I generally post my book reviews to my book blog, but this book just "feels at home" here on Musing Crow, and I thought that you might enjoy knowing aI generally post my book reviews to my book blog, but this book just "feels at home" here on Musing Crow, and I thought that you might enjoy knowing about it.
Ruth Isset is one of my favorite color artists. Her passion for color is obvious and dominates all of her work, both textiles as well and paper. I was enthralled by her 1999 book, "Colour On Cloth", which focused on some special effects of dye on cloth and stitch. Her 2007 release "Print, Pattern and Colour" is another favorite . These two books have remained solidly on my book shelf through all of my recent book purges . They are both keepers as is this new book, "A Passion or Colour".
A 'Passion For Colour', whose subtitle is 'Exploring Colour Through Paper, Paint, Fabric, Thread and Stitch', just about says it all. The same passion for color, the same amazing imagery and excellent instructions and the same color sparks for your own creativity abound in the pages of this book. Search Press always seems to hit the 'nail on the head' when they publish textile arts books, and this book is no exception to that rule.
Some sections of the book that I especially enjoyed are: 'developing design ideas (pg 114), 'creating colour charts' (pg 41- these are not just your ordinary color chips) and 'practical application (pg 98). Ms, Isset explores using color families and color combinations to create cloth that has an impact and stitches that create texture. Colorful paper collage is also a part of this book that provides further inspiration, and it is a boon for people like me who are enamored with both cloth as well as paper arts!
Also contained are brilliantly photographed sections about the basics; materials and equipment such as choosing fabrics, papers, threads, paints and markers of various types.
I liked this quote from the author, " ... I am fascinated by how colour responds to different surfaces such as papers, fabrics, threads and fibers, as well as printed and stitched surfaces. How I work tends to reflect the materials and media I use..." and I think that it really reflects what this book explores so well; the different ways that media is affected by both color and materials used.
This is a book that will provide any artist, no matter what their chosen medium, with inspiration and creative ideas. For textile and paper artists I think this book is a treasure trove of information that is sure to get your creative juices flowing. Ruth Isset has another brilliant book to her credit and we all can share in the fun!...more
"Pretty Little Mini Quilts" is the latest Lark Book from the "Pretty Little..." line. These books are always little treasures that contain an eclectic"Pretty Little Mini Quilts" is the latest Lark Book from the "Pretty Little..." line. These books are always little treasures that contain an eclectic assortment of whatever the "Little Book" is covering. The book itself is a comfortable to hold size of 8.24 inches X 8.25 inches (20.955cm X 20.955cm). The book's description "...more than two dozen talented designers create 31 mini quilts that look to the past as they rush forward to a fresh future...". An apt description since the books contains the best of traditional, what I like to call 'traditional with a twist, and whimsical art quilts. There really is something for everyone in this lovely little book! None of these small art works is larger than 36 inches (91.4 cm) in length or height.
The basics pages covers everything that you might need or want to know about how to create your own mini masterpiece. Covering what basic sewing tools you will require (measuring tape, scissors,pins, tailor's chalk, rotary cutter and mat etc etc. All types of quilting materials (cottons, linen, fleece felts, interfacings, fusible webs) are covered as is a really comprehensive section on quilting techniques that covers both machine and hand stitching and how to build a quilt; piecing, attaching borders, appliqueing, embroidering etc. A jam packed how to section that is condensed yet very thorough.
Each quilt pattern relates the things that are needed to make the quilt, the finished size, and detailed instructions for each step of the quilt journey! This is a small book that packs a lot of enjoyment between its pages. You will find yourself returning to it often for a fresh idea or a new technique. I think it would make a welcome addition to any fiber, quilt and/or textile enthusiast!...more
500 Art Quilts is another delicious book published by one of my all time favorite art/craft publishing houses, Lark Books. I am thrilled to have been500 Art Quilts is another delicious book published by one of my all time favorite art/craft publishing houses, Lark Books. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to review this book because I knew that it was going to be a really important library addition.
For those of you who may not be aware of Lark books - their publications are always beautifully produced. They use high quality paper that even feels nice in your hand. I am a book sniffer and feeler and Lark books are always a pleasure to hold and page through. Perhaps one of the most important things is that Lark's photography is second to none in my opinion. Every Lark book that I have ever owned has been a keeper. Amazingly, for all of the high quality that goes into every Lark book they pricing is remarkable reasonable. No, I am not affiliated with Lark - other than having the opportunity to review this book - just a very happy book hoarder.
