A surprising and delightful package arrived last week containing two new titles published by Lark Books. Apparently I had signed up to review books for them months ago, though had completely forgotten about it. I would have written about them sooner, but after starting to page through 500 Art Quilts, I put everything on hold to spend the next few days in the studio putting together an entry for a contest before the March 8th deadline. (Made it, see sneak peek below.)
So, I can personally attest that 500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work, definitely lives up to its subtitle. The artwork juried by Karey Patterson Bresenhan into this book presents a wonderful overview of the variety of work being created by artists today using cloth and thread plus many materials that uninitiated readers might not expect. Each full-color photograph is accompanied by a materials and process list that may include newspaper, fusing, drawn threads, charcoal, gauze, stones, tulle, ink-jet printing, grommets, zippers, beads, shibori, and much more. A portable quilt show in 432 pages (8" X 8"), it is a worthy addition to the books in this series, such as another one of my favorites, 500 Beaded Objects.
For a more detailed step-by-step book, Pretty Little Mini Quilts can fill the bill. The small (under 36") quilts are original designs by 25 different artists. They include a variety of styles and techniques such as traditional geometric blocks, appliquéd images, a portrait quilt, “drawing” with thread, machine and hand embroidery, vintage fabrics, and the use of embellishments. The directions are clear and should provide enough information for sewers with at least some experience. Compared with the artwork shown in 500 Art Quilts, these projects are simpler overall and require relatively standard materials and techniques. The 144 page, 8" X 8" book includes a table of contents, supply and tool list with general instructions, and an index.
Last week I wasn’t sure if there was time to pull together an entry for the Quilting Arts 2011 calendar contest, but things came together nicely for once... perhaps my biggest worry was having enough time to print out three 8" X 10" photographs without my printer balking. No problemo, this time. As you can see from the detail, I crocheted some elements, in this case the curly stem on top of a tomato. I was glad to be able to enter again, wish me luck!