12 November, 2010

Book Review - Freddy and Gwen Collaborate Again

This is the first week of a new series here at Naptime Quilter. I've been reading a lot of books, some old and some new, and I wanted to share them with you. There is a wealth of information in quilt books. Some are definitely better than others as well. These reviews are my opinion only. And if a book was given to me or I was invited on a blog tour I will certainly let you know. Otherwise I'm reviewing books I've either purchased, borrowed, or checked out from the library.

Up first is Freddy and Gwen Collaborate Again, by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran. Published by Lark Books in 2009.

I'll admit that I've not read their first book, but I will be searching it out again. There is an energy to this book and their work that I've not read anywhere. It isn't just the incredibly bright and bold quilts. The sense of collaboration really comes through in the projects. They refer to it throughout the book and each have had a hand in writing chapters.

One of my favourite parts of the book is that there aren't actually any quilt patterns. Rather, they go over specific techniques or blocks in a section they call The Parts Department. Then, when they profile the quilts they reference which parts they used. They also discuss where the design came from and how they came to certain decisions.

Another interesting tidbit to each quilt discussion is a note about a traditional influence or similarity. That is definitely a nice touch to a book that is quite modern. It is fitting considering the subtitle is Freewheeling Twists on Traditional Quilt Designs.

My guess is that this is not a book for a beginner quilter. If you are just starting out the designs and concepts are certainly inspirational. But if you are still used to precise instructions and nervous about breaking out your own it might be tough to read. If all you want is to make "that quilt" specifically then you will have a hard time with this book. If you want, however, to take in some inspiration from both new and traditional quilts this is a fantastic book.

Two of my favourite quilts from the book:

Liberated Wedding Ring


Are there any books you can recommend or would like me to review?


Joyce said...

That is one of my favorite quilt books ever. I find it totally inspiring.

Brenda said...

I'm with Joyce. I like the first one two, as well as both of Marston's Liberating quilting books. They're all inspirational!

elle said...

I have the first one and luv it. What is your favorite colour book?

Suzanne said...

Just about 18 years ago, I was invited to Freddy's house for a social event. I wasn't a quilter then. I remember seeing one of hers hanging on a wall. It had bold colors and blacks and whites. I think there was a cow print on the back. I wanted to look more but didn't. Someone mentioned something about her and quilting and being published but the details were never filled in. Fast forward a dozen years and I find myself a quilter, wondering all that time who that lady was. Thank you for solving the mystery. I wish I could go back in time...

snore stop said...

The book is very interesting to read.Thanks for the kind words and the plug. Much appreciated.

Esch House Quilts said...

I am a huge Gwen Marston fan. I have a copy of this book that I haven't read yet - must move it up on the list.

My favorite quilting books are by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Fun Quilts. I had been quilting two or three years and was trying to figure out what kind of quilts I really wanted to make, when I picked up their "Modern Quilt Workshop" and nearly squealed with excitement! They have a new book coming out soon (or maybe is just came out - not sure).

Caron said...

My favorite book to find inspiration from is Kumiko Sudo's East Quilts West. It has some stylized "traditional" blocks and a really unique way of combining fabrics. It never fails to get me out of a stuck spot.

nanann said...

I also love this book, but I thought I'd point out my one pet peeve (and just grabbed my copy to be specific!): Freddy Moran doesn't credit her quilter by name with any of the quilt pictures at the beginning. She'll even refer to the quilter (see pages 49 and 59), but then the captions simply will say "designed and pieced by Freddy Moran" but not who quilted it! It would have been easy for her to name the quilter -- Gwen Marston's section manages to do so!

Perhaps I am sensitive since my mom is a professional long-armer and I feel doesn't get the credit she deserves on some of her quilts, but I think it is pretty disrespectful not to put the quilter's name with the quilt in a published book. Without the quilting, it would just be a top/flimsy. I am sure it is the quilters' business and they'd like acknowledgment and customers too!

LynAnne Smucker said...

Having both of the collaborative books by Marston and Moran, I personally liked the first book a bit better, not that the second one isn't a good book. One thing to be aware of in the first book is that the pattern for the chicken blocks is missing a piece, not that you can't figure out what it is. One thing though that bothered me when I discovered that was why didn't the writer's catch that, they are both skilled artists, did no one pattern test things or review the book before publishing to make sure all the directions for block in the parts department section where correct? However, I will give them points for the use of pictures/diagrams to show how to make the blocks, not just written directions which some quilt patterns and book use.

MariQuilts said...

I enjoyed your book reviews, my addiction also includes quilting books. I love to research different ways of doing things...I'm always looking for an easier way so needless to say I have many many books.

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