Book Review: Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World

A mysterious package arrived on my doorstep the other day, and I was thrilled to see a review copy of Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World by Martha Sielman was inside! This is the first in a series of books by Lark Crafts, and it doesn’t disappoint.

This book is a gorgeous display of quilts reflecting nature and all of it’s glory.  Expertly curated by Martha, the book depicts a wide range of quilts using a variety of masterful techniques.  The reproduction of the quilts is of top notch quality, and I love when I can see the stitches and how the piece is quilted.  I adore books like this, because they are not about techniques, not about patterns…they show you the very best of this art quilt movement.  It’s wonderful for inspiration or when you’re in a slump (like I mention in my Back to Basics series).

I was intrigued by the 19 highlighted artists who were selected for a more in depth look at their works.  These are some of the greats you will recognize, like Betty Busby, Elaine Quehl, and Ruth McDowell…. and maybe some you don’t.  Annemieke Mein’s work struck me and I had not seen her work before, causing me to seek out more of her fabulous realistic nature quilts and her book.  

I also appreciated the artist’s statements, because I struggle with that portion of describing my own work.  The guided interviews of the selected artists also give you some insight to their thought processes on approaching their art.

A local (to me) group called the Fiber Art Coalition (FAC) also appears in a group section highlighting their group exhibit on “Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird”.  Many of these members are also in the Professional Art Quilt Alliance with me here in the IL area, so that was a special treat to see.

I took this book to the Fiber Art Divas meeting to pass around, and by the end of the meeting it had not made it all they way around the room.  Whenever I checked on it, someone had it and was pouring over the details and pointing out the stunning work to her seatmate.  Several people remarked that they were going home to order it right away.   We’re all looking forward to more!

This book is released on April 3rd, 2012.