Late last year, Kathy Loomis asked me if I would write a review of her book Pattern-Free Quilts: Riffs on the Rail Fence Block and of course I said yes. Kathy Loomis is a legendary art quilter and blog writer, and I felt honored to have been asked.
Then—well, picture one of those cheesy movie scenes where the calendar days are blown away—a visual short cut to showing time passing. Still, it is true. The days have flown by, and in just a couple of weeks, I will see Kathy at the SAQA Conference in Philadelphia. Kathy will be presenting a talk called Why Working in a Series Works .
Nothing like a face to face to get you motivated.
Kathy sent me a PDF version of the book which is great, but I really wanted a hard copy for my library so I ordered one here and in just under a week I had my copy.
There are many things I love about this book. I will share my top ten.
- Kathy is a trained journalist and an excellent writer. Her blog Art with a Needle just might be the best art quilting blog out there. < > out there. Her writing in the book is equally comprehensive and engaging.
- This book honors the craft of quilt making with good tips about construction and design.
- The launching point for creating your own designs in this book is the traditional quilt block aka the Rail Fence Block.
- She validates my own design process which is to make some bits, move them to the design wall, and see what happens next.
- She gives great advice on color and fabric selection.
- The book is essentially about liberating yourself from patterns. And once you take that step everything is a possibility, and that is an amazing place to be. Kathy’s book helps make that happen.
- The sample quilts are beautiful.
- She breaks down the steps to making pattern free quilts in a way that feels do-able for a first timer.
- It is great fun to see the Rail Fence Block interpreted in so many ways.
- This book makes me think about my own work differently.
And just for kicks, I am adding my own version of the Rail Fence to this post.
I made this quilt about 10 years ago.
It is called Pick Up Sticks.
As you can see, the blocks are uniform in size, but the information in each block is “wonky”.
I gave this to a young lady to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah.