June Barnes‘ Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art is a thought provoking book. I know the phrase thought provoking is not often used about quilting books as they are more likely to be filled with patterns or techniques. However, Barnes’ book flings open the door to “what if” for the adventurous quilter. If you think of quilts in terms of plane geometry, then the creations in Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art are advanced solid geometry – cones, spheres, pyramids. Barnes even includes some mobius strips.
Her work caught my eye when I saw a picture of her award winning quilt, Squaring Up. And this is tame compared with some of her other quilted pieces shown in the second picture.
As Barnes says in her introduction, her book concentrates on form, not function. Some of the techniques could be adapted for wearables, but those are outside the book’s scope. There are some cute fabric boxes that I might try (see the Quilting Daily blog post called How to Make a Fiber Art Pyramid), but most of the work illustrated is sculptural. Some of Barnes’ work takes humble shapes like cootie catchers and elevates them to art. Her piece Fortunity uses five sizes of fabric cootie catchers glue gunned to a canvas.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in seeing how far quilting can be pushed. The project instructions are general as the sewer needs to determine what size, colors and materials work best for her. There are a few pages of general instructions and a glossary, but I think the most useful written part is the table of prompts that contains phrases like “go to extremes,” condense it,” make it glow, “make it hotter.” These are meant to spark new ideas and designs.