Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Watch Out! Vivacious Curves Ahead!

Known for her fun sense of color and play with quilts, Dianne S. Hire has come through with another wonderful book. Vivacious Curvy Quilts takes all the fear out of curved piecing and loads your design kit with numerous "curvies," curved shapes that are delightful and full of potential.

A popular teacher, Dianne shows off the work of many of her students; the book is full of bright, cheery photographs that leave no doubt about her technique's versatility.

Instructions for 11 variations are included but this book is truly a springboard to individual creativity more than a "make-this-project-this-way" book. Dianne's spirit shines through on every page, so it is definitely a fun read. AQS # 8241. www.americanquilter.com.

Prepare to Be Amazed!

If you love the look of pieced quilts but not the piecing, this is the book for you. Sisters Ann Seely and Joyce Stewart have written about making machine-stitched quilts that look pieced but are appliqued.

In fact, although these quilts are simple to make, they look complicated. Clever placement of basic shapes and smart use of fabric contributes to the pieced effect. You'll be amazed when you realize just how ingenious their designs are.

Forget set-in seams and curved piecing. Open the door to adapting their technique to any pieced project. Use the alternate colorways to create your own quilts, and people will say, I Can't Believe It's Not Piecing! AQS # 8236

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quilts Your Grandkids Can Snuggle In!

Those Crafty Ol' Broads have done it again. Sisters Linda K. Johnson and Jane K. Wells have written another book packed with over-the-top, fun-to-make, colorful quilts -- Cuddly Snuggly Quilts. (Their first was Beyond the Block, 2009, AQS# 7611.)

This time, they created the projects in the book for their grandchildren. Each quilt was made to match that child's personality, interests, or a milestone.

These quilts are made for snuggling, which means being used, which means not too much effort has to go into making them. As a result, these are dynamite patterns for charity.

And because Linda and Jane are doting aunts as well as loving grannies, each project is shown in a different colorway. You'll get tons of ideas from these 17 quilts and their alternates. If you love making quilts for lots of people, this is the book for you -- AQS# 8239.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Men and the Art of Quiltmaking

Long before Europeans colonized America and brought quilting as a textile tradition with them, men were the professional quiltmakers, not women. So begins Joe Cunningham's new book, Men and the Art of Quiltmaking. 

AQS is honored to be the publisher for this book, which profiles 30 of today's male quiltmakers. What they do, why they do it and how they do it are discussed. Photos of their work are included along with nine patterns.

You'll recognize some names but others will not be familiar. Men aren't quite the oddity in quiltmaking in 2010 that they were even five years ago, but are still worth understanding, because they add a certain dimension to the art of quiltmaking.

Joe is a great writer and clearly enjoyed his interviews with his fellow artists. As he writes, "...I began to feel like we were brothers of the quilt." It's a brotherhood with a huge spectrum of tastes and style, from traditional to contemporary to art quilt. Their methods and approaches vary tremendously, too.

For those attending the AQS Des Moines quilt show this October 6 - 9, a bonus is a special exhibit by 24 of the book's quilters, curated by Joe. There have been exhibits of quilts made by men, and male quiltmakers are no longer rare participants in shows and exhibits, but this is the first all-male quilter exhibit to come from a single book on the subject.

Joe will be teaching quilt classes and lecturing in Des Moines, and giving a performance of his musical, "Joe the Quilter." And, he will be signing his book in the AQS booth, so this is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in quilts made by men and talk with a male quilter. Click here to learn more about the show: www.americanquilter.com

Joe's fondest wish is to write more about male quilters. Read his first book on them by ordering AQS item #8243 at 1-800-626-5420, or at the link above. See if anything Joe discovered surprises you, and let him know about it by commenting here.