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From software to mastering color
Author helps quilters learn about contrast
Quilting pic
Jeanne Rish, left, owner of Sew Memorable, and Maria Peagler prepare fabric bundles for Peagler’s book launch party Friday. Peagler will be briefly discussing color mastery in quilting, as well as where to find the latest color trends. - photo by Photo/Elizabeth Hamilton

With a journalism degree from the University of Georgia, author Maria Peagler says “writing is what I do.”


Having previously published seven books about computer software, Peagler has recently published her eighth book called “Color Mastery: 10 Principles of Creating Stunning Quilts.”


“My specialty is taking complicated information and making it simple,” said Peagler.


Peagler said that she has been sewing for more than 30 years, and her interest in quilting began after she attended a quilt guild when she was 29-years-old.


“At the guild, I realized that quilting was an art and I fell in love with it,” said Peagler. “It is something that takes a long time to learn how to do, and it took me a while to learn it, but one of the elements that always alluded me was color.”


Peagler noted that the colors and fabrics are what drew her into quilting, but had a hard time putting them together to make a quilt. She has since discovered that this was something that many aspiring quilters struggle with.


“I couldn’t figure out how to put colors together to make my quilts beautiful,” Peagler said. “I didn’t fully understand the color wheel or know what to do with it.”


In her search for understanding color, Peagler embarked on becoming a watercolorist, and it was during this time that she came to understand how to make colors work together.


Peagler said: “Once I understood color and started making quilts after I became a watercolorist, they became phenomenally better.”


Peagler emphasized that quilters don’t necessarily need to understand color in terms of mixing or making them, but rather more along the lines of understanding contrast.


“Quilting books generally have a standard formula that feature a ‘gallery of quilts,’ which shows the reader different types of quilts and how to make them, but they don’t show you anything about color,” Peagler said.


“In this book, I developed my own exercises and my own quilts that encompass color instruction, as well as quilt making techniques,” Peagler said. “I combined my background in teaching and course work development with my background in quilting, which is rare and what makes this book so unique.”


Peagler continued to say that one thing she has found in coursework and the classroom setting is that people who are very knowledgeable about a particular topic may not know how to teach it, or break it down in simple terms for anyone to understand.


“With this book, I can take somebody in a class and get them to a place where they can not only make the quilts in the book, but also make the quilts they want to make and get outstanding color in them,” said Peagler.


“The main purpose and focus of the book is to take the difficult and complicated tasking of quilting and break it down so that anyone can make a quilt with colors they like and colors that work together.


“I want to make quilting easy and accessible for people who want to learn how, and I think that is what this book does,” added Peagler. “I know what it feels like to be intimidated with so many color and fabric choices and not knowing where or how to start.”


Peagler also says that her book will help reduce the initimidation factor to allow any person to learn how to quilt and how to make a quilt with the colors of their choice.


To showcase the book and introduce it to the people of Dawson County, Sew Memorable, a local quilting shop, will be hosting a book launch party for Peagler’s newest publication.


The party begins at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 and will feature Peagler briefly talking about mastering color quilts and where to spot the best color trends.


“She has a magic touch with color and with teaching,” said Jeanne Rish, owner of Sew Memorable.


“She [Peagler] is very knowledgeable about quilting and how to make colors work, and she can also teach it very well. She is very encouraging and most people begin to quilt well, without even knowing it,” Rish added.


Peagler will be autographing books as well as giving away gift bags to the first 25 people who purchase a book.


Peagler will also have some of her work on display, which will feature different styles and techniques of quilting.


Peagler is currently a resident of the Big Canoe community in Dawsonville, and has lived in Dawson County for about six years. She lives with her husband and two sons, and spends her spare time watercolor painting and hiking in the mountains.


For more information about the book or launch party, call Sew Memorable at (706) 265-2121. Sew Memorable is located at 4055 Hwy. 53 East, Suite 110, Dawsonville.


E-mail Elizabeth Hamilton at