Pollyanna, Quilting Book Reviewer

Lyda here.

I’m seriously in love with this quilting book I checked out of the library.


(Click on the pic for the link.) It’s “Color from the Heart: Seven Great Ways to Make Quilts With Colors You Love” by Gai Perry (1999). I’m tracking down a copy to buy, and I don’t buy quilting books often. I usually check them out of the library, look at the pictures, and maybe use one or two patterns. This one I want to own.

This book is not a collection of quilting patterns, although it does have a few, including the heart quilt on the cover. Instead, it is an exploration of using color in quilts. It’s already expanded my ideas, and I haven’t even made any of the projects yet.

Rather than dwelling on color theory, Perry focuses on intuition and encourages quilters to work with the colors they love in new and unexpected ways. Based on workshops taught by the author, the book can be used as a personal quilting color class.

Each of the seven lessons includes a small project to make (although you could expand the projects to a larger quilt size), and has pictures of quilts made by the author and her students to illustrate the ideas.

In the first lesson, you work with 40 different fabrics – using one to four 2″ squares of each fabric. This weekend, I started digging through my scrap bags and cutting out 2″ squares. That’s a pretty small square, and a great way to use up scraps and remnants.

The point is spontaneity – learning to let the fabrics fall where they may and seeing that when the pieces are small, they actually work better together. I usually spend a lot of time picking out fabrics that go perfectly together, and I usually use fairly large pieces for my quilts. So this is a good stretch for me.

The book helps you work with color enrichment to give your quilt extra sparkle and depth, and play with contrast and with values (the darkness or lightness of the fabric compared to the other fabrics). It also guides you in finding inspiration in unexpected places.

There a great chapter about using visualization to create a quilt based on a person, place, special event, or memory. I love this idea – and realize that I’ve been doing something similar when I create a quilt for a specific person. I think this would also be an awesome way to create a quilt that evokes the mood you want to create in a space. A meditation quilt, a healing quilt, a playful quilt… Quilts for the different areas of the feng shui bagua… So many ideas in my head! If only this whole work thing didn’t get in the way of the important stuff!

I’m planning a heart quilt (based on the book’s cover quilt) for the Fame area of our place.

A small quilt.



Why is Anna-Liza laughing?


6 thoughts on “Pollyanna, Quilting Book Reviewer

  1. annaliza

    One bit of advice I really like about creating color combinations: When using several colors you love, throw in a small amount of a color you normally dislike. It will make the other colors stand out. Try it!

    Laughing? Me?

  2. KarenM.

    LOL, I am laughing too, considering I know you only virtually, I can see that you like to take on large things….school…manly neck afghans….instead of tiny hats and mittens you jump into making baby blankets…BIG boy quilts….I kind of suspect that your version of small is just a bit larger that the norm 🙂

  3. lyda Post author

    That’s a good tip, Anna-Liza. I’ve also found that including some duller colors makes the richer colors pop. (And yes, laughing. A lot.)

    KarenM… I see I’m not fooling you. Heh.

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