I was anxious to get my hands on Gwen Marston’s latest book, Minimal Quiltmaking, from AQS Publishing and I was not disappointed.
Gwen Marston is one of those legendary quilters I respect and admire. She’s been making quilts for decades. She has experience as a designer, a colorist, a writer, a teacher, a speaker, a retreat planner and more. She’s friendly and casual, and in the classes I’ve taken from Gwen, I’ve liked her a lot. She’s someone you’d enjoy having as your neighbor.
I read the new book from cover to cover in one evening, but it’s the kind of book I’ll go back to because there is a lot to digest. It’s a book about one approach to design: minimalism. In other words, Gwen limited the design elements in these quilts and kept them simple.
“…the focus of designing minimal quilts is to produce work that has been reduced to its essence—stripped down to its essentials…when design is stripped down to its rudiments, when there is in fact “less,” everything counts more.”
What’s interesting as you study the quilts is that they’re anything but simple. Gwen’s observation that “everything counts more” is astute. It will take me some time to absorb these quilts and to understand why they work.
Minimal Quiltmaking is chock-full of color photos and detail shots. Gwen also included work by other people and their thoughts about the quilts. It’s fascinating.
The chapter titles hint at the book’s contents:
• How to Use This Book
• About Designing
• Minimal Quilts
• Hard-Edge Quilts
• Minimal Color
• Minimal Quilts Inspired by Art
• The Grand Finale: A Baker’s Dozen
As I prepared to write about Minimal Quiltmaking, I thought of the other books I own by Gwen. I was curious to see how many I had, so I pulled them all out.
It’s quite a stack. I wonder if the woman sleeps, especially when you consider that many of her quilts are quilted by hand. As far as the books, there’s not a dud in the bunch!
So now you’ve been introduced to a quilting legend. If you’ve come to the place when you’re no longer satisfied to make quilts just like the pattern, get to know Gwen. She’ll help you move forward.
I loved the last few lines of Gwen’s dedication in Minimal Quiltmaking, so I’ll leave you with those. They’re a reflection of the wonderful woman she is.
“And as an elder in the quilt world, I also dedicate this book to the new generation of quilters. I admire their spunk, welcome them with enthusiasm, and trust them to carry the future of quiltmaking forward.”