Creative Inspiration: Books I Own

Continuing my series on sources of my creative inspiration, today I explore a couple of books in my personal collection that inspire me to create.

Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 (Roderick Kiracofe, 2014)

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

This inspirational book was a gift from a friend. I have read it cover to cover and refer to it when I need inspiration. I even keep it on display at my house at the top of one of my bookshelves, to remind me that everyday people have beautiful art inside of them.

This excerpt from an Amazon.com review, summarizes how I feel about this book:

Artistic, joyful, visually and emotionally awakening
Beautifully designed and written from cover to cover, Unconventional and Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 is a piece of art in and of itself. The collection of quilts in the book look like modern paintings and poetry created through stitches. Each quilt is made for personal use with most humble materials; it makes you wonder about the personal story of its maker. Like any other form of modern art, it allows you to make your own interpretation through the fabrics they used or the pattern they followed.

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously (Sherri L. Wood, 2015)

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

I originally borrowed this book from our local library in Spring 2015. After an hour or two with this book, I had to purchase it and add it to my collection.

“Improve Is…Setting Limits to Expand Horizons” – Sherri L. Wood

I think this book is the seminal guide on quilting improvisation. It is not a pattern to follow quilt book, but a guide on strategies to allow yourself permission to be free and initiative in your quilt design. The author provides wonderful exercises to try out your improvisational skills. These “Scores” are intended to help art quilters gain confidence in their “improv” skills.

This also features work by other art quilters (in addition to the author) to include a very talented Oregon Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) colleague of mine, Marion Shimoda.

This book has been read cover to cover a couple times and shared this book with my collaborative art quilting parter, Betty Anne Guadalupe. Betty Anne loves challenges – after purchasing this book herself, she made a piece with recycled silks, based on one of the “Scores” (Setting Limits) in the book.

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Intuition (2016) by Betty Anne Guadalupe

Postscript

My collaborative art quilting partner, Betty Anne, sent this wonderful comment in an e-mail the other day and I wanted to quote her and share with my readers:

Art that breathes and expresses itself is the art that speaks to us from within” – Betty Anne Guadalupe

Hope you have a creative and inspirational week!

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