Blog, book review, Book Reviews

Sew Simple Quilts and Patchworks

17 Designs using Kaffe Fassett’s Artisan Fabrics. By Kaffe Fassett

Published by Taunton RRP in UK £17.99

Last weekend was the Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham. It is a fantastic event with lots of exciting and stimulating work on show as well as masterclasses and lots to see and do. With this in mind I have reviewed a new patchwork and quilting book by Kaffe Fassett.

Unlike most ‘Sew Simple’ books Kaffe Fassett manages to create easy to make projects and yet at the same time make them look sophisticated and very appealing. I have long been an admirer of Kaffe’s since he first came to the UK as a young painter who morphed into a knitwear designer. He took on tapestries and then mosaic before turning his hand to quilts and fabric design.

The secret of his success has to be his wonderful use of colour and the way he uses different patterns together. He had an exhibition of his work at London’s Fashion and Textile museum and my lasting memory of it, was being enveloped in a riot of colour and pattern.

Throughout this book he uses his artisan collection that is inspired by different types of fabrics from different cultures from around the world. He uses both Ikats and batiks and uses them with quilting cottons perfect for the projects in this book.

The project each come with clear instructions and their own assembling diagrams. The projects include throws, quilts, cushions and simple stylish garments and fun projects for children, a tent and a pillow bed.

A lovely practical book. Distributed in the UK by GMC Publications.

Blog, book review, Book Reviews

Shibori For Textile Artists

By Janice Gunner published by Batsford. Photographs by Michael Wicks.

Techniques and projects for using Shibori dyeing in textile art.

Shibori is the Japanese term (from the word ‘to squeeze or wring”) for the dye-resist technique of binding, clamping or gathering the cloth so that the dye cannot reach certain parts.

Stitched rings on a single layer of cotton cloth, Procion MX dye.

Shibori is one of the world’s richest textile traditions. Commonly associated with Japan, it is in fact a technique also long used in Africa, India and South America. In this practical guide textile artist Janice Gunner shows how to combine the different traditions from each of these countries alongside contemporary techniques to create fabulous textiles that are bursting with rich intricate patterns and bold colour.

Traditional kanoko shibori cloths using tied resist. The two kimono wraps (obi age) are ‘linked dot’ shibori, the brown and blue cloths are ‘square ring dots’; silk, Japan.

Janice Gunner is an award winning textile artist particularly known for her Shibori and quilt art. As she has been teaching stitched textile techniques, including Shibori, patchwork and quilting, for the last thirty years, we know we are in the hands of an expert communicator.

Stitched rings on a single layer of cotton cloth, Procion MX dye.

         Various techniques are covered from tied and stitched designs to ideas for wrapping, folding, clamping, pleating and binding. Simple and safe instructions for a range of dyeing techniques are also included.

         Indigo is the dye most widely used to create Shibori. It is not a predictable dye and Janice doesn’t pretend otherwise. She encourages her readers to experiment with colour, dipping in and out of the dye vat.

Ripples II (detail) by Sue Hickman shows the arashi shibori technique with machine and hand quilting using contrast thread.

         Practical information is given throughout accompanied by clear instructions and diagrams, aimed at quilters, embroiderers and textile artists of all abilities.

African Odyssey III shows the pleated and bound indigo and kola nut dyed fabric; and hand machine quilted.

         The book is chock full with images of quilts and embroideries that demonstrate the full potential of the techniques along side practical advice on turning Shibori textiles into beautiful quilts, hangings and textile art.

This is a very good source book for textile artists and designers. £14.99  Batsford