I love maps. I love the different ways geography is shown. I even took a cartography class once. So why did it take this book by Valerie Goodwin to make me consider making a map as a quilt?
It’s hard to explain how to use Art Quilt Maps. If you’re looking for quilt patterns with yardages and step by step instructions, this book will disappoint. However, it’s great for inspiration and new ideas. It’s more an album of art quilt maps, though Goodwin presents the materials and design process she uses, and her sources of inspiration. After that, though, you wing it. I can’t help but like a book that suggests haikus as starting points for quilts.
Goodwin is a professor of architecture so she’s used to representing the world as lines and symbols on a flat surface. Architects are taught to construct scale models of their designs and draw blueprints (or the electronic version of them.) Their work is both functional and aesthetic.
Goodwin’s preferred construction materials are a bit unusual – cotton crinoline (available online), silk organza and Liquitex soft body acrylic paint. She uses the stiff crinoline as her base and then layers mostly neutral or solid fabric scraps (cottons and silks), blending the joins between pieces with paint and organza. Stamping, hand stitches, and machine stitches mark the objects – roads, water courses, buildings, etc. I enjoy the way she summarizes her techniques.
I found that Goodwin’s development process is much more complex and layered than I had thought on first looking at her quilts. The fourteen steps she shows to make Stonehenge add nuance but don’t call attention to themselves apart from the whole.