Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quilts Inspired by the National Parks

I was so excited about the concept of Inspired by the National Parks. The quilt on the cover was a big selling point for someone who loves landscape quilts.

To celebrate the anniversary of our 59 National Parks, Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto brought together quilters to create 177 original art quilts depicting the landscape, flora, and fauna of each park. Accompanying articles by park rangers and park personnel brings to life the people who preserve and protect our cherished shared lands.

Table of Contents Inspired by the National Parks

Throughout the book the author quotes John Muir, the "Father of the National Parks." Known as the founder of the Sierra Club, Muir was a true devotee of nature as a source of spiritual revitalization. Through his writings he educated America about our natural wonders and called for their preservation.

DeSoto gave the quilt artists a choice of park and category and size restrictions of 20 x 44 or 44 x 20 for landscape quilts and 20 x 20 for the flora and fauna quilts. The artists could not use commercial patterns, so each quilt is an original design by that artist. An artist statement accompanies each photographed quilt.

The quilts are wonderfully varied. With amazing use of fabric and construction there are realistic quilts, interpretive visions, humorous depictions, flowers and animals in natural settings or portrayed apart.

The parks are identified by location, date of establishment, a brief description of high points, and a link to the National Park Service website for the park.

Including statements from park rangers was brilliant. We learn first hand about the park, what the people who work there love most about the park, and the park's attractions for tourists. The joy and love of work shines through the statements.

This is a beautiful book whose appeal reaches beyond quilters, a celebration of our precious natural heritage. 

Resources are offered at the end of the book, including links to the Junior Ranger Program, volunteer programs, Artist-in-Residence Program and donating to the NPS.

DeSoto's previous book was Inspired by the Beatles: An Art Quilt Challenge published by Schiffer Publications.

All illustrating photographs are from Schiffer Publication.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Inspired by the National Parks: Their Landscapes and Wildlife in Fabric Perspectives

by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto

Schiffer Publications

$34.99 hard cover

ISBN: 9780764351198

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