Why We Quilt by Thomas Knauer
|Why We Quilt by Thomas Knauer|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Leading contemporary quilters discus the reasons why they quilt and show examples of their work. Thought provoking, inspiring and beautiful.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: October 2019|
|Publisher: Storey Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
I've often wondered about the story that patchwork quilting began as a way for women (and myth would have it that it was always women) to make an extra blanket out of material which would otherwise go to waste. This undoubtedly did happen but when you think about it, you need an awful lot of material to make a quilt and the time could have been better spent if all that was required was bedding. Like Thomas Knauer I've come to the conclusion that it began as an art and has largely continued down that same road with fluctuations in popularity over the years.
There's a rich history, particularly in the USA of individuals and communities using fabric and thread to express themselves and through that to connect with others both on a personal and political level. Knauer is primarily an artist and craftsman but his writing is succinct and thought provoking and he's brought together a group of quilters to tell their stories. These are interspersed with the history of quilting. Some themes - activism and the bringing together of communities - resonate throughout the profiles of the quilters, but all are interesting and, above all, inspiring.
I began reading in the middle of a sleepless night, thinking that I would read a few pages to soothe my mind and that I would then be ready for sleep. Hours later I was still lost in the book. It was fascinating to read the profiles and then to look at the images of their work through the lense of what I now knew about them. The photographs are stunning and I found myself closely examining the way that the quilts had been built, being inspired by some and admiring others whilst wondering if I would find them comfortable to live with. Some, of course, are intended for museums, where comfort is not necessarily what viewers are looking for.
It's a book for established quilters as well as those just starting on the craft. Even if you don't know one end of a needle from the other you will find a great deal to admire and enjoy in this book and I'd like to thank the publishers for letting the Bookbag see an advance reading copy.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Patchwork and Quilting: A Maker's Guide by Victoria and Albert Museum.
You can read more book reviews or buy Why We Quilt by Thomas Knauer at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Why We Quilt by Thomas Knauer at Amazon.com.
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