workbook-pagebThe Quilt Design Coloring Workbook calls on an unlikely but exciting muse to help inspire quilt designers: modern art. More than 90 full-page ready-to-color design prompts invite quilters to try new color combinations and pattern experiments. Author Thomas Knauer’s innovative reimagining of quilt design highlights the very principles that threw the traditional art world into upheaval 100 years ago, such as prioritizing balance over symmetry and simplicity over realism. By stitching together modern art theory with hands-on design and coloring activities, this interactive workbook bursts at the seams with creativity. 

design-studio-page Join Thomas Knauer as he guides you through a variety of design concepts and techniques, starting with basic quilting shapes and leading to a quilt that is wholly your own. On Design Studio with Thomas Knauer, Thomas also discusses a variety of types of messages you might desire to send with not only your quilt top but the quilting itself. In each episode, Thomas lays out design concepts for the quilt top as well as ways to quilt the pieced quilt to add an extra dimension of meaning and/or design elements to the quilt as a whole.

mqp-pagecOver the past few years, terms like traditional and modern have been used in myriad ways, often placed in some sort of strange dichotomy. Assumptions abound as to what each of these terms means, but too often each seems to be reduced largely to stylistic markers; the surface features take precedence over context and rationale. Modern Quilt Perspectives is an attempt to sidestep that seeming opposition in favor of a perspective that embraces the vastness of possibility. All of these quilts began as a conceptual journey, taking inspiration from concerns personal and political, cultural and emotional. In many ways, every quilt is a starting over, a rethinking of assumptions to find the core of a concept and transform it into a quilting vocabulary. Each project represents a pairing of concept and form; each idea becomes more resonant through being embodied in a quilt and gains additional significance as it is incorporated into someone’s home and life.

In my ongoing series of feature commentaries for Quilters Newsletter I explore some of the philosophical implications of quilting in the 21st century, what it means to make quilts when they are no longer a material necessity. In these essays I examine what it means to make a quilt, how designs can speak to our lives and our collective moment, and what new avenues of exploration might lay ahead for the quilting world.

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