Monday, January 17, 2011
The Art Quilt Collection
Apparently, one of the advantages of writing a long-time, somewhat prolific quilting (and/or other arts) blog is being given the opportunity to review the occasional product or book - I've seen this happen on other blogs, and looked on enviously, but haven't had the chance to take part in such a golden opportunity myself. Until now, that is - and it was well worth the wait as it was indeed a golden opportunity being asked if I'd like to review Sixth & Spring's new book: The Art Quilt Collection (Designs and Inspiration from Around the World).
The Art Quilt Collection is a beautifully presented book, which strives to visit a wide variety of art quilts from many different artists around the world, in many different types and styles, from the largely realistic to the highly abstract, stopping anywhere and everywhere in between. If you have never been sure you liked art quilts because they were too "out there", this book will have something for you; if you like those art quilts which are based on the traditional, but with a contemporary or modern edge, this book will have something for you; if you are a fan of the weird and wonderful - those pieces verging on the "but is it really a quilt" edge of art quilting - this book will have something for you. Hang on, a minute, you're thinking - that's pretty much everyone- yes, it is.
[This book would also make an excellent weapon against all those people who, when you mention you're a quilter, say things like "oh, you mean you make those blanket things with leftover dressmaking fabrics" and "what's the point of cutting fabric apart only to stitch it back together again?" or - god forbid - "but is sewing really an artform?".]
Laid out basically one quilt & artist to a page (except where a technique is described), the book presents a short artist statement with a description of the materials and techniques used in making the featured quilt. A good sized full-colour photo of the quilt (or quilted object) is accompanied by a smaller detail photo. A handful of pieces come with the added bonus of a tutorial for using some of the methods themselves, including pleating, using colour photographs on fabric, fusing small scraps to make a new fabric, and so on. That said, The Art Quilt Collection is first and foremost a book for looking rather than doing - and looking again, and again - and then probably again and again.
This is a sumptious book, full of things to admire and be inspired by and would make an excellent quilter's gift, or treat to yourself. Definitely a keeper.
The Art Quilt Collection: Designs & Inspiration from Around the World
Foreword by Linda Seward
October 2010, Sixth & Spring Books
see sample pages on Sixth & Spring's website