Stamps & Stencils that Work Together
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Book Club: The Painted Quilt by Linda & Laura Kemshall

Thank you so much for all your kind comments on yesterday's post!  I'm so excited about the stamps and stencils and I'm delighted to hear that you are too!  Now onto today's post....

It's time for our May Book Club!  Just as a reminder, each month I choose a crafty book from my bookshelf and create something inspired by the book.   I hope you'll be inspired to do the same.

This month I chose The Painted Quilt.

This book was written by a mother and daughter duo: Linda and Laura Kemshall.  And though it is a book intended for quilters, there are many no-sew surface design techniques that I think would appeal to art journalers and mixed media artists alike.

When I went through my bookshelf to choose this month's book I was shocked by how many books on fabric surface design I own -- and many with the exact same techniques.  (This is what comes of buying books and not reading them.)  The Painted Quilt wasn't the first book I grabbed from my bookshelf, but after poking through several fabric surface design books, this one actually excited me.  

There are nine chapters:

  1. Introduction: The two ladies talk about why they quilt, share some work, and discuss what to expect from the book.
  2. Inspired to Design: Linda and Laura are sketchbook enthusiasts.  They work out most designs in their paper sketchbooks before moving to fabric.  In this chapter they discuss design principles, inspiration, techniques, and more.  This is one of the chapters I think would be universally appealing to all artists and crafters. 
  3. What Fabric?  What Colour? This is the most technical chapter, and the briefest.  From pre-treating fabrics to the basics of dyeing to health & safety, Linda and Laura cover it all.
  4. Colour Before Quilting: A series of techniques for adding color, shape, and pattern to fabric. 
  5. Colour After Quilting: A series of techniques for adding color after the fabric has been quilted.
  6. Removing Colour: A series of techniques for removing color both before and after quilting.
  7. Adding Detail: A fun series of surface design techniques that have some precision involved in them.
  8. Pictorial and Figurative Images: Printing from your computer, transfers, and painting are all discussed in this chapter.
  9. What to Do with What you Know: In this final chapter Linda and Laura both share pieces they've made and discuss both their inspiration and the techniques they used.  These are not, however, project instructions.

The reason that this book stands out to me is the writing.  Most crafty books are heavy on pictures, with some directions of varying quality.  The Painted Quilt has both photos and instructions, but more importantly, it is filled with truly interesting text.  Philosophically I am very much of the same mind as Linda and Laura in many aspects of their creating.  I think they're a bit more scientific about how they approach things -- testing, sketching, planning -- and I'm more of a "just do it" kind of gal.  Nonetheless, there is a meeting of the minds, for me, in the pages of this book. I appreciate how they mix their media -- something I'm a strong advocate of.  

I'm pretty sure I will end up making a number of projects inspired by this book, but I roped my Mom into modeling the first one: 

I mixed painted and quilted fabric I made inspired by The Painted Quilt...

...with commercial black & white fabrics for the sides, strap, and lining.

I'm thrilled and delighted with the finished bag and can hardly wait to wear it around town.  Can you believe that gorgeous fabric started out a plain white?  It blows my mind.

Though this is a quilting book, remember that there are many other possibilities (like this purse) within its pages.

Have you read The Painted Quilt?  What do you think about it?

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. For easy reference all these "Book Club" posts are archived under the "Book Club" logo in the far right column of the blog. 

P.P.S. I wore the purse out for the first time on Friday!

(If you follow my Twitter or instagram feeds you'll know that I take a lot of self-portraits in the mirror by the elevator in my apartment building.)