Friday, May 4, 2012

Denyse Schmidt : Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration :: review and giveaway

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by the kind folks at Abrams Books if I'd like to review Denyse Schmidt's new book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. Of course, being the huge fan of Denyse's work that I am, I was thrilled to do it and quickly said yes. My book arrived last week and I've spent the last few days looking over and over this gorgeous book. It is simply stunning in so many ways.

This book is incredibly beautiful, so much so that I think that both quilters and non-quilters alike would enjoy it. Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration is just that: Denyse has designed twenty fresh quilts that were inspired by historical quilts and traditional patterns. Each quilt has an introduction where Denyse writes about the history of the pattern or about how a particular antique quilt has inspired her to create her own version with a new twist.

While I don't know Denyse personally, I really think that we get to hear her voice throughout the book in both the writing and the quilts themselves. In the introduction Denyse describes the events in her life that eventually led her to start her company, Denyse Schmidt Quilts, and how she always has had a love for both vintage textiles and design. The child of parents who created many beautiful--and useful--things by hand, it's no wonder that Denyse would become the quilter that she is today.

And of course, Denyse's voice continues to be heard in the quilts themselves, styled beautifully through her role as Art Director of the book, and captured in the stunning photography by John Gruen. The photographs range from gorgeous lifestyle photos to detail shots, as well as full images of the fronts of all the quilts. Here are a couple of my favorite photos. 

I love the Courthouse Steps quilt hanging from the rafters of a barn, above; and the Tobacco Leaf quilt, below, hung casually over a door with just a peek of the back showing is just so great.

The patterns in the book range from easy to challenging,  so there is something for every quilter, no matter his or her skill level. Although with Denyse's clear instructions and easy-to-follow diagrams, I'm sure even a beginner sewist or quilter could successfully complete one of the more complex patterns. The more challenging patterns in the book would certainly take quite a bit of time to finish, but Denyse gently reminds us that a quilt doesn't have to be finished in one day; rather, especially traditionally speaking, quilting is often a slow craft and can be a welcome change of pace from the busy lives that most of us lead today. 

There is a section in the book devoted to Tools, Materials, & Techniques in which Denyse provides a really good overview with lots of great essentials on the the process of quilt making. The book also includes a pull-out section of full-scale patterns in the back that are required for some of the projects. 

Modern Quilts, Traditional Patterns is a must have book for any quilter. And as I said above, I honestly think non-quilters would appreciate it as well. Besides being full of inspiring patterns and a wealth of information on quilting, with its gorgeous photography, Modern Quilts, Traditional Patterns would make a stunning addition to any library.  

And, since my birthday was a couple of weeks ago, Jeff had already purchased a copy of the book for me as a gift, so now I have two! And I'd love to share a copy of Modern Quilts, Traditional Patterns with one of you, so how about another giveaway? 

To enter, please leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite traditional quilting pattern is. Be sure that your email is either in the comment or connected to your blogger profile so I can let you know if you're the winner. Thank you!

That's it! I'll use the random number generator to choose one winner and the giveaway will be open until Friday, May 11, 2012 at midnight ET. International entries are welcome. Good luck!

Denyse Schmidt's Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration is an STC Craft | A Melanie Falick Book and can be purchased at your local book store or your favorite online retailer, or you can order a signed copy on Denyse's site here

:: And one more quick bloggy housekeeping note, I was not compensated for this review. :: 
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