I like to audition new quilting books by checking them out of my library. If I really like them I buy myself a copy. I just borrowed Brave New Quilts by Kathreen Ricketson, which includes “12 projects inspired by 20th century art.” While I’m not ready to buy my own copy, I’ve changed my opinion of this book.
It wasn’t what I was expecting, and I was disappointed at first. It has a modern quilt sensibility yet, like some other modern quilting books, advises old fashioned construction techniques. And the close up picture of a bound corner would have a quilt show judge tsking in dismay.
It’s as if all the sewing short cuts and innovations of the past 15 years never happened. So if you have quilting experience, I suggest you ignore the construction methods given if you have ones that work better for you. If you like patterns with lots of photo illustrations of construction details this isn’t a book for you. I know that’s a lot of ifs, but Brave New Quilts isn’t for everyone.
Then, I felt cheated about the art inspiration. I had expected quilts based on specific works of art. Nope. While there are art influences in the book’s quilts they are generic. I didn’t see any that you wouldn’t see in Target products. And I’m not knocking Target as I like a lot of their stuff.
On the plus side, the quilts certainly reflect the author’s design sense (another quilter with an art background) and the book shows some of the preliminary sketches that led to the finished work. These aren’t quilts designed to feature a fabric line.
When I looked through the book a second time I began to get excited about some of the patterns. Weave, featured on the cover; Intersections; Break the Rules; and So What really appealed to me. The last two feature words. It may be time for me to speak through a quilt.