Contemporary quilt artist Sandra Meech writes books for quilt and textile artists that focus on artistic growth. In the past, I purchased her Batsford-published titles while in England. Recently I was pleasantly surprised to learn her latest book is also published in the U.S. by C&T Publishing, and I rushed to get it. Connecting Design to Stitch is another highly-recommended winner!
The book’s focus is on the elements of design and how to use its principles to create engaging compositions for textile and quilt art. There are six main sections of the book – Design; Design Styles; Design Elements; Design Principles; Abstraction; and Composition for Stitch.
Each section is further broken down. For example, in the first chapter entitled Design, Sandra discusses the textile artist’s design process, ten vital design considerations (such as finding an inspired theme, creating a dynamic focus, being original, and trusting your own judgment), and design essentials (such as using a design wall, a camera, and creating mixed media surfaces for design exercises).
The chapter ends with a “design class” (there are five design classes in the book) called Making a Bound Sketchbook. In only two pages, Sandra crams in information on how to make a sketchbook and offers ten compositional exercise ideas to fill the pages of your book. These two pages alone could have been an entire chapter.
Sandra encourages you to work in abstract design, collage, fabric, and stitch. Emphasis is always on good composition, and there are exercises throughout the book that push you to explore.
Sandra is a true gem in the world of design instructors for art quilt makers and other textile artists, and she pours her knowledge into the pages of this idea-rich book. I love how her emphasis is always on good design and color use, rather than using the latest trendy materials which can often get in the way. And while I have a lot of books on design, this is already a personal favorite that I highly recommend.
If you don’t have Sandra’s other books, I recommend that you also check them out. They include: Connecting Art to Stitch, Contemporary Quilts: Design, Surface and Stitch, and Creative Quilts” Inspiration, Texture & Stitch. Amazon has some good bundle deals on her books, too!