Monday, November 30, 2009

Current Favorite Book

Since progress on hand quilting is particularly boring to blog about, here's a bit about what else I've been doing---which is, mostly, reading about quilts and thinking about the next top to piece.

My current favorite quilt book, by far, is Accidentally on Purpose: The Aesthetic Management of Irregularities in African Textiles and African-American Quilts, by Eli Leon. It's full of wonderful quilts that I've seen nowhere else. (I really wish I'd known about this exhibition at the Figge Museum, in Davenport, Iowa, and seen these quilts in person.) But perhaps best is that this book has an analytical approach. I keep coming back to it, finding little nuggets of design wisdom and incisive explanations of process. I can learn a lot from these quilts just by looking, but I love having the author describe, for example, how a block is progressively altered and within what limits, or what the quiltmaker has decided to vary or not vary, how things like syncopation and deliberate departure from regularity are used in different ways---all sorts of things I wouldn't see so clearly on my own. The African textiles are beautiful, and the parallels with the quilts are striking. Love this book! Seriously, if you have any interest at all in this kind of quiltmaking, get yourself a copy while it's still in print!

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