24 March 2023

Inspiration Abounds

I have quite a few "favorite" quilt books . . . in no particular order, these photos will show you which ones I pull off the shelf first.

Having started making quilts in the time frame of the Gee's Bend quilt explosion, their work had a huge influence on me.

Both of these books featuring more African American quilts are well worn.

When we visited St. Louis a number of years ago, we visited the Art Museum.  

The Heffley Collection was one of the featured exhibits and, unsurprisingly, this book came home with me.

You can tell how much these have been used given their spiral bindings . . . 

Like so many others, Roderick Kiracofe's book is on my shelf.  I have spent hours studying the array of unique and original quilts he showcased.

I was a latecomer to the work of Roberta Horton - I honestly wish I had discovered her earlier.

I would be terribly remiss if I didn't mention Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran as major inspiration sources.

I absolutely love both of these books and have many (many) others by these two artists.

(Freddy's book is an absolute blast of joy, especially on a dreary day)

Wild by Design has more words than photos but I have referred to it again and again through the years.  I also have another of Janet Catherine Berlo's books, a small paperback titled Quilting Lessons: Notes from the Scrap Bag of a Writer and Quilter which was one of my very earliest inspiration sources (as in there are NO quilt police).

And in 2014 I was privileged to spend most of one day absorbing the Quilts and Color exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with my friend Lynne.  The quilts in this book never fail to enthrall me.

And if all of these books don't satisfy my inspiration itch, there are plenty more on my studio bookshelf.

* * *

Thanks for sharing this talking point topic, Kaja - it's a great one!


23 March 2023

AHIQ: talking point for March

Ah yes, one of my main inspirations for quilting has always been books. And one of my earliest loved books was "Scrap Quilts" by Judy Martin. My copy is well thumbed and has been a great resource for block patterns and scrappy quilt ideas over the years. 

- I just love this bear's paw variation, yet to make my own version!

Like many others, another favourite is Roderick Kiracofe's "Unconventional& Unexpected" book. While I find improv challenging, I never fail to be surprised by these extraordinary quilts made by US quilters during the last half of the 20th century. The quilts are quirky, improvisational, and sometimes not perfectly made, but such a visual delight!

"The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters" by Sherri Lynn Wood is another book I have spent many hours reading. It explores quilt making in a fun way, breaking free of the old rules, and encouraging unique improvisation. Just need to switch on my improv button & live courageously ...

And another book on my shelf is "Sunday Morning Quilts" by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. This is a book that altered how I see my "style" and gave me permission I guess, to use every last bit of my treasured stash!  My Sunday mornings got a whole lot busier once I started down this road that's for sure! 

Lately though, rather than buying, I have been ordering quilting books from the library, like "Cultural Fusion Quilts" by Sujata Shah. It's "a melting pot of piecing traditions" full of bold & vibrant quilts... I think I've had this book out at least 3 times, I probably should have bought my own copy by now, I think!

Surfing social media provides even more inspiration!
I love all that sharing ❤️ on quilt blogs & Instagram,
it makes me want to start new projects faster than I can finish them
- but books are still a favourite for inspiration!

And how about you, what inspires you most for quilt making?

These Books Never Go Back on the Shelf

Book inspiration
I love this 'inspiration book' prompt! After years and years of buying book after book and then watching them gather dust on the shelves, I'm much more conservative these days. Don't want to waste my money!

On my list
For the most part, project books aren't doing it for me these past several years. The 'Unconventional & Unexpected' by Roderick Kiracofe is much, much more the thing. If I'm feeling a bit dry and uninspired, then that's the book to get things sparking again! Currently I have a whole stack of fabric picked out for the largish courthouse log cabin quilt in the book. Was going to start it over the winter but then life got in the way.

Notice all the bookmarks?
So many good, quirky quilts to think about trying to interpret in a brand new way! Love the forgiveness factor especially. I've been eyeing this wheel quilt for years now too. It's so lovably imprecise that I just want to hug it.

Tried and true
Another one of my favorite books remain this 'Collector's Dictionary of Quilt Names and Patterns'. Something I bought at a quilt guild yard sale and never, ever regretted.

