In honor of Quilt National 2009 opening soon, I finally wrote the book review for QN 2007 from Lark Books.
Quilt National 2007: The Best of Contemporary Quilts by Lark Books
rating: 2 of 5 stars
I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with Quilt National. I love the idea. I often intensely dislike the quilts the jurors choose.
In this year’s work, I love the photos, but, in general, my initial reaction was that the quilts look the same: lots of squares intersected with a square or another piece of fabric. I felt like I was judging the book too harshly, so to be fair, I went back and read the entire book and scrutinized each quilt and thought about them.
The jurors, Tim Harding, Robin Treen and Paul Nadelstern (whose work I greatly admire), seemed not to be as motivated by notions of beauty or status as they were intrigued by the possibilities of transformation.
Nelda Warkentin’s quilt, Harmony, has a calming ocean-like feel to it. Part of her description/artist’s statement includes the words “quiet, flowing movements,” which I think describes the quilt very well.
Spring Cascade by Virginia Abrams reminds me of calming fences and certain motifs in my my quilt The Tarts Come to Tea. Next to Abrams’ quilt is Dress Circle by Thelma McGough, a black and white piece with umbrella reminiscent motifs. Although it is made up of photos, it retains its quilt-like quality.
Weeks Ringle also has a piece, Tankini, in this book. Hearing the name and looking at the piece don’t mesh instantly, but the concept comes together after a bit of gazing. I love his piece because of the simple lines and the fact that she uses commercial cottons in an innovative technique. It isn’t just the type of fabric she uses, though. The simplicity does not mean simplistic. I think that there is a lot to look at in this quilt.
I am not a fan of realistic faces made into quilts. They freak me out for some reason, but Kristin Tweed has created a successful quilt in #42 Big Head Series: The Gladiator. One successful part of the success of this quilt is the lack of quilting on the face.
There are some good designs in this book. Mostly they are simple, linear designs. There is more digital photography manipulated into blocks and quilts than I remember from the past.