Thursday, August 18, 2016

Quilt Coloring Books - What Do You Think?

As you may know, I've designed quilts for publication for close to 25 years. Between my 14 years as Special Projects Editor for Quilt Magazine, my 3 books, my 13 Block a Day desktop calendars and 3 wall calendars of quilts - I honestly think at times that my brain is empty!


We're not talking hundreds of patterns; we're talking thousands! Yikes!

2017 Block & Quilt Pattern Calendar

So, I've been thinking of creating some adult coloring books featuring a LOT of quilts. What do you think? Do you enjoy coloring? Do you like themes, like Stars, Vintage 30s series, Civil War, Applique Baskets, etc?

I've approached two of my publishers and we'll see what they say. I can always get them up on my Craftsy site. And you know that I always offer a LOT of FREE patterns. So, let's just say this is FREE PATTERN FRIDAY, ok?

So, here are a few small projects you can color. They are pdf and you can print multiples of the black and white pages and color to your heart's content. You can increase the size in printing because I've included a 1" square on each page (you'll have to do your own math!)

Let me know your ideas about this whole thing. I promise to answer on the blog (only one of my computers allows me to do this; I typically answer everyone via email if your email shows up). I think this would be a good blog discussion. Or maybe I'm having hallucinations!

I'm calling this my Color Me! series.

Blooming Hearts is a traditional appliqué pattern:

Blooming Hearts Applique Pattern
Sunbonnet Sue as she appears on my Craftsy pattern site (the pattern sells for $5; 14" block and 104" x 114" queen sized quilt). You can have the coloring pages free!

Sunbonnet Sue
 And another vintage pattern for a butterfly. You will get this quilt assembly to color as well as the Vintage Butterfly in a line drawing.

Vintage Butterflies
Give me your thoughts. How many pages should even an eBook contain? Do you want to print your own or would you rather buy a book already printed?

Thanks for letting me share a new (and maybe crazy) idea with you.

48 comments:

  1. I know they are popular right now, but truthfully - I don't get it.

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    1. I don't get it either, but I wanted to see what quilters think. I think they'd rather sew, don't you?!

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    2. Definitely rather sew. When I was young my parents totally encouraged my creativity. When my children were young, "coloring outside the lines" seemed like the best way to encourage creativity. Coloring books - No.

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  2. Here's where I think it would be really great - coloring variations to help me decide which colors look best together. I know I'll do that with the butterfly sheet! I have seen younger quilters are doing a lot of coloring. It is very relaxing, isn't it? I also know that the daughters of some of my friends love to color things that are different.

    I think it would be good to try it out and see. You won't really know if you don't try, right? Maybe 20 coloring pages? I have no trouble printing my own, and buying a pre-printed book would also be great. I think for this, you don't want a print on each side, do you? It would have to be great quality paper for that, not children's-coloring-book quality.

    Aren't there some self-printing sites which offer an option to get books either way? Or maybe a magazine might like a coloring page as a regular feature - with some ideas for a quilt like it? I'm all about brainstorming! =)

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    1. If I do any publishing, it will be on Craftsy where the end user will do the printing. I think quilters do like having a quilt layout to audition their fabrics, but not sure they want to spend sewing time coloring!

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    2. yes, I agree with you. I design a lot of my projects and audition different colorways. Great idea!

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  3. PS, the first two coloring pages downloaded fine, but the butterflies go to a 404 page. =) I'll be back tomorrow and check again. Thank you for sharing these ideas with us!

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    1. I fixed the link for the Butterfly and it works now. THANK YOU, Susan, for the heads up on that.

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  4. I know these coloring books for grown-ups are every where so you would probably do great with them.But personally,I am like Vrooman's Quilts, I just don't get the popularity.

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  5. Personally, I do not want coloring books because they take away time I can use to quilt or crochet.

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    1. Yes, I crochet, too and if I need to keep my hands busy without a sewing machine, I turn to my hooks and yarn. Very portable and productive. I can give away the pot holders and scarves I make. Who wants my coloring books?

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  6. I love coloring, especially in adult coloring books. Would prefer a thick book with lots of pages. The thin ones are too expensive. Go BIG!!

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    1. I agree about the number of pages. I think there should be a lot of them. And for quilting, a repeat of motifs (like 4 pages of butterflies) so you can consider different colors.

