Sunday, January 31, 2010

Question for the Day

When you reach for a book about quilting or fabric art, what would you like to find?

For example, do you want how-to as in how to do a new technique or how to replicate a project provided in the book?  Books like Stack n Whack or Flip Flop Piecing or Crazy Quilts etc.

Or do you prefer collections of artists and their work such as the 500 Masters series by Lark that features many of our friends and teachers?

Or perhaps a combination of how-to and eye candy? I was fond of the annual American Quilts publications that came out in the 1980s that included photos of authors, their featured quilt and some how to info.

Maybe a product discussion such as what threads to use when machine quilting or doing thread painting? Or an overall book of sewing machine use? Needle choices? Fabric discussions -- texture, color, design, even thread count and ...?
Or more internal inspiration which gets the authors/writers to explain what inspired a piece?

Or maybe various artists taking a design or technique and producing something of their own. I quickly think of the AQS book about The Ohio Star that produced an amazing assortment of quilts from Ohio Star chickens to the abstract and beyond.

Please tell me what you'd like to see in a quilt/fabric art book.

Thanks,
Dawn

19 comments:

Helen Conway said...

When I first started out I bought a lot of how to books but now (some 4 years on) I can usually work out the how to by looking at the quilt. What I want now is content that gives me design ideas, inspiration, example sof good art etc. Save for surface design whihc I am still learning but even there I like a mix of eye candy and instruction.

juanita said...

When I pick u a fabric art book I like to see art that inspires and challenges me to think outside the box. I also enjoy reading practical articles on colour, design and embellishment. Being a hand stitcher of art quilts, I like to hear about products that make handwork easier and more satisfying (threads, needles, batting techniques etc). When I see artworks I want to know about the artist who created it. For instance,I love the way this site profiles an artist and her/his work so we get a sense of the art and the artist.

Sharkeysday said...

I love techniques - NOT how-tos. Basically "here's how you could do this" but no step by step repeat someone else's project.
I also ADORE historical books with lots of "eye candy" to inspire and make me think outside the box.

Lynn Weathers said...

I want techniques, technical information (such as what threads work best for various techniques, what needle to use with a thread, ...), eye candy and design inspiration. I will doubt I will ever buy another book of patterns.

Bridget473 said...

I'm all about the eye candy. I love seeing beauty and then hearing how it was achieved. I rarely do any patterns but instead appreciate learning the techniques involved.

Sadhvi said...

I would want to know the story behind the Quilts. Why has the artist chosen to use a particular pattern? What was in his/her mind when they thought of using particular color, image etc. Sometimes it is left for the viewer to associate themselves but someimes the the designs are specific to artists. So I would be interested in knowing the stories behind the designs, techniques etc. in a book

Sadhvi said...

I would want to know the story behind the Quilts. Why has the artist chosen to use a particular pattern? What was in his/her mind when they thought of using particular color, image etc. Sometimes it is left for the viewer to associate themselves but someimes the the designs are specific to artists. So I would be interested in knowing the stories behind the designs, techniques etc. in a book

Caron said...

I like to see lots of fabulous examples of different quilts with either new techniques or good, basic explanations on how to perfect skills. Eye candy is fabulous... things that stretch my knowledge and make me want to get started exploring on my own.

Bobbi said...

I like the "how to" books and the "why things work or should be used" books. I refer back to this type of book whenever I have questions. Bobbi

wlstarn said...

I have gotten away from most technique books, although might occassionally buy one. If I can figure out how to do something without buying the book, I will. A How-to book like Gloria Hanses's Digital Essentials is a big exception. It's hard enough for me to figure out that stuff WITH a book! Love all the Quilt National & Visions books, as well as Masters, and of course, the brand-new 500 Art Quilts (I'm on page 383, how could I not love it).

Mrs Moen said...

I love inspirational books with the stories behind the quilts. Descriptions of the process and techniques are a bonus.

needlescape said...

My favorite types of books these days are technique books - show me how to use new tools, materials and the resultant effects for fiber artists. Two recent purchases are: Transparency in Textiles and Hot Textiles. I find that alot of the books that appeal to me are British publications.

Dijanne Cevaal said...

I buy very few textile books- the ones I do buy usually relate to ethnic textiles, textile designs and historical textiles because I am drawn to the colours and patterns. I never buy technique books, as I have found I tend to problem solve for what I may need when i get to that p[oint in what i want to express in my textile art.What id do buy is momograms on various artists- i want to understand what made them tick , how they created their art, how their everyday lives impacted on their art- most of them worked and workled and worked.

Alison Schwabe said...

I rarely buy anything specifically quilt related, but do buy various catalogues and occasionally eye candy. It's always interesting to see what others are doing, but I don't really care for long winded stories about what I am seeing, and biographical notes can be really interesting, or not! I think it is much more valuable to see what artists working in other media are doing, rather than seeing what other art quilters are up to. There is so much focus in 'quilt' publications on technique and the latest fads in raw materials and how to use them that as a result so much quilt art has a sameness about it, imho.

Anonymous said...

I browse magazines and books looking for inspiration and challenges - something that's explaining the process or the technique, but PLEASE don't expect me to duplicate someone else's work!

Darlene said...

I like books that expand my horizons, that give me ideas. I haven't bought a quilt book in years because I don't want to make an exact copy of somebody else's design.

Attic 24 at http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/2010/02/stashbusting.html has a great post on how she reworked an idea from a crochet book from the 70's. It was a pretty blah baby afghan that she reworked with her own colors and design.

This is the kind of thing I like to see, something that inspires me to take an idea and make it my own. Too many quilt books on the market today are focused on the latest fad, instead of encouraging experimentation.

Gillian Cooper said...

I love good catalogues with essays that make me think and lots of pictures. I'm less keen on how-to books with lots of patterns, although I find some books of techniques really handy for reference.

Nancy13AIM said...

Technique books...I still keep the Quilt in a Day books that I started with over 10 years ago, and I still like the concept of 'getting there quickly'. That said - I spent many years at www.quiltuniversity.com 'getting there' with online classes - I love those classes. I think that stop with online classes reinforced my impatience with books that do not take me from A-B-C-some facsimile of a finished project. By the way, your blog reminded me of my 'cant wait to do it' Stack and Whack frenzy....I cut up a cat in the garden print material, and when I anxiously put the pieces together - all of the cat eyes were on one end....it looked like 'kitty in the dryer'....and promptly went to the bottom of the UFO pile!!!

Dawn said...

Ohhhh Nancy! cats in the dryer! I feel your pain, but can't stop laughing. :) Sorry! We should have a quilt show of all of our mistakes. :)