I’m so happy to be part of Thomas Knauer’s blog tour, to celebrate the release of Modern Quilt Perspectives: 12 Patterns for Meaningful Quilts. Hoorah hoorah, and congratulations, Thomas! It’s no small feat to write a book like this, and I’m happy to see the work evolving and emerging in this new genre — the well-written and developed blog being the first, of course.
I “met” Thomas a few years ago, when a friend pointed me to his blog and said I needed to talk to him for my book (he’s a contributor). I’m glad I did, because Thomas offers a different take on what we all do here in the quilting world (I say this as someone who’s a decidedly amateur quilter but an avid observer, writer, and converser within and about the community). When I talked to Thomas, our conversation swirled around what makes a quilt modern, art history’s influence on modern quilters, and how we talk about our own quilts. I saw right away that Thomas has a vision, and that he wants his work to contribute to what’s happening in the community today. And so it has —
What I like so much about this book is the way that he’s interwoven (I’ll never pass up the chance for a fiber pun) explanations of his own aesthetic and creative process — how each quilt was conceived, how he executed the design — with stories about the online modern quilt community, and anecdotes about his personal connections with quilts. For example, he describes how he and his daughter Bee use the Ampersand quilt (above) to tell stories together. They’ll point to a block, each of which has a character or image, and tell a story starting with that block. When they get stuck, they say “and…” and point to another and keep going. I’d love to make a quilt like this and use it in a children’s creative writing class; it’s such a great way of not just snuggling up under a quilt but of interacting together and using the quilt for what it’s always been used for — to tell our stories.
Similarly, “Sum of Interrelations” exemplifies the way the online community works together, as Thomas put out a call for help making blocks for this quilt and had, “within twenty-four hours,” “a full slate of volunteers.” Cleverly, each block is an “i,” which plays on that idea of the collective and the individual.
You’ll use a lot of different techniques in making the quilts in this book — reverse applique in one, matching seams and points in another, applique in another — and think more about the concepts that birth each of your quilts. How will you marry concept and object and process? It brings some of the ideas and conversations from contemporary art into quilting — even thinking about how patterns can be freeing. And, I should add, the instructions are easy to follow!
One of the quilts in this book is exhibited online by the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, that’s THE BIG MUSEUM!, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Go learn how to make it! Go buy the book! I’ve been snuggling under a quilt with a cup of tea, rereading it again today. The pictures are beautiful, the paper feels good in my hands, and the ideas and quilts are fabulous.
Please post a comment below to win a copy of Thomas’ book! What’s one piece of inspiration that helped you make a recent quilt, whether you followed someone else’s pattern or made your own?
UPDATE 4/4: Congratulations, Mindy Tillet! You won the book! Thanks to everyone who entered and talked about your inspiration — I loved hearing about your work!!
You can read more about the book in the ongoing blog tour, here.
April 1: http://www.maryfons.com/blog/
April 2: http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/
April 3: http://quiltersconnection.ca/blog
April 4: http://www.crinkledreams.com/
April 5: http://generationqmagazine.com/
April 6: http://www.clothpaperscissors.com/blogs/barb/default.aspx
April 7: http://www.sewsweetness.com/
April 8: http://gogokim.blogspot.com
April 9: http://www.iheartlinen.typepad.com/