Book review: Quilt National 2011

I received a review copy (quite awhile ago, actually) of the book, Quilt National 2011: The Best of Contemporary Quilts by Lark Books. I do think it’s a book worthy of your time, so off the shelf it came today, now with the dust blown off.

What it is about: It features 86 works of art accepted in the revered Quilt National 2011 juried show and exhibit held at The Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio. There’s also a *traveling exhibition connected to this event. Quilt National is in its 3rd decade and occurs every two years.

The look: The production quality is first-rate. It’s beautifully bound in hardcover with a bountiful amount of quality photographs.

My thoughts: As a traditional quilter, why pick up an inspirational book of leading textile art when it is clearly not practical in terms of teaching me something? Well, after some thought, I am certain there is a great deal to learn and imagine from such books and this one in particular.

As I flipped through it and settled on some of these quilted creations, I would often think, How did the artist do that? or, Cool, that quilt has a steampunk feel. These are not inconsequential moments for my own creative journey, since I believe every quilt provokes a feeling in us and has something unique to say. This is learning.

And finally, the artists showcased here have a point of view, a recognizable style. An example is Susan Shie; you can see her quilt, Stars on the Water – The Oil Spill/5 of Paring Knives in the Kitchen Tarot, on pg 78. I know her work anywhere, at a glance.

For all these reasons, I can heartily recommend this book.

*Groups A and B quilts are still being exhibited in San Jose, California ending April 29, 2012. If you live close by, don’t miss seeing some of these beauties in person.

Ed. note: Lark Books did send me a review copy, but all opinions about it are my own.

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