gallery]

Wolfrom, Joen. Color Play: Easy Steps to Imaginative Color in Quilts. C&T Pub., 2000. 144 pages. Book #1877. (After an introduction to color theory, this book is organized by devoting a chapter to each major color. The final chapter shows how color can create illusions.) [Tags: Color, Design]



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