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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Design Explorations for the Creative Quilter

This is a review of  Design Explorations for the Creative Quilter: Easy to Follow lessons for dynamic art quilts by Katie Pasquini Masopust that I posted on Amazon. I think it is a great book and gave it five stars. If you are looking for help in making art quilts, this book should be a big help to you.

I have long held an interest in quilting after having started my first quilt around 40 years ago. But at this point all the beds have quilts and so do most family members. Time to do some more creative quilting. As I have studied Art Quilts over the last few years, at times I have found myself not understanding at all what the quilter was intending and even why anyone thought that ugly piece was worth a prize. I still find some art pieces to be truly ugly but with the help of instructional books I am beginning to understand more about what the quilter was trying to accomplish and I have decided that I too would like to make an art quilt. So this book along with others got put on my Wish List and this one became a Mother's Day gift to me from my son. Realizing he only got it because of its location on the list and the price, all I can say is he did a great job picking out a book!

This book talks about art quilts in ways that are understandable and then has activities to do to break those binding fears of "I'm not an artist" and "I'm not creative". Reading through the different projects, I realized that yes I could do these things and maybe I too could be successful at making an art quilt. Consider that one of the projects in the book is to paint blindfolded with an assistant playing different types of music and helping you to move and have the color of paint you want for the tune. I'm sure they are also there to keep you from accidentally painting the walls and wayward children and pets but that isn't the point - you will be painting with a blindfold on! Then you take off the blindfold, observe what you have done, find spots on the paper that you especially like and make it into a quilt. I told my husband about this and he got enthusiastic and volunteered to help paint with me and I already have bought my paints. That is just one of ten exploration exercises the author has in the book. The book is filled with many color photo illustrations of the author's exercises and the finished quilts made from them and also her students work.

The only real weakness I found in the book was the actual making of the quilts themselves. I would have like to see more detail in making them as these aren't your typical patchwork quilts, they are basically machine pieced or appliquéd and she only spent 4 pages on that part. However, I have plenty of books on making quilts in my reference library, it is the creativity lessons that I need and appreciated as they give you a jumping off spot to venture out into the great unknown or art quilting.

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