Over the last two years I have innumerable conversations with fellow quilters inquiring about a book they knew of that detailed a history of quilting beyond that which we are familiar in the Traditional and Modern realm. I have wanted to know more about some of my quilting heroes including Nancy Crow, Eleanor McCain, Tom Harding, Michael James and others. Though identified as a Modern Quilter I find the labels “traditional”, “modern” and “art” quilter a bit limiting and prefer to see all quilters regardless of label as part of a greater collective and movement. Something that filled in the details of this aspect of our collective quilting history was desired.
Fast forward to two months ago, I was asked to give my take on a new book coming out from SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) by Sandra Sider, Nancy Bavor, Lisa Ellis and Martha Sielman. Little did I know that this book was so much of what I was asking for.
Art Quilts Unfolding first off is substantial, comprising 350 pages of important history of the Art Quilt movement. And the quilts . . . I have already spent hours, pouring over the beautiful pieces shown and the text that highlights the artists behind them. They are stunning and there are so many pieces and artists that I was unfamiliar with. I truly enjoy seeing the art form change in the chronological order that the quilts are laid out and find this book both the coffee table piece you can just turn the pages of to find inspiration and the history book that fills in the details of an important quilting movement over the last 50 years.
The book in addition, goes into different innovations and experimentation that have transformed the Art Quilt movement as well as delving into important publications, galleries and museum collections and collectors through the years.
There also is a recognition of the Modern Quilt movement and it’s place in the collective history. I was very excited to see some familiar quilters included in the book. (Jacquie Gering, Luke Haynes, Chawne Kimber, Joe Cunningham, Ruth McDowell, Maria Shell, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Natalya Aikens to name a few)
This year I asked my husband only for books as gifts over the holidays. Little did I know that I had already been given my favorite book of the year. Thank you SAQA for such a wonderful publication! I believe every quilter will find this book fills an important space in their library.
I have included links both to Amazon and to Schiffer Publishing in the text above and also below where the book can be purchased if you are interested.