It all started with a stroll down to the sea in the Monterey Bay area in California. Jean Wells took pictures of the colors and textures around her and jotted down notes of what she saw and felt. This was her „Big Idea“ as she calls it, her starting point for the quilt „Pacific Grove“.
Then she started the design process: choosing colors and fabrics, cutting and putting the pieces up on the design wall, looking for repetition to unify the composition and finally sewing the pieces together followed by carefully planned quilting. The important thing is to always get back to the „Big Idea“.
In the first chapter of the book Jean Wells walks us through the desing process of „Pacific Grove“, asking herself all these important questions and answering them for us (not to mention all the useful tips).
And when one has realized all the thoughts and decisions that go into designing a quilt she jumps right into those and dedicates the next chapters to them. You learn about „capturing the essence of inspiration“ (your environment, the seasons, travel, putting ideas and inspiration to work, keeping a journal or a sketchbook, and so on), „the magic of color“ (repeating colors, pushing colors, contrasts, values, and much more), „practicing good design“ (elements and principles of design), „embellishment and quilting“ (quilting designs, marking the top, free motion quilting) and “artful presentation“ (which shows many possibilities to put your quilt into the right frame – be it fabric, wood or even threads).
Not only are there a lot of interesting assignments sprinkled throughout the book but there is also a special chapter on „design assignments“. All these assignments are food for thought and most of them will lead you to your own „Big Idea“ for your next quilt.
This is a wonderful and inspiring book filled not only with great ideas but also with many beautiful quilts and – as it is Jean Wells – with marvelous photographs. A book you can and should refer to often.
Journey to Inspired Art Quilting
by Jean Wells
C&T Publishing – ISBN 978-1-60705-580-8