Always something else to think about
Don't think there are actually any directions for making the patterns in the book {or many}, but that doesn't bother me. Just looking through the pages usually inspires something! And the black and white is a bonus. Lots more room to imagine things in the colors that most appeal at the moment.

Antique inspo.
Another older book, 'Treasury of American Quilts' is one that I like to turn to when thinking about adding applique onto quilts. Such a rare, rare thing for me. ha ha! Wouldn't that folksy tree applique look spectacular up against some improv. piecing? *Swoon....  

Love 2 color quilts, but hate making them!
And while we're on the subject of applique add-ons, the Joseph D' Addetta book is hands down one of the few books I'd save in a fire. Seriously. So much fun to turn the pages and find page after page of different elements that could look amazing in many quilts. 

The Folk Art touch
In fact, I've used the pear shaped flowers on the front of this book for a quilt before! If you look in the gallery for 2019 quilts, I think you'll find it there.

Can you have too many birds on quilts?
While Pinterest generally has a lot of inspiration, there's nothing quite like opening up a book that hits all the right notes. 

P.S. I finished the #AHIQStringTulipsQAL quilt if you'd like to have a look. It's another one of those quilts that turned out just a bit different than what I expected at the start. Thanks for another great challenge! I definitely wouldn't have made this quilt without the initial prompt!


22 March 2023

Talking point for March

This is a very late post and probably more photos than I had intended but here goes. 

Books of course, of which I really have too many,  the natural world and my garden are  a source of inspiration, sometimes a light bulb moment occurs when least expected and not always from a book, memories of childhood and family play a great part in my quilt making, also my journey by sea in 1962
through Suez to NZ from the UK and the return journey one year later via Panama have resulted in quilts.

The book below by Kaffe Fassett is one of the best for colour. His home and studios plus his numerous collections of pottery, fabrics and many others are shown in detail with a little history.

Here is one of my favourites below,  the dining room full of rich, deep colour.

A recent purchase was a book by Jessica Wheelahan - Improvisational Contemporary Quilts,  a book of splendid photographs along with patterns for the different quilts, all are very colourful

this particular quilt I'm showing below is a riot of colour, a real mix!

Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston collaborated on two splendid books covering techniques,  patterns and of course going into overdrive on the colour, I love the way they both went ahead and did their own thing, not keeping to the conventional.

Truly a new take below on the traditional house block!

Next is Quilting With A Modern Slant, the title says it all, perhaps this would be available in your local library, lots of familiar names are included in this book.

I made mention of the natural world as a source of inspiration, one particular book on this subject is Bali Style. In 1993 I had two trips up to Jakarta, the first was a one week stay, the second for three weeks. My husband was working on a project from New Zealand which involved visits to Indonesia. I fell in love with the architecture of the traditional buildings, carvings, batiks and the rice fields  -  perfect for using in a quilt design. My love of green really took off when I was up there.

I hope you've enjoyed a quick peek at some of the sources of inspiration for my quilts.

01 March 2023

Talking point for March

I thought for this month's challenge/talking point I would invite you all to share a favourite source of inspiration.  I'm thinking of that sort  of a book you flick through when your brain needs a kick start.  I have a couple I often turn to,  not so much looking for something particular, but more to keep my quilting brain stimulated.  

One is the catalogue of an exhibition of Anni Albers work, held at the Tate in London in London in 2018.

Here are a couple of pages, taken at random, one of a drawing/plan for a piece and the other a textile.

If you want to see more, a google images search turned up lots of great photos of the exhibition. 

This is a good example, since it isn't a book about quilting, and her beautifully precision doesn't translate directly into the sort of quilts I make, yet looking at it always leaves me inspired and full of enthusiasm for the act of making.

The other book I tend to leave through in a similar, slightly aimless way is this one.

I am drawn, in these pages to the simplicity and beauty of traditional blocks but I also love to pore over the extraordinary quilting.  In fact, it is the one thing I would love to be able to reproduce.

Of course, inspiration is personal, so fr you it may not be a book, it might not be textile.  It might be a website or web page, it might be calligraphy or costume design or poetry or your garden.  No rules, just share what you love to look at.