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American Folk Art Quilts Hardcover – Sep 2007

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Misleading title & deceptive marketing! 11 Nov. 2007
By Antique Quilt Lover - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The title clearly states "Over 30 Designs to Create Your Own Classic Quilt" and the marketing blurb says "Patterns and block layouts are provided for replicating each of the original quilts, and after seeing each of them in a true historical context, home sewers will be inspired to create their own versions." This leads you to believe that this book not only shows the antique quilts but also gives you the patterns to recreate them . . . NOT SO! There are patterns for four blocks (not quilts!) and one trapunto pattern plus one simple applique crib quilt pattern. For the rest of the quilts, she tells how many blocks there are and what techniques you need to recreate them, something anyone with any basic experience doesn't need to be told.

It is deceptive in another way as well - the title says "Folk Art Quilts." To me, this says this book is exploring this particular genre of quilts, but instead this is a general quilt history. The quilts don't meet her own definition of "naive examples by quilters with no training in art or design" or "quilts made by a child or beginner, full of charming mistakes, anomalies of scale and unusual color combinations." Instead, in this book ANY quilt is "folk art."

I realize that the titles and descriptions are often generated by the publisher, not the writer - they market to what is selling at the time, in this case patterns have a much wider market than quilt history.

As a very general quilt history, this is OK but there are much better - Roderick Kiracofe's The American Quilt being in my opinion the best.

I bought this for the cover quilt but was very disappointed to learn there was no pattern, and I was disturbed that the description, although lengthy, did not even acknowledge that this was made from a kit or published pattern, which was in turn based on a circa 1850 quilt. This knowledge is easily available (documented in Barbara Brackman's Encylopedia of Applique) and something someone of Ms. Gordon's background should certainly know. I was hoping to learn more about the exact pattern source, but instead she implies that this was the original creation of the known maker of the example in the book. She cites the family history as saying the top was made around 1912 - any quilt historian knows that family information is often incorrect. The pattern was published in a Good Housekeeping magazine around 1940, so that is undoubtedly when this quilt was made.

I agree with the first reviewer of this book . . . if you are a beginner, this should not be your first choice of a book on quilt history. If you are advanced with an already extensive library, you may want it. But above all realize that this is a QUILT HISTORY, NOT A QUILTMAKING book and the quilts may not meet your expectation of what a "Folk Art" quilt should be!
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
moderately interesting 7 Oct. 2007
By E Rice - Published on
Format: Hardcover
i pre-ordered this book because of the cover quilt, which is the best quilt in the book. with two or three exceptions, none of the rest of the quilts shown is particularly interesting or unusual compared to quilts in other books in my library. in some ways, though, and this may sound odd, the mediocre examples are interesting, by giving a context to the masterpiece quilts you can admire in other books.

there isn't a clear intent to this book--is it showcasing a particular collection, is it textile or social history? historical information is limited and badly organized and some is not related to american quilting. there is one glaring mistake--the tristan quilt is fifteenth and not sixteenth century, and a similar quilt is in an italian museum. i wondered if the text was taken from lectures or previously printed articles. the quilts are categorized in arbitrary ways. and, perhaps most importantly, the 'folk art' includes quilts made by educated and middle to upper-middle class quilters who had some degree of formal education.

there is a small, unnecessary and fairly useless section offering small projects based on the quilts. techniques, such as applique and trapunto, which have had entire books devoted to them, are presented in one or two pages, with large photos, mainly of fabric under a machine needle. intermediate and experienced quilters would not need the technical information and instructions. beginners would be left befuddled. and here, also, the editing is careless: the first instructions leave out the crucial bit about putting the fabrics together before stitching--someone with sewing background would figure this out, eventually. no part of the cover quilt is offered as a design.

if you already have a good library of quilt histories and books on state quilt projects, this would be a pleasant addition because of two or three remarkable quilts and several interesting borders. if you are new to quilting and interested in quilting history, i would suggest you pass this by and get _america's quilts and coverlets_ or _the american quilt_, two of my favorite general histories. two books dealing with state collections are _quilts of virginia_ (superb) and _new york beauties_.
Poor Choice. 3 Feb. 2013
By Valerie Davis - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This quilt book is a poor choice for learning about folk art quilts,whatever they may be the author does not seem to have any grasp of the subject; quilt history, the author did not seem to do any of her own research; or for a source of quilt patterns,see other reviewer comments. The author did poor justice to the good quilt collection at the Wisconsin State Historical Society Museum, and it irks me she did NO further research into the selected quilts to prove her thesis that they are folk art. Case in point, the front cover shows a beautiful quilt reportedly from 1910. That information was obtained directly from the Museum catalog information she did not do any additional research, and as a result did not discover that it is in fact no "folk art" quilt (original design)but a published design from a 1922 ladies magazine. I wish the author would have spendt more time on this, she only gave a minimal effort. What a missed opportunity!
Expected more 13 Jan. 2014
By R. Booth - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The quilts included were pretty ho-hum except for the cover quilt. I was expecting more than just utility quilt photos,
Folk Art Is Wonderful 22 April 2013
By Catherine A. Kessel - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maggi has always been a great writer for quilters. This book is filled with a lot of wonderful images and quilt history.
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