Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Working Bibliography . . .

Me, an expert?? Yes, I am an expert because I SAY I am . . . I'm also an expert because YOU say I am . . .

Over the years, I've read a LOT of books on different subjects. They helped me develop my "artistic sense" as it were.

I read three books on symmetry, starting with Handbook of Regular Patterns: An Introduction to Symmetry in Two Dimensions, by Peter S. Stevens. It was a thick math textbook; I remember grasping the implications (and possibilities) of block design as I read it. I imagined writing a book for quilters on the subject until I heard about Symmetry: A Design System for Quiltmakers, by Ruth B. McDowell. My language was not suitable for publication, LOL!! Years later, I also read Designing Tessellations, by Jinny Beyer.

All three books explained the operations of symmetry, and all three books used the symmetry groups devised by crystallographers. As I've said before, crystallographers are not necessarily quilters, though . . . I've devised my own system that's a lot simpler (and provides for even more possible patterns).

Two books come to mind on designing patchwork blocks: Pattern Play: Creating Your Own Quilts, by Doreen Speckmann, and The Patchwork Planner: 350 Original Designs for Traditional Patchwork, by Birte Hilberg.

Both books presented block "components," squares with lines drawn through them. The first book gave a vague instruction to "arrange the components in a pleasing manner," without explaining how; the second book arranged the components in a pleasing manner, without explaining how. I came back to these two books (and their components) after I read about the operations of symmetry. Things started to fall into place.

I read four books about color theory: Color for Quilters, by Susan Richardson McKelvey; Color Harmony: A Guide to Creative Color Combinations, by Hideaki Chijiiwa; The Magical Effects of Color, and Color Play: Easy Steps to Imaginative Color in Quilts, by Joen Wolfrom.

I'm sure there are other books I'm forgetting . . . Johannes Itten on color theory goes in there, and another book on design by Scandanavian authors (it'll come to me as I sleep and wake me up).

I'll save the books on piecing and fabric dyeing for another time . . .

What books have YOU read that influenced you?? Please leave a comment or email me: I'd love to discuss them with you . . .


  1. De-Ja-Vue. Seems like I've read some of your story before. *GRIN*. I don't have any influential books per say as my quilting library only consists of a template binder handed down to me from my grandmother, and a few other pattern books also from her). I also have a truck load of magazines, most of which I could live without but some of them have that 'someday' quilt pattern that I' going to make.

    So I don't really have an book list, now if you wanna talk about influential quilting people I have a list.

    They include:
    My grandmother (of course)
    My wife (she's my quilting buddy!)
    and a guy from St. Louis, Mr. Raymond K. Houston, you may have heard of him. He's given me advice on books to read and other nuggets of information.

  2. YOU, sir, obviously have discriminating tastes!! (there are more books to come . . .)

  3. I have given this some extensive thought and have concluded that

    "ex" has been
    "spurt" a drop of water

    The word means a has been drop of water!

  4. Hmmm . . .

    I didn't have to think about this at all to conclude that I'm drier than MANY drops of water (or drips), and I'm too new to be a "has been"