Book Review – Color Essentials by Amanda Murphy

I’m so excited I get to share my review of a fantastic book with you today. It’s called Color Essentials by Amanda Murphy (author of Modern Holiday and recently featured on Quilty’s meet a modern quilter.)

Color Essentials

Color Essentials by Amanda Murphy

This is a book after my own heart. It features 12 crisp and vibrant quilts (3 smaller projects and 9 full-size quilts) made from precut solids. Need I say more? Don’t worry – I will!

Color Essentials starts off with a fantastic presentation on color theory using Amanda’s cleverly designed “Kona Color Wheel”. All of the quilts in this book were made entirely from Kona Solid precuts in three gorgeous coloways – Sunrise, Sunset and Bright. In fact, Amanda partnered with Robert Kaufman to create the first two palettes to go along with the book. How fantastic!

Kona Sunrise

Kona Sunrise

Kona Sunset

Kona Sunset


Amanda divides the colors up into warm and cool hues and uses actual Kona Solid fabric swatches to illustrate examples of color play interactions. She offers suggestions on how to pick the colors for your projects and includes several pages of Kona color swatch charts for you to use.

If you liked using solid fabrics before (like me), you will fall in love with them after viewing these gorgeous quilts. Amanda includes a wide range of skill levels and techniques in her book including strip piecing, machine applique, handwork, and non-traditional finishes such as prairie points and zig-zag bindings.

Color Essentials

Color Essentials Quilts by Amanda Murphy

My favorite part of the book is where she shows 3-4 alternate colorway possibilities for each quilt! It really gets your creative juices flowing. There is plenty of machine quilting eye-candy for you to drool over and I was so proud to read that she even quilted a few of them herself!

Illusion Pillow

Illusion Pillow, Pieced and Quilted by Amanda Murphy

Throughout the book, Amanda encourages you to move outside your comfort zone and experiment with new color combinations that you may not have tried before. I think this is a wonderful approach to quilt-making which can yield beautiful results.

Color Essentials is published by Stashbooks (C&T) and it consists of a total of 143 gloriously illustrated pages with full-color diagrams throughout. You can purchase it on Amazon or at your favorite Quilt Shop!

13 thoughts on “Book Review – Color Essentials by Amanda Murphy

  1. Lori Smanski says:

    this looks fantastic. Inspiration everywhere I look. So cool. My husband is having fun watching me mentally come up with ideas, even helping me when he thinks I am mentally stuck, love it. Thanks for your inspiration to all of us

  2. VickiT says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this book. The one area I have horrible trouble with is choosing fabrics and I’ve read more than once if you start with solids and learn to use the color wheel you will have an easier time when you start working with prints and trying to pick fabrics for any quilt. I have consistently loved all the work Amanda does so I’m sure this book will be a great addition to my ever-growing library. This one however, I believe will be one book I refer to often as I try to gain more confidence in my fabric choices for any quilt. Great review Christa. Thank you.

  3. thomasean says:

    LOL!! I bought it cos you said so!! I love solids. I have such trouble with color. It took me a long time to accept that clear red, clear yellow, clear green and clear blue look clownish together…I was heartbroken then afraid. I need all the help I can get. Thank you so very much for this post.

  4. Teje says:

    Wow, that looks very delicious book! I haven’t used much solids yet but now I love them more and more! Wish I had that Kona Sunrise bundle to make that quilt with little flowers! x Teje

  5. Liz Therrien says:

    The illusion pillow looks very similar, in style, to the WONDERFUL items that I received yesterday in my surprise box from you!! I…can…not…believe…that you sent me those beautiful squares, two of which were fully quilted. Ladies, she is incredibly talented!!! My mere words do not do her quilting justice. I am one very lucky, and very happy quilter right now. Now I have to decide how I am going to finish the two that were already quilted. I have to live with them for a bit before I decide. Thank you again for your generosity. The box made my week!!

  6. Michele says:

    There isn’t a single thing that Amanda has done that I don’t love including her 1st book and her fabric lines. This one is definitely getting added to my list. Thanks for the great review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s