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Intuitive Color & Design: Adventures in Art Quilting Paperback – August 16, 2009
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You'd think after 27 books, Jean would run out of ideas. But for some reason, we think she's just getting' started! In Intuitive, Jean explores line and color `a la art quilt style, and she seduces us into carrying our cameras everywhere. We've seen this before: the transition from strongly traditional quilting pioneer to raging freewheeling artiste (Gwen Marston and Joen Wolfrom come to mind). It's an absolute joy to see someone whom we think has set quilting down in narrow parameters break out and do so much more. And she cops to it! Intuitive isn't about breaking rules so much as bending them. We've always thought the testament of a real master is the ability to learn the rules and then manipulate them as his or her needs. Jean, we're on our knees, sister. Should you buy this book? When you're ready to break out of your Sawtooth Star rut, turn to Jean. She'll move you to quilt horizons you didn't now existed. (Quilter's Home, 10/1/10)
About the Author
Jean Wells is a hugely successful and popular quilter. She has written or co-authored more than 25 quilting books, and hosts her own online quilt club.
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The book is broken into three main sections: Design, Tools and Techniques, and Continuing the Journey. The design section includes commentary on how Jean incorporates the basics of design--line, scale, shape, color, etc., into her work. There are ample pictures of her quilts along with the photos that inspired them. But for me at least, I had trouble making firm connections in my mind on how Jean got from Point A to Point B, based on her commentary. Design exercises are referenced, but they are few and far between, and even they seem a bit nebulous to me. Maybe I'm just too left brained to make the connections easily...I think I would have benefited from more concrete explanations on Jean's process.
Not a bad book...it just wasn't the right book for me to really absorb the lessons on design that it presents. With that said, I buy and read a number of books on art quilting and the creative process to assist me in my own artistic practice. I find that I will go back after a period of time and re-read the books I have, and very often find that my original impressions about a book have morphed. Works that really resonated with me on first read seem too basic, and works that seemed abstract and disjointed in their presentation often become clearer. I hope that's what happens with 'Intuitive Color & Design: Adventures in Art Quilting.'
With that said, I felt the book was well written and if intuitive design is your thing, you will really like this book. The only thing I didn't like about the book was its constant reference to information on other pages that you were supposed to read or look at. I found that quite annoying.
I'm glad I purchased this book because it gave me some exposure to this abstract art form. You never know...someday I may just decide to give this style of quilting a try.
Jean Wells' book has been a real game changer for me. Until I read this book, I thought quilting meant blocks, rows, and sashing with straight even lines and predictable color palettes. Then, I purchased Jean's book on Amazon.com.
If you dream of the day you will be "cutting without rulers", then dear reader, dream no more. Jean generously shares her exquisite design, color inspiration, and unique cutting and finishing skills in this 95-page butt kicker of a quilting book. "Cross Cut II" on page 55 keeps me awake at night wondering how in the world she did it.
The color matching and photography is nothing short of stunning and encourages readers to journal, sketch, and pay attention to what their eye is drawn to - that's to develop the intuitive part. She also is a big proponent of pairing up with a quilting partner and giving each other quilting assignments. Personally, I would love that. Quilting for me is not a team sport, but wouldn't it be fun if it were!
Bottom line: I love this book from start to finish including the page layout, the font, and the clean and uncluttered pages.
Throw away those templates and patterns, people! This book will leave you swimming in your own creative juices and doing the backstroke once you get into the flow of it.