I returned from visiting my family in California last week to find a new book in my mailbox by my friend Kathleen Loomis. The book is titled: Pattern-Free Quilts / Riffs on the Rail Fence Block. Many of you know Kathy from her years of involvement in the quilt community, her blog: Art With A Needle or perhaps her food blog: Kathy's Soup Kitchen.
Kathy is best known for her very contemporary improvisational quilts and has many accolades to her credit. Like many artists working in fiber, her love affair with quilts began with traditional quilt patterns when she started quilting as a teenager. Kathy also loves to share her knowledge of sewing and sewing techniques. It is this desire that led Kathy to write Pattern-Free Quilts.
People often have excellent sewing skills but just don't know how to get started creating their own original work. This book addresses that issue and shows very clearly how to use what you may be familiar with (a pattern) and develop what you know using design choices to take a pattern to a new personal image. Once you begin to see all the options available in one simple block you likely will begin to spread your wings and become a "pattern-free" quilt maker. The ideas she presents can in fact be applied to all patterns.
The book is laid out in a very straight forward format starting with a short history of how Kathy began her sewing life, an explanation of the traditional Rail Fence pattern and several chapters on how to work with this pattern. The writing, diagrams, pictures and instructions are solid with information on how to construct many options of the Rail Fence as well as a chapter on Color Choices and ending with a gallery of ideas.
The book can be purchased HERE and would make a lovely gift to anyone who might want to expand their knowledge of pattern/idea development.
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