I don’t do many book reviews, but I may start doing more because it is an exciting time to be a quilter given what is available to us in this day and age. There are so many really great quilting books out there to help teach techniques and skills from beginners to advanced quilters. I am not claiming to be advanced, but I know a few things and I am comfortable with my skill level. I would be lying if I said I didn’t go back to a few of those books to brush up on a technique or two. But now I am at the point in my quilting journey that I don’t want to be told how to quilt as much as I want to be inspired to create. Today’s review will focus on just that. Two books that have inspired me to be a better quilter!
First up is Modern Quilt Perspectives by Thomas Knauer. I have mentioned Mr Knauer from time to time because his thoughts on quilting and modern quilting are so f*cking amazing! Excuse my language, but I get worked up!!!
Most people know him from his “In Defense of Handmade” quilt that was shown at QuiltCon. It was amazing on a technical level, but the thought and message is what was what set it apart. In his book Mr Knauer delves into having meaning behind the quilts. He challenges quilters to create something meaningful to them and to the world around us. Does he have patterns in the book, yes (12 to be exact). Are the patterns awesome, YES! But more importantly is the message behind each quilt. He is taking on subjects from the quilting community, quilting tradition, including social commentary (domestic violence for example) in a project, and how to include our own identity in your work.
This book has inspired me to do my own quilt with the subject of women, what is considered beautiful, and skin color. I excited and scared and all sorts of emotions are going through me about this particular project, but this book has encouraged me to take that next step with what I am making and make it meaningful to me and my world. I want to make something that makes people talk – even makes them uncomfortable – but beautiful at the same time. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to take their work to the next level. I keep saying this, but it is an exciting time to be a quilter!
This was not what I thought it was when I got it and I am so happy about that!! There really isn’t a lot of patterns to follow – a few projects (don’t let me diminish how fun the projects look – I will be doing a few) and some tips (including a tip about pressing four patches that has changed my world), but this book focuses on community. The modern quilt community has been growing by leaps and bounds. This has caused some tension on some Facebook pages, blogs, and even a few quilt gatherings I have attended about what makes a quilt modern and what is a modern quilter. This book embraces so many different types of modern quilters and shows how big and varied the community has become that the arguments can stop. We are all over the world, we are men and women, we are all ages, we get our inspirations from all over, and we are all obsessed with quilts! This is one of those books that I will take with me for a trip. Something that I can flip through and find a snippet of inspiration here and there. Something for a lazy Sunday spread out on a quilt in the sun. Seriously – check this book out!!!
I will say it once more – It is an exciting time to be a quilter!