Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
on August 28, 2010
I purchased this sight-unseen because of the glowing reviews, but have been very disappointed in the book. My main complaints come from two areas:
1) The "shared inspiration" thread that holds it together is incredibly flimsy. I thought we would see a picture of something that they both used as a jumping off point (be it an older quilt, or a photo, or painting, etc). Instead, two quilts are thrown together by things like "we both used vintage fabric in this one" or "we both made lone star quilts" or "we both used old quilts as inspiration" (but we don't even get to see photos of the old quilts). It seems much more like they had 20 quilts and they wanted to put them in a book, so they organized them into groups based on a fake premise. I've been involved in books where this has happened (I made 10 projects based on 10 different inspiration pieces, and then when the book came out it had been totally reorganized and apparently I'd made those 10 projects in response to "challenges" that were invented AFTER the projects were completed as a way of imposing organization onto them).
2) The photos of the whole quilt--where we get to take the whole thing in at a glance (instead of the "in scene" pictures where we see closer details) have color issues. They have either been color corrected poorly or they were photographed under bad lighting and no one bothered to color correct them. You look at the pictures of the whole quilt and think "eew" but then the closeup images in natural light look much better. Color is SO important in quilting, so the fact that they didn't make the "whole quilt" shots just as warm and beautiful and vivid as the rest of the images is just dumb.
I also find a lot of the quilts to be downright ugly (this may be in large part because of the above issue). Gaudy, garish, and clashing, are perfect words to describe some of the quilts. (But some are totally beautiful, so I feel like they're very inconsistent in their color and fabric choices.) They are big Kaffe Fasset fans, and I think this is part of my problem--I am usually NOT a fan of his colors or patterns. (Again, I find gaudy, garish, and clashing to be perfect descriptions of most of his fabric.) I love modern quilting and bright color choices (I'm in my 20s--I'm by no means stuck in the older school of thought), but I think some of the fabric combinations (particularly in Heaven and Earth, Brighton Rock and Fruit Tingles)look like a color blind old lady picked them out.
To bring it all together, I think this was just a really mixed bag. The glowing reviews that this is even better than the first book just aren't warranted in my opinion. I hope the third book (mysteriously also titled Material Obsession 2) is better.