Thursday, June 21, 2012

Collaborative Quilting: A book review

I made a mistake.  One of those mistakes that you realize it's just too much effort to fix it so you accept it.

When I was at the International Quilt Festival of Ireland, there was a book stand FILLED to the brim with crafty books.  I had a thumb through the primarily traditional books and found a copy of Liberated Quiltingmaking II by Gwen Marston.  I liked what I briefly saw in the sample copy, so I picked up one of the plastic wrapped for-sale copies stacked behind it and happily paid the nice vendor lady.


You see where this is going, don't you?  Too bad I didn't.

I carried it around all day in the back pocket of my messenger bag and never looked at it again.  When I sat down in the sun with my friend Ester for a coke (me) and ice cream (Ester) I saw a patchwork appliquéd chicken peeking out of the pocket.  I thought that was odd, but quickly justified it as the back cover/advertisement for another book.

Once I got home I realized my mistake.  I bought the wrong book.  I bought this....


Luckily it was still in its plastic wrapping!  So, I contacted the vendor and they were super nice and willing to take it back for a refund.  I packaged it up and brought it to the post office to ship it off.  Here's the snag.  It would cost me nearly what I paid for the book to send it back.  I'd still be out the full cost in total AND would not have a book.  I brought it home and unwrapped it to have a look.

And I fell in love.

How fantastic is this?  


Goodness knows why they put clucking chickens on the cover when the book is CHOCK full of gorgeous modern improv quilts!  They are spectacular!


This book is really on collaborative quilts created by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston.  There's a large section in the beginning where Gwen discusses design and Freddy discusses color.  The chapter on color was really interesting to me.  Want my two favorite half paragraphs? 

"I am fearless in my use of color.  I feel comfortable with almost every color with the exception of brown, which I consider a non-color.  If there are no bad colors, just misunderstood ones, I can say for sure I do not understand brown."  -Freddy Moran

It's like this book is written for me!  And here's my aspiration...to be this comfortable in quilting:

"Red is a neutral.  I've never met a single color that didn't look better with red."  - Fredy Moran.

If only I could be that bold with quilts.  Maybe some day.  

They take you through their philosophy of color, design and block interplay and show you a glimpse into both studios.  If only we'd all be so lucky to have studies like theirs.  Amazing.  But, possibly my favorite part beyond the eye candy, is the inclusion of some really basic patterns for pieced borders.  This one in particular is interesting for my Granny Mania quilt with a little twist using pin wheels instead of four patches.  Same idea, though. 


I am completely pleasantly surprised by this book.  I will find lots of inspiration in their gorgeous quilts and will happily use their instructions for a little twist on my quilt borders.  All in all, the old lesson rings true.  Don't judge the book by it's cover.  Give this one a second look.

25 comments:

Judith, Belfast said...

A good philosophy to have in life as well as in quilting books! Glad it worked out well! Jxo

Claire said...

Hi Cindy, I was looking at the Collaborative Quilting book on Amazon lately, but hadn't decided yet to buy it. Think I'll have to add it to my next Amazon order.

I have Gwen Marston's other book "Liberated Quiltmaking" which is another great book btw.

Patchwork and Play said...

Is it any wonder that every quilt I made last year had red in it! I think I borrowed this one from my library once! Probably time to have another look!

susan said...

You are so funny! You bought it without noticing the chickens on the cover!! I am so pleased it turned out to be a good buy and you have found lots of inspiration in it. I am afraid I would still be sat staring at the cover thinking 'WTF'!

Cille said...

LOL thats a great story.... I once tried on a winter jacket in a store (in medium size) but somehow mixed the size up and ended up leaving the store with a size Large (that was way too big). I didn't discover my mistake until I had ripped of the tag off so I couldn't return it.

So glad this was a pleasent surprise. Love how life can be that tricky once in a while :)

Sarah said...

What a great book review! I do that allll the time with books & movies... well, there's so much out there.... Nice to hear that's one to look out for tho!

Katy Cameron said...

Lol, can't believe you missed the chickens, although I have to say I'd probably have avoided the book because of them too, very odd mrketing choice! I also don't understand brown...

Diary of a Flutter.Kat said...

Laughing so hard right now! Glad you came out a winner :)

Nicky said...

Funny but lucky too!

Leanne said...

I'm glad you opened it as it is hard to imagine that anything Gwen Marston is part of would not be great. I am liking the other writer too and will look for the book. The one you intended to buy is one of my favourites.

Lynne said...

What a great story. Serendipity at its best! And you know what they say about judging books... ? LOL

Ann Babillis said...

Thanks for the review. I wouldn't have bought the book either based on its cover. I would have assumed it was a collection of funky country. Thanks for showing the pictures on the inside.

You should send a link of this post to the authors and publishers. It was good press.

Jenny said...

Great story and great find!!

Linda Coleman said...

a happy ending to a sorry story, must have a look at that book now thanks to your lovely review

Flying Blind... said...

So with you on clucking chickens - and so pleased it turned out well!

Maybe it is a ploy to get those who do like the foul to see the error of their ways!!

Catskill Quilter said...

Ahh, this is currently one of my two absolute favorite quilt books! The other is the second book by these two, More Collaborative Quilting! Enjoy!

memmens said...

haha love this story! I won a sewing book a while ago and the cover was so unimpressive and the inside was so much better, always a nice surprise but I'm not sure it does anything for sales! Glad it was worth it!

Cherie said...

That is too funny that you didn't look at the book even when you saw the glimpse in your bag!
So cool that the book turned out to be helpful to you, rather than you sending it back! =D

Di said...

Cloud and silver lining come to mind! Enjoy your new book! Di x

Judy said...

What a great story! The book sounds like a great find, especially with that wonderful star quilt.

Archie the wonder dog said...

I think brown is going to end up in therapy as it's also misunderstood in this house ;o)

What a great accidental buy...but what the hell are those chickens doing on the front cover?!!

Fabraholic said...

Must be fate...
It could have happened to me as well :-)

Erin @ Billy Button Design said...

Ah have you never heard the words before...never... book.... cover.... judge.... by.... put it in a sentence!!!!!! Don't you love surprises. Got your email about the mini quilt. Going to bind it this week and see how it looks. Washed wadding already so don't know if it will shrink any more. thanks for the advice...will keep you posted.

Anna Hutchinson said...

Just ordered this on Amazon based on your review... Love the look of the pictures you have posted!

Anna Hutchinson said...

Just ordered this on Amazon based on your review... Love the look of the pictures you have posted!

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