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  7. Debby, I enjoying coloring for many years, well into adulthood, but now prefer to "save" my sometimes-arthritic hands for crochet and knit projects when I take a break from quilting. My favorite way to test colors is to pull out fabric and "play with it." That said, the timing of your post is almost eerie! My mother has lived in a memory care unit since her diagnosis with Alzheimer's a few years ago. Many residents enjoy the artistic outlet of coloring (crayons, pencils, washable markers) but it can be difficult to find coloring pages that are appropriate for age (no big-eyed puppies), faith (nothing racy), and cognition (nothing psychedelic; medium-large areas to color). A few months ago I drew several star blocks which the director photocopied; the resulting colored pages were then mounted onto various colors of construction paper and hung on the walls for display. Yesterday I was looking at your page-a-day calendars (I have 2) and saw several good options. May we "talk" about my getting your permission to use some of your applique blocks for "Memory Lane" coloring projects? Perhaps a compromise between free and buying one for each of the 24 residents? Thank you as always for inspiration. (janeherbst at roadrunner dot com)

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    1. Love this idea. Good luck with what you are doing to help your Mother and her new friends....

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  8. I, too, would rather "play" with the fabric. I just don't get the coloring book, but I think that--considering those in stores--I'm in the minority! :-)

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    1. I prefer fabric, too! I don't think you're in the minority.

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  9. I spend most of my free time sewing and quilting. At night I usually watch tv and try to knit when my cats are not on top of me wanting attention. I know these coloring books are popular but for me, I just think it's a waste of time. I coordinate colors for my quilts by pulling fabric from my stash. Or I play with a pattern on EQ. I' d rather leave coloring to the grandkids.

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    1. I would rather work directly with the fabric, too, Joan.

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  10. I bought some of the coloring books when they first started showing up and even bought some for my grandkids and future DIL for Christmas because they all wanted mine. They were fun to do when I was stressed, because I used to go to my kitchen and bake when I was stressed. Because of some health problems, I can no longer spend that much time in my kitchen baking like I used to, so the coloring books were a good substitute for those times. I created a place to store the books, along with the colored pencils and markers I bought to use in them so they weren't laying in the way in my sewing room. The old saying 'out of sight, out of mind' rings true for my books once I had put them away. I never think to pull them out so most of mine haven't been touched for quite some time and none are even half filled with colors and I've had mine more than a year now.

    Personally, I think it was a new thing to do and everyone jumped onto the bandwagon so everyone had their own coloring book(s) being offered in all types of design from paisley to animals and so many others. At one point it seemed like everyone was offering their own coloring books. I haven't been seeing too many for sale lately, although I am seeing them for sale in the clearance sales from the few publishers I get emails from with quite a few at prices that aren't much more than a few dollars. So, were they a phase, or did the market just get too oversaturated with them? I didn't feel the need myself to buy more than one or two of them because don't have a lot of free time to sit and color. Almost all of the coloring books I saw were more like artwork to color as opposed to actual quilts or quilt blocks though.

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    1. I'm not sure how much longer this trend will stick around, Vicki. I think offering some quilting coloring books that people can print will be fun. And I can do a lot of that for FREE from my patterns that have already paid for themselves. Thanks for all your good words.

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  11. To try out different color ways, I use EQ7--much faster than coloring by hand. Have used coloring books a few times for designs for appliqué.

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    1. Yes, I see a lot of EQ references. It works much quicker than paper!

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  12. I was colouring as an adult long before it became popular. I really enjoy it as a stress buster. There are many days when my health and/or stress level do not allow me to concentrate on my crafts yet an hour of colouring is not only doable but enjoyable.
    I have looked at the quilting colouring books but have not bought any so far. I have bought animal portraits, Canadiana, will be buying a dragon book and a quilting colouring book soon.

    I say go for it.

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    1. Oops. I have printed pages on card stock and I have bought books. Single page thick paper is best for books or there is bleeding. I prefer a variety of designs in a book - an all applique version would not be as interesting to me as a book with lots of variation in style.

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    2. I like that idea of variation in designs. Won't get boring, for sure!

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  13. I color... BUT>.. I also use the coloring books as scanning fodder for my Babylock Destiny. I have found that I can scan and stitch which takes quilting to a new level. I'll bring a sample to FBurg. I think a quilt block book that I can use for and making blocks and quilting would be fun. Opens a new "no long arm but still fancy" in the hoop quilting opportunity.

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    1. Oh, good, Judy! I'm anxious to see what you have. I love embroidery designs.

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  14. I would love one of your coloring books and if possible a downloadable one, shipping internationally is so expensive these days. I find the coloring books very relaxing especially when travelling.

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    1. Now that's something I haven't thought of, Ruthie. International people. Wow! Let's go for the eColoring Books! And make them with a lot of pages, right? Thanks for that thought.

