Gwen Marston Drops By to Share Minimal Quiltmaking (+ a Giveaway!)

We’ve got a special treat today at SHWS:  Gwen Marston is in the house! Yup, she’s going to review her latest and greatest quilting title, Minimal Quiltmaking. Sure, it’s unorthodox having an author write her own book review, but why not? She’s Gwen Marston and she’s super fabulous! Scroll to the end of the post for giveaway details–here’s a hint:  enter to win a copy of her new title.

Hello everyone! I’ve been invited to write a review of my new book Minimal Quiltmaking so let me say right upfront: it’s going to be very favorable!

Book-J:  Minimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston

It’s always a thrill when I get to see a just-off-the-press copy of my latest book for the first time. In the case of my most recent book, Minimal Quiltmaking (AQS Publishing, 2014), I couldn’t have been more pleased. Reviewers are calling it “beautiful” and I have to agree.

I’ve always been the “less is more” girl, preferring straightforward, uncluttered design so keeping it simple, aka minimal, is my natural default setting. This book includes both examples of my early minimal work and more recent pieces as well. It also includes the exciting work of twenty-two contemporary quilters (some are also quilt teachers) from across the country. I was so very pleased to be able to include their work in my book because it adds an indispensable flavor that makes it all the more tasty.

The book (95 pages, $24.95) has lots of full-page color pictures of the quilts and is packed with design and construction tips on how you can make your own original quilts without patterns using my “liberated”, intuitive, free-pieced methods. So, let me show you some of the quilts in my new book.

Discovering Lancaster Country Amish quilts in the early 80’s set me off on a virtual tangent of making quilts in that style as a way to understand the Amish sense of design and use of color. It also taught me the value of working with solid fabrics, which I’ve continued to do to this day.

ONE PATCH, made in 1990, was the first in a series of thirteen minimal quilts, all shown in the book, inspired by the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928).

Quilt-J:  Gwen Marston's Quilt One-Patch from Minimal Quiltmaking

I have a chapter about Hard-Edge Quilts, inspired by a California art movement from the 1960’s called “hard-edge painting”. MINIMAL COMPOSITION is in that chapter.

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 4.48.18 PM

I talk about the process of designing minimal quilts, how to apply the principles of minimal art to create your own distinctive work, and give suggestions on where to find inspiration for working in this style.

And to whet your appetite, here is a small sampling of the stunning quilts made by made by contributing quilt artists included in the book.

Quilt-J:  Split Cherry by Marjorie Tucker in Minimal QuiltmakingSPLIT CHERRY, by Marjorie Tucker, from Boston, Mass, and MINIMAL PURPLE, made by Kristin Shields, from Bend, Oregon, are both contemporary quilt artists and teachers who have their own style and definitely know what they are doing.

Quilt-J: Minimal Purple by Kristin Shields in Minimal QuiltmakingI hope you enjoy the book as much as I did writing it. Carry on! GM

Giveaway Details Here!

Leave a comment by Thursday afternoon, June 19, answering the question:  What’s your quilting pleasure:  less is more or more is more? I’ll announce the winner of an autographed copy of Minimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston in the Friday post. We’ll also take a look a more quilts from Gwen’s new title and revisit retired blogging sister Darra’s past posts on Gwen’s quilting style.

See ya!



20 thoughts on “Gwen Marston Drops By to Share Minimal Quiltmaking (+ a Giveaway!)

  1. Definitely less is more is my style. Gwen’s stitching and the color add to the magnetic appeal of her wonderful art. Thanks for this opportunity to win this book.


  2. Your latest book sounds fab Ms Gwen! I love minimally constructed quilts, but love doing a lot of quilting. Bravo to you! Please make me a winner!


  3. I can’t wait to see Gwen’s new book. I think I have evolved to something of a less is more esthetic. There are exceptions of course. I love to try new things and never say never.


  4. If you looked at my quilts, you would say I like more is more. I have really enjoyed looking at “less is more” quilts lately, so will be trying some projects with this in mind soon.
    I have been to three BIQR retreats and will really miss going this year.


  5. Usually more, but need to work on “minimal”! I have a collection of Gwen’s books and would love winning the latest.


  6. I’d have to say that I’ve always done “more is more” but after taking a class with Gwen last fall, I’ve been trying to do “less is better” (my version anyway). Her work just blows me away and it looks so simple but so rich, so much to look at, etc. I would be so excited to win her book – thank you for the chance. Carry on (I love that!!)


  7. I think I’m very much a more-is-more quilter–the wilder and scrappier the better! So I would love the opportunity to peruse this book and give less-is-more a try. Thanks for the giveaway!


  8. I have followed Gwen for some time and yes, less is definitely more. I started out with solids and I am making my way back! My fingers are crossed!!! ;~)


  9. I’m definitely a less is more quilter – although it’s easy to get carried away and sometimes hard to know when to stop!


  10. I love Gwen Marston’s quilts and have several of her books. I don’t think I can say I have a style, as I have tried all sorts of quilts, but if I had to pick one, I guess I would lean toward less is more. Thanks for the great giveaway!


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