Sunday, August 21, 2016

Quilt Modern with Thomas Knauer's Design Coloring Book

Reproduction quilts have been popular since the early 20th c. In recent years we have made Amish quilts, 1930s quilts, Civil War era quilts, and British antique quilt reproductions. Today quilters are looking back 100 years to Modern Art for quilt inspiration.

It requires a real paradigm shift, a new fabric stash, and inventing new patterns.

Or you can make your own pattern.

What! How? We are used to traditional quilt blocks as the basis of pattern making. How can we make a quilt not based on a repeated set of blocks?
Thomas Knauer has written a book to help with the pesky problem of designing a modern quilt.

The Quilt Design Coloring Workbook: 91 Modern Art-Inspired Designs and Exercises has 90 ready-to-color pages and design prompts for creating your own modern quilt.

Knauer begins by introducing the history and attributes of modern art.

WWI toppled Europe and changed how people viewed history and life. The values and expectations of the past did not coincide with the experience of modern life.

In literature we call the writers of this time The Lost Generation. Hemingway's classic novel The Sun Also Rises  about veteran American expats wandering about Europe looking to drown their memories in thrills and liquor is the classic literary representation.

Knauer offers a concise tour of how artists responded to this upheaval. He begins with writing about 'Blending Traditions: Art, Quilts, and Novel Inspirations."

Along with WWI, other early 20th c influences include photography, scientific advances that opened new understandings of movement and vision, and shifting cultural and political issues.

Knauer also reviews basic color theory and his own starting point of finding a mid-tone color then introducing lighter and darker colors.

Chapters cover the use of space, balance, intuition and chance, simplicity, the grid layout, geometric, repetition in Modern Art, and how to adapt the concepts to quilts. Short essays with illustrations from Modern Art introduce each design concept with their influences.

The exercises can be completed with colored pencils or other medium after drawing the design with an erasable pencil.

Some of the exercises require determining line, others are based on his completed quilts which illustrate the design concept.

I was not able to copy or print the exercise pages to give it a try; my ebook galley did not allow it.

For those interested in art history the approach will be very interesting. For those who don't care but like the challenge of design the exercises will be useful.

Thomas Knauer's column Quilt Matters appears in the Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. He is the host of Design Studio with Thomas Knauer on and author of Modern Quilt Perspectives. Find his blog at

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

The Quilt Design Coloring Book
Thomas Knauer
Storey Publishing
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
$18.95 paperback
ISBN: 9781612127859

No comments:

Post a Comment