Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Quilts Around the World

When I was researching the Irish Chain quilt pattern for an article for Popular Patchwork, I came across this book on google book search.  It was so enticing that I had to buy it.

Quilts Around the World by Spike Gillespie truly covers the world.  It has a long chapter on the States, various European countries, Asia and Africa.  It tells of quilting history of each country and sometimes touches on current practice.  It also has beautiful, enticing photographs and you can see the time that has been spent to create a lovely layout.

Each chapter or section is relatively short - bite-sized chunks of information.  Obviously in a book that touches on so many cultures, you are not going to get huge amounts of detail.  However, this makes it great for dipping into and it has filled in gaps in my knowledge of quilting in other countries. 

Spike has written much of the book herself, but has also used experts from certain countries to complement her own work.  For instance, Roselind Shaw has written a fascinating history of quilting in Northern Ireland. 

Frustratingly, the images do not always match the text.  They are gorgeous, but I would have liked to have seen more of the quilts mentioned in the text.  However, I understand that sometimes she may not have been able to get permission to use certain images.  And being parochial, it would have been good to have a paragraph on quilting in Scotland today, rather than just saying there isn't much quilt history here.  I think even if quilting is not in our blood, there is a very active and exciting quilt scene in Scotland now, with quilters such as Frieda Oxenham and Pat Archibald and grass roots shows springing up like the Loch Lomond one.

Overall , I'm really enjoying reading this book and I'm sure I will be flicking through it for many years to come.  I'd definitely recommend getting hold of a copy if you are interested in quilt history or quilts from other parts of the globe.


Frieda Oxenham said...

Thanks so much for the mention! Must see if I can lay my hands on a copy!

Gillian Cooper said...

There was an offer for the book in the summer edition of The Quilter. Otherwise, Amazon has the book of course

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