Sunday, August 20, 2023

Weekend Review: Contemporary Quilts: Design, Surface & Stitch


Contemporary Quilts: Design, Surface & Stitch / Sandra Meech
London: Batsford, c2003.
128 p.

Somehow as September approaches, it always feels like Back To School Time no matter how long it's been since school was a part of my life! And so I'm really into learning new things at this time of year, even more so than usual. I've found a few titles that will add to my knowledge of textile arts; this is one that I really enjoyed.

This is a wonderful book about design in art quilts. From painterly approaches to developing your concept, to detailing techniques of surface design and stitching, this book goes over so much that is useful to a textile artist. 

There is also a wealth of big, bright and clear photos of quilts by many different artists with various styles. It's good to see examples of the design concepts, colour theory, techniques and finishing, from many different perspectives. There are over 200 illustrations, so plenty to both inspire and inform you.

There are also 4 "Design Classes", or exercises, for readers to follow to learn how to break out of the basics and add new ideas and practices to their art making. These are straightforward but useful exercises to give a fresh look at how to design your projects. I appreciated the logical layout and clear writing in this book, and found quite a lot to engage me. I learned some new tips through the text, and some new ideas just from looking closely at the examples (many of which also had detail close-ups). 

This is a book to go back to and work through in different areas. Two of the design exercises in particular, on composition and colour, are ones that I'll be trying out as I think they'll really add to my development as a textile artist. I'm glad I came across this book, and have already got my hands on another of Sandra Meech's titles. Looking forward to more by this author. 


  1. Just wanted to share a couple of improv quilting books I’ve come across recently that I found really inspiring
    Quilting with a Modern Slant by Rachel May
    The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood
    Inspiring Improv by Nicholas Ball

    1. Thank you for the suggestions! I've seen the Rachel May book and thought it was great, but haven't looked at the others yet.


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