This 8 inch square (20.32 cm) 432 page book is filled with art - textile/quilt art - in all of it's myriad forms and fantastical colors. 346 quilt artists are represented in this book .The quilts were juried by the quilt world's own Karey Bresenhan, founder and President of Quilts,Inc. To note just a few of the artists that are included: Pamela Allen - Alice Beasley - Jane Burch Cochran - Judith Content - Chiaki Dosho - Noriko Endo - Caryl Bryer Fallert - Jamie Fingal - Linda Gass - Jenny Hearn - Judy Coates Perez - Yvonne Porcella - Susan Shie - Jen Swearington - Sarah Smith - Diana Bracey & Stacy Hurt. The best of the best are included in this book that spans works from 1989 to 2008. The book includes a wide variety of topics; portraits, landscapes, dream works, pictorial, abstracts, traditional with a twist and an even wider variety of techniques.
This book is simply a must have book for any textile art enthusiast. It's a book that you will return to again and again for inspiration and enjoyment. There are quilts that with energize you , quilts that will calm you, quilts that will make you think and quilts that will make you say "WoW"! Get this book - you won;t be disappointed!
I have to admit to being a real admirer of almost all things Martha Stewart-ish. I am no champion house-keeper nor am I a crafting wizard but I do alwI have to admit to being a real admirer of almost all things Martha Stewart-ish. I am no champion house-keeper nor am I a crafting wizard but I do always enjoy the Martha Stewart Magazine and website. In this age of wonderful craft & sewing books -I think that any book that would dare to call istself a 'crafting encyclopedia' would have to be pretty darn sure of itself and this encyclopedia does not disappoint. As always with Martha Stewart products, the instructions are well written & beautifully illustrated. You can find information and "how-to's" about a wonderful, very wide, variety of crafts. General sewing, specialty sewing, embroidery of all kinds,quilting ,applique, printing, dyeing, and many, many other types of craft projects are included in this very well done book. In addition to the book a CD included that contains many templates and patterns that can be printed out . ALso included is an extensive reference guide for all kinds of great sewing and crafting suppliers, equipment and fun things.
This book is, I believe, an excellent addition for any sewer, crafter or "Martha wannabe". Well done, clear, colorful and highly informative!...more
I have been enamored with Amish Quilts for more years than I care to admit to! My obsession with them began with an exhibit of Amish Quilts at the WhiI have been enamored with Amish Quilts for more years than I care to admit to! My obsession with them began with an exhibit of Amish Quilts at the Whitney Museum in New York City in the 1970’s. I have always thought that Amish quilts represent the height of quilt artistry and I’ve collected books on Amish quilts for many years. I was, therefore, thoroughly delighted when I was asked to review this new book from Pomegranate Communications!
“Amish Abstractions: Quilts From The Collection of Faith & Steven Brown” is a lush, beautifully printed, book presented by the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums and is, as mentioned above, published by Pomegranate Communications . I have known about Pomegranate as a purveyor of fine cards, book marks and calendars, but I was not aware of their extensive, very beautiful, line of art books. Their catalogue is impressive!
The forward to “Amish Abstractions” is written by John E. Buchanan, Jr. Director of Museums/ Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Faith & Steven Brown have written an excellent ‘Collector’s Note’ about their superb collection and the book contains essays written by noted quilt historians; each essay is both interesting and very informative.
Janneken Smucker, quilt historian, presents an excellent, very enjoyable, essay entitled ‘Quilts In Amish Contexts : Traditions and Adaptations’ in which she explains a bit about the history of the Amish, the Amish aesthetic, and how the tradition of Amish quilt making began. This essay offers a compact history of how the Amish began making quilts, initially large scale patterns made from fabrics left over from clothes making - progressing to how the Amish ultimately used more mainstream patterns in their quilt making.
The eminent quilt historian Robert Shaw has contributed an essay entitled “Fundamentally Abstract: The Aesthetic Achievement of Amish Quiltmakers”. This is a well written essay that describes the evolution of Amish design work and the historical differences between the quilt styles of various Amish sects. From the Lancaster Amish and their brilliant central diamond designs that feature large open spaces filled with beautiful feathered quilting patterns to the Midwestern Amish quilt makers who favored blue & black, used pieced patterns, and used more main stream cottons and other fabrics as opposed to the wools used by Lancaster County quilters – this essay is an excellent preview to the history of Amish quilt patterns.
An essay contributed by Joe Cunningham, another noted quilt historian, is entitled “All In The Details: The Making of Amish Quilts”. It’s a concise, well presented introduction to the history of the quilt patterns that were most often used by the Amish.
What I enjoyed the most about this book is that the Brown’s collection of Amish quilts contains some amazing examples of quilts that I have seldom seen. The plates in this book offer some prime examples of the large, beautifully quilted, wool quilts of the Lancaster Amish, but there are also some spectacular examples of quilts made from main stream patterns. Amish crazy quilts, abstracts, nine-patch and variations, ocean waves, hole in the barn door, broken dishes – all ‘main stream’ patterns that, in the hands of the Amish, become works of art. The Amish aesthetic and their utilization of colors make the patterns sing and their use of juxtaposed colors raise the patterns from traditional patch work to artistic masterpiece. I think that the artistry in Amish quilts is what has always fascinated me about them – they are brilliant, bold, aesthetically pleasing and, to my eye, they always represent the epitome of quilt artistry.
