A bevy of new fiber art books from embroidery to knitting will soon grace library shelves, including three new volumes on quilting. Two I find to be rather straightforward and packed with information for the machine quilter: In the Studio with Angela Walters: Machine-Quilting Design Concepts and Beginner’s Guide to Free Motion Quilting by Natalia Bonner.
It is the third quilting book that really caught my eye.
All My Thanks and Love to Quilts by Keiko Goke is a joy to look through: bright and cheerful, with a great colour sense and a playful imagination. Keiko decided early on to embrace an independent and individualistic approach to her creations. Trained as a graphic designer, she found while searching for a job in Tokyo that it was not what she wanted to do. A chance encounter with a pile of quilting magazines and simple quilted cushions set her on a much different path.
She is self taught as a quilter and perhaps, as a result of this, freer in her approach to her craft. Her life revolves around a simple lifestyle, filled with sensitive observations and an execution of craft that echoes the gifts she feels she has received through the practice of quilting.
She shares a story of how she gathered indigo fabric scraps destined to be burned from Ayano Chiba’s trash box and used those scraps in quilts. Here was the tie between the centuries old craft of indigo dyeing and a modern interpretation of quilting. The quilts where Keiko used Ayano Chiba’s scraps stand as a testament to the expertise of both women. Keiko’s quilts are very painterly: a masterful link between craft and art.
It could not get any better.