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  15. I love to quilt...and my stash shows it. Although I do not buy new fabric, I love to recycle..I like the challenge of finding the perfect piece to use in my quilt blocks. I love the coloring aspect of your ebook idea. I have arthritis of the hands and using and holding pencils help me to keep grasping skills for sewing. I would enjoy having a book of your quilt blocks to detail on my own. What fun to have a Debby without the ie, book full of some of your amazing blocks.....

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    1. You're too kind, Rosie. I'm going to work on this using my 13+ Block a Day calendars for a start. And there will be a wide range of designs. I'll test drive things here on my blog, ok?

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  16. I would love a few pages of coloring. I don't do it enough but love the ones that are quilt blocks. I've not bought one of those yet but would love one that I could download and print. As I age, more days will be coming when I will find more time to color.

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    1. I think having an ebook is a good idea. Print media is really struggling these days. But we all have printers and can print just what we want to color.

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  17. I love the coloring books - I find them relaxing and stress-busting. I also crochet and embroider but sometimes the sheer joy of laying color down on paper is what I want. I love the idea of a downloadable book and being able to print multiple copies of a particular design. I also like the idea of a variety of types of blocks/quilts: applique, pieced, paper pieced, traditional, modern, etc. I like exploring new ideas and this is a great way to do it.

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    1. Good thoughts there, Janie. Crochet is my other love, too. I think I'm going to mix it up with the designs. Of course, this is easy for me since I have ADHD! ha ha

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  18. I love this idea. I think for people like me who enjoy multiple artistic forms this is just another thing I can put in my to-go bag. Also, sometimes busy mom's like me don't have time to sew and want to spend time with kids, so if we have coloring time together having a coloring book like this would appeal to me while they work on their pictures. Plus, it could lead to ideas for more quilts! Go For It!

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    1. Yes, more ideas and ways to use up our stash. (that's a weird thought: use up our stash? I'm hallucinating, right?)

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  19. I have found coloring relaxing when I can't be quilting. I had to search a good bit before I found a book I actually liked. it can't be just any coloring book. It needs light (not dark) lines and the material needs to bring me joy when i see it even un-colored. When I started reading this I got really excited!!! Coloring for relaxing and with a purpose. I'd color these multiple times with different colors to play with color a bit so I vote for an ebook coloring book. To be able to "colorize" a quilt before I start looking for fabric would be fantastic!!! This is a really good idea!!! Wendy - quiltbeach@gmail.com

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    1. Wendy. Like your comment about thin and not thick lines. Good thought! Thanks

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  20. I do my colorizing in EQ7 when necessary, so sitting and coloring with pencils seems like time stolen from my sewing! I'm sure it's very relaxing, but I love to do applique and that's how I spend my time away from my machine.

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    1. Karen. Yes, I'm all about sewing and not coloring.

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  21. I love to color and to have a design I can use in a quilt is fantastic. Thank you!

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  22. My little ole opinion is DO NOT bother getting a book done. I know for a fact there is other quilting color books out there already and I would not buy one. I have several color books and my kids have them. I would rather use EQ7 to do any coloring.
    Love the idea of a free pattern released as free. Thanks for the current freebie!
    Love your patterns. Keep up the good work. I am going to get your 2017 calendars this year. It is already on my wish list for x-mas!

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  23. My sister is intellectually challenged and for years a welcome gift for her was coloring books and colors. Then she got the notion that it was a kiddy behavior and so that became an unwelcome gift. Imagine my joy when adult coloring books appeared on the scene. Now she welcomes this gift again and so do I. I specially like your idea of the coloring book serving two purposes - as a straight-up coloring book, and as a quilting design tool. I say go for it. I'll buy them. Just one thing: I would like the pre-printed version for my sis (to send to her as a gift) and the pdf version for me. My choice at purchase time. Love your work Debby, and always find your tutorials easy to follow.
    Neame

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  24. Excellent idea going to share this post with my readers - go for it!

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  25. I missed this post somehow, but thought I'd put my two cents worth in anyhow, even though it's probably too late. I will speak from the prospective of a quilt shop owner first. I bought a selection of coloring books last year, not many, with themes that I thought would go well with the 2015 Row by Row hop. Needless to say, the books didn't sell well and it took forever to get rid of the ones I had. I've not bought any more and can't say as I've had anyone really asking for them. I think when faced with the option of coloring a quilt picture or spending that same amount of time on actually piecing, the piecing will win out given time is almost always at a premium for busy women.

    Personally, I don't see the point of adults coloring unless you're trying to teach or entertain a small child. I did enjoy Zentangle when it was all the rage, but at least that exercise can be translated into quilting designs. As for auditioning color choices for a new quilt design, it would be so much quicker to use software.

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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com