Getting FloMo has gotten me more excited about quilting and, as we do, that led to more purchases! In this case it was books. I already had several quilting books but I’ve added these to my collection.
These are my most recent purchases. Let’s start with Graffiti Quilting. I was actually the one I was most excited about getting and, in the end, the most disappointing.
It's a fine book but not a great book. First off it's self-published and it shows in the quality of paper and print. I love artists who self-publish and I appreciate the work they put into it but at the end if the day they still compete with everyone else and the product has to show it. This book doesn’t quite make it. On pages with all text it's not printed consistently black. The ink fades to reddish black or yellowish black in areas. The cover just simply feels weird.
I love her technique and I feel like she's mastered it well. I don't feel that she's really mastered teaching it. She spends most of the book showing some key shapes and a little about embellishing those shapes. Honestly that's nothing really new. She has pages of drawing of graffiti drawing but only has 1 page where she talks about how she approaches a design. She doesn't want to refer to her drawing as Zentangling but, in my opinion, that's exactly what it is. Zentangle teachers spend a lot of time telling you how to approach the drawing and start filling a page. People starting this kind of art need some help starting. Give them some formulas or a game that will help them pick a design and move forward. It would have been really helpful if she had shown a design in progress with some explanation of the though process that she went through with each step.
The book could be more substantial. It's only 69 pages and 19 of those are background, materials, etc. The rest of the book is a lot of very large font, large drawings and photographs. It’s 30 cents a page.
Let’s compare it to Quilting Wide Open Spaces by Judy Madsen to give some perspective. QWOS is a professionally published book from AQS. For starters it’s 103 pages compared to 60. If you only compare content pages Judy’s book has twice the content and costs 19 cents per page. Yes, that matters to me.
It matters even more when you compare the font size in the 2 books. On the left is Graffiti Quilting and that the smallest font used in the book.
Here’s the other font size. When you are using font sizes that big it means that you are really short on content.
Now this doesn’t mean that Judy’s book is a direct substitute for Graffiti Quilting. It really isn’t. Judy’s book has quilting patterns and then shows you how she would quilt each of the quilts. It’s a design book and teaches you how to approach designing a quilt. For me it was a book that I really needed in my arsenal.
Quilting Wide Open Spaces is a good companion to Angela Walter’s books. I like these books for some quilting motif ideas. The overall design approach isn’t quite what I was looking for because I don’t really make modern quilts. But they are still good books and are well written with good photos and diagrams.
For filler designs I don’t’ think there’s anything better than the work that Leah Day has generously done for us. She has hundreds of free motion designs and video instructions on her blog. I reference them all the time and I bought her book so I could easily have her designs next to me at the machine. The book only has photos but there are 365 of them! Most you can figure out on your own but you can always go to her blog to see the instruction video. It's expensive at $39.95 but there are 243 pages and costs only 16.5 cents per page.
So what if you want to do something like Graffiti Quilting? Well I recommend 2 things. Get a good Zentangle book. I learned with One Zentangle A Day and Pattern Play. To learn how to quilt those kinds of designs I recommend books and videos by Jamie Wallen. The one in the photo is an earlier one (that I continually reference) but he has new ones on his web site. Take a look at his work and you will see someone who thinks like a graffiti artist. He’s even having some wonderful holiday sales on his workshops.
I have other really good quilting books but these are the ones that I'm using right now. What are your favorite quilting books?