Missing Gwen

Not many quilt artists span the quilting world from traditional to modern and minimalist in their work. Gwen Marston did. She took her cues from the traditional folk art quilts she studied, but breathed new life into the form.

Two weeks before her death I looked at her book, “A Common Thread,” that shows over 60 quilts Gwen made and selected for this volume. It contains few words, just photo after photo of quilts made from 1976 to 2015. Here are my favorites.

So playful with the exuberant center panel and curved borders, and then the sawtooth edge
Love the casual placement of the berry clusters and the idiosyncratic roundness of the wreaths.
Those pops of turquoise and the one orange dagger!
Utterly simple, in fabrics I don’t like, yet there’s such movement in the strings.
This quilt captures stillness, and the hand quilting is sophisticated in its simplicity.


Filed under Books, Commentary, Inspiration

6 responses to “Missing Gwen

  1. Berit Hokanson

    She was truly the pioneer of the Modern Quilt Movement. I was fortunate to hear her speak at QuiltCon in Pasadena, 2017. Such and inspiration! Thsi looks like a wonderful book. Is it still in print?

    • The book is available at amazon, though right now only as a used book. It’s also available from Martingale, the publisher. I see that someone complained on the publisher’s site that the book contained no patterns.

  2. Barbara

    Gwen is one of my quilt heroes and has been an inspiration to me. Her passing is very sad and a loss to the world of quilting. The Quilt Show has a video on Gwen, available to watch free today only, at https://thequiltshow.com/watch/show-list/video/latest/show-1305-the-skys-the-limit-with-hand-painted-fabric/?utm_source=Infusionsoft&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2019_04_19_Weekend_Fun_03&inf_contact_key=0c22a4c8bdb7f97b34e3eb9665bf3403b7af0999dac2af6212784c39e05d2aef

  3. Barbara

    Gwen is one of my quilt heroes and has been an inspiration to me. Her passing is very sad and a loss to the world of quilting.

  4. I need to find this book. I love the idea of seeing the evolution of her style over the years.

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