Thursday, 5 June 2014

Inspiration: the ultimate guide to Art Quilting by Linda Seward

I received a lovely surprise yesterday afternoon when a courier arrived at my door with a flat parcel.  I didn’t remember ordering anything, so was rather intrigued.  The kids lost interest when I opened it to reveal this quilting book, but I certainly didn’t!

Linda Seward is the author of one of my favourite traditional quilting books:’ The Complete Book of Patchwork, Quilting and Appliqué’.  Whilst I have been teaching C&G Patchwork and Quilting over the last 18 months, if there was anything I needed to know, you could guarantee it would be in this book – have you any idea how few mentions there are of Somerset Patchwork even on the web?!  It definitely lives up to its name and is comprehensive. 

With this new book, Linda is setting out to do the same for Art Quilting, something that barely existed when she wrote her original book 27 years ago (she has written lots of other book besides).  ‘The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting’ covers every imaginable technique used by art quilters today.  From a quick flick through the book, I can see snow dyeing, soy wax, wet felting, upcycling, a variety of different raw edge appliqué methods, computer generated embroidery amongst lots of others.  Of course given the volume of techniques covered, there is not a lot of detail.  But that is not the aim of the book.  The book aims to show you the potential there is at the moment in the art quilt world.  If you want to try one of the techniques beyond basic, you need a specialist guide to it and there is no way one book could contain it all.

As well as giving me lots of technical ideas to try – there are lots included that I haven’t yet – what makes the book really special is the range and quality of art quilts in it.  Linda obviously made a significant effort to ensure that the book also acts as a survey of art quilts today.  It has many artists I know, but also several I don’t  and it has been lovely looking at all of these gorgeous quilts and just feeling inspired.

A friend asked me on Facebook yesterday was the book worth it and my response has to be yes on two levels: for the beginner it is a great introduction to exciting techniques used by art quilters around the world; for those more experienced, it is a good book to dip into when you want to play and try something different and to admire the talent of art quilters today.

Oh, and  you may recognise the quilt on p229... but my review would have been the same even if my work hadn’t been included.  I feel honoured to have my work included with all of these other amazing quilts.


Linda Seward said...

Gillian, I am beyond delighted with your review of my book. I have been on tenterhooks ever since my publishers told me that they were sending out copies to the artists featured in the book and to magazines, etc. Over the three years of writing that book, I hoped and dreamed that the readers would understand what I was trying to do. You have encapsulated my thoughts precisely and for that I am deeply appreciative. Thank you!

Maggi said...

Excellent review.

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