It’s an industry trend that’s been pretty hard to miss: hundreds of new quilting, sewing, and fabric-crafting books are released every year. Every once in a while, however, a new book comes along that is so stunning in its content–both instructionally and visually–that it truthfully can be called a “must have” for every art-and-craft-library shelf. Lucky for us, this month we are gifted with one of these rare “instant classics:” Adventures in Design, the latest offering by Joen Wolfrom, one of the most respected lecturers/instructors on the subject of color and design for fiber (and other) artists today.
You may be familiar with Joen through her twelve previous books and products, including the widely successful Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool and her new Studio Color Wheel; through her pattern company, JWD Publishing; or her recently launched blog, Playing with Color. She has tackled the subject of design in detail before, in her best-selling book, The Visual Dance, which was published in 1995 and is now available as an e-book download. However, after 16 years, Joen realized it was time for more than a simple update. In fact, “within two weeks after I finished The Visual Dance, I knew I wanted to write another book on design,” she says. In the interim, she has continued her own creative journey, including a serious interest in photography.
Adventures in Design is a juicy 144 pages, packed with information essential to the understanding and achievement of good design–color, shape, line, texture, unity, repetition, contrast, and so much more. It’s a valuable resource, not only for quilters and others who work with fiber, but for photographers and visual artists of all media. The book is divided into three main sections, each with activities and exercises to practice what you’ve learned: Setting the Stage: Eight Ingredients for Great Designs; Creating the Visual Dance: A Blueprint for Great Designs; and Designing Spectacular Quilts.
Let me assure you: as valuable as this book is for its information, it is also pure eye candy! To illustrate her lessons, Joen features over 150 spectacular quilts–both traditional and non-traditional–made by quilters and fiber artists from around the world (including Japan, South Africa, England, France, Canada, Australia, Northern Ireland, Germany, and the Netherlands)…and the work is dazzling! You’ll probably recognize some of the names, others will be new to you. Here is just a sample, which includes the work of Lenore Crawford (Midland, MI), Rachel Wetzler (St. Charles, IL), Linda Beach (Estes Park, CO), Denise Labadie (Longmont, CO), and Larisa Key (Willimantic, CT).
If the text and quilt photos aren’t enough, the book is lavishly illustrated with helpful sketches and dozens of Joen’s outstanding photographs. Oh, how I wish I could show you more! (You’ll just need to purchase the book, I guess, which I highly recommend.)
!!!UPDATE!!! Joen has graciously offered an autographed copy of Adventures in Design as a giveaway in conjunction with this post. Just leave a comment below explaining why you’d like to have this book in your personal library by noon (PDT) Wednesday, October 5, and I’ll announce the winner in my Friday, October 7 post.
That’s all for this time. Before I sign off, however, congratulations to Colleen Gander, winner of A Year in the Life of Sunbonnet Sue, the giveaway from my August 26 post. Have fun with Sue, Colleen!
‘Til next time, happy stitching!
Okay, just one more…