I have a special bookshelf in my studio that is filled with favorite quilting books. The ones I pull out to look through when I feel in a creative rut. Each of them inspire me in different ways (some for color, some for pattern, some for symmetry of design) and they are the ones I turn to again and again. In my eyes, these books represent quiltmaking as an artform, not simply craft. I thought I'd share a few of them.
This book was published by the American Quilter's Society in 1995, so not really vintage, but the quilts of Anna Williams span a lifetime of instinctual, brilliant color patchwork piecing, a lifetime of honing a skill she described as "what I do to take my mind off my troubles". The copies of this book left in circulation are not cheap, and it is shockingly thin (a mere 25 pages), but it is truly inspiring. As Denyse said in her workshop where I first learned of Anna, "you can't fake" what Anna did with color, pattern, and quilting. Sadly, Anna passed away in June of 2012. I love having this book of her work to inspired me.
Quilts by Roderick Kiracofe.
This book was a gift from Erin and I absolutely love it. Not an old book at all, quite new in fact, available as a self-published book on Blurb).The colors, the patterns, the entire collection of quilts in this book is completely inspiring on so many levels. Some of these quilts were shown at QuiltCon recently (another reason I should have gone!) and it must have been wonderful to see these in person. Great fabric and color reference on these pages. And something about seeing beautifully colored quilts on a stark white background really appeals to me.
Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition by Jonathan Holstein
This book is the story of an exhibition that opened in 1971 at the Whitney Museum in New York. This book reminds and inspires me to remember the art of quiltmaking. There is an entire story within the pages of this book of how the exhibit came to exist, along with full pages of the quilts themselves with information about each one. There is page after page of graphic inspiration and use of color and pattern. This is a beautiful book for any quiltmaker to have in their collection.
Patchwork Simplified by Alice Timmins
This is a well-used old library copy with a copyright of 1973. I love the mod, geometric feel of the patchwork in this book. Look at those wonderful quilted skirts above (although I'm sure she is beating her head against the wall on the right, wondering why she didn't just make that fabulous patchwork into a full quilt instead of a skirt).
Patchcraft by Elsie Svennas
Another treasure, beautiful use of color and shapes within quilts. Gives great examples of applique and embroidery used in quiltmaking, although many of the images are black and white. Still...
The Perfect Patchwork Primer by Beth Gutcheon
This book is just a great reference book for so many techniques, standards, and really just the whole idea of quilting's place in a creative life. A must-have for any vintage quilt library.
I would love to hear what quilting books you have to inspire you!