When I was at QuiltCon 2017 last weekend I had the immense pleasure of meeting the artist, quilter, and author Thomas Knauer. But that wasn't the first time I had heard of him. I had previously listened to a podcast interview that he gave to Abby Glassenberg back in January. Let me tell you... that interview had me in tears! His perspective on the quilting industry and, more particularly, the reasons that he quilts really touched me. You have to listen to it.
Fast forward to QuiltCon, and I had my eye out for him. I was not surprised to find that in person he is truly as thoughtful, passionate, and sensitive as he seemed from the audio interview. In fact, he gave me a copy of his new book to review and then arranged for his publisher to send another copy out to a giveaway winner. So if you are reading this article while it is new, go to my giveaway page and enter to win one for yourself!
Whether people were surprised or not, The Quilt Design Coloring Workbook was a runaway smash hit at QuiltCon. The bookseller that attended and hosted a book signing literally ran out of books during the book signing - they were all sold (that's why Thomas had to give me his own personal copy)!
I didn't get a chance to really read it until I was on the plane going home, but I instantly saw what all the fuss is about. This isn't just a coloring book, and it isn't just a book on quilt design - it's both!
Thomas Knauer has created and taught art for over 25 years, plus he's a quilter, so he is uniquely qualified to teach the fundamentals of design as they apply to beautiful quilts. He has designed fabric with Andover and Kokka, plus he is the host of the QNNTV series Design Studio with Thomas Knauer.
In The Quilt Design Coloring Workbook, Thomas presents essays about Color, Space, Balance, Chance and Intuition, and more, and then gives you the opportunity to practice these principles with workbook-style coloring pages that you can actually use!
Well, I can't bring myself to color in this beautiful book. I'm going to copy the pages on my home printer (as suggested) so I can do each exercise again and again in different color combinations.
To make it even more like an art school textbook, at the end of the book Thomas includes an Appendix with references to modern art movements and artists as well as art history textbooks for further reading. Let me tell you, this book plus the Designing Modern Quilts Workshop that I took with Christa Watson have just about turned me into a modern quilt designer!
You can still find The Quilt Design Coloring Workbook on Amazon (until it sells out there too, lol). And if you are curious about my pretty burlap and lace colored pencil roll (that I sewed for my daughter), the free tutorial is here.