I highly recommend this book for quilt enthusiasts in general but most certainly quilt historians and those who admire Amish design will be especially pleased with the Faith & Steven Brown Amish quilt collection presented in this book. The color plates are very well done and the text portions of the book are excellent reading. I could go on and on about the patterns and color plates in this book – but it is probably best if you just buy the book! All in all, although I seldom provide the rating, I believe that this book deserves five stars!
My deep appreciation for the use of wool in quilts began long ago when I first saw a collection of Amish Quilts made of wool at the Whitney Museum in
My deep appreciation for the use of wool in quilts began long ago when I first saw a collection of Amish Quilts made of wool at the Whitney Museum in New York City. Wool, aside from being warm , wool is also a pleasure to work with - and it makes color sing.
I've been involved in the quilting world for many years now and I have wondered why quilting with wool has not made a comeback. It seems like a perfect fit to me. Voila! This new book "Quilt It With Wool: Projects Stitched On Tartans, Tweeds, & Other Toasty Fabrics" by Nathalie Mornu (Published by Lark Books) is finally beckoning sewing enthusiasts and quilters back into the "make it from wool" fold. Things like penny rugs have made a significant reappearance in recent years and wools have become a prominent fixture at large quilt shows. Richly colored and patterned wools have, it seems, become more available. Wool is,perhaps, a bit more expensive than most quilting/sewing cottons - but colors are rendered so much richer in wool! This book offers a variety of projects that will not require a huge expenditure (you can even use re-purposed wool) but will whet your appetite for all things wool!
Ms. Mornu begins her book with a thorough and informative section about wool's history, wool types and how to choose wool for the projects in the book. She also reviews things like what the components of a quilt are; batting, non-wool fabrics & thread selection. A handy reference for putting together a basic sewing kit is included in the front of the book as are some suggested settings for using your sewing machine to work with wools.
The projects range from a sumptuous gathered wool handbag, a beautifully stitched eyeglass case, a fun and quirky wooley bird mobile, wool earrings, an obi styled belt, an adorned wool capelet, a draft dodger (to keep the cold from under your doors out), stylish pillows, pencil holders (aka a container) to footstool covers. All in all this book contains 23 projects crafted from a variety of wools. The instructions are well thought out and richly illustrated. I was thrilled to see that wools are once again becoming a more mainstream selection for quilts and quilter projects. Start your own adventure and discover the pleasures of quilting and sewing with rich, colorful wools! Give this book a try - I highly recommend it !
I could use many words as descriptors about this book. Delightful, refreshing, enchanting , appealing - one of the best little quilt books I have comeI could use many words as descriptors about this book. Delightful, refreshing, enchanting , appealing - one of the best little quilt books I have come across in a long while. I was not sure that I would be the best reviewer for this book because I don't make a lot of baby quilts any more. Boy! Am I ever glad I decided to have a look! This is one of those books that screams originality. The patterns are simple - and simple is a favorite with me - but each quilt also features the addition of something that makes the quilt special, endearing and enchanting.
Looking at the table of 'contents' section tells you that these quilts are just plain fun. The beginning of the book focuses on a very well thought out 'quilting basics' section. The book is also peppered with great short-cut ideas. A combination of captivating hand drawn images as well as photographs makes reading the directions, for the 'basics' as well as for the quilts totally enjoyable. Quilt directions are beautifully done - exemplars of the quilts are shown in sketches as well as photographs.
The book contains 12 simple quilt designs - each of which has an added, endearing, element. Folk artsy, colorful, embroidered and unique additions to each design makes these simple quilts stand out. The ideas are, of course, great for a child - but also for the adults in the crowd who look for a touch on whimsy in everything! The designs are great for beginner's, especially with the wonderful 'basics' chapter to guide them, but also would be winner's for adults as well.
There are also lots of tips and tricks for applique, embroidery, quilting, bindings and how to add fun elements like small pockets.
This book makes me smile. It makes me want to put more fun back into my quilting. I have always thought that rules are made to be fiddled with (once you know the basics anyway) and this book , I think, proves me right. This is one book that will please quilters of all ages - and I am sure that if you buy it - you will find yourself smiling too!
First of all I should mention that Sarah is a good friend of mine - but she now lives on the other side of the country from me and I have lost touch wFirst of all I should mention that Sarah is a good friend of mine - but she now lives on the other side of the country from me and I have lost touch with much of the day to day creativity. Sarah is one of those women who is constantly on the go. She is a quick study and figures out better ways to do things. I love the way she and AQS put this book together. The information in the book; what threads for what use, which needle for which purpose and thread type, what needle to use, thread tension, bobbin work, examples and more examples, is presented in such a well designed manner!
This is one of those books that you will return to again and again - and fine new inspiration and information each time! Buy this book!! You will not be disappointed if you do ! Well done my friend!...more