Sunday, March 29, 2015

book sightings

Barbara Black spotted the book at Quilt Festival in Chicago this weekend
"New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" is officially out and available for sale. There were some sightings over the weekend. Facebook friend Barbara Black spotted a copy at the Quilt Festival in Chicago. I could tell someone had been peeking at it...the paper sleeve was on backwards and slightly skewed. (haha! busted!!) Thank you, Barbara, for the photo.

Abbey, Chris Turner's beautiful Dalmatian approved of the book

"...the quilts clearly had 
their own agenda." 

Chris Turner, who recently made the stunning small-scale quilt inspired by one of the quilts in the book, posted a photo after receiving her copy in the mail. Her quilt was completed after the book was done, but it is now part of the collection and will be displayed in France. When her copy of the book arrived, Abbey the Dalmatian gave it the paws-up. It was wonderful to hear Chris's reaction. Rather than savoring it, she said she was "devouring" it. Thank you, Chris!

Chris Turner's amazing quilt will be on display in Nantes
The cover creates a sense of excitement about opening the book. Being a very visual person, I was initially unsure how I would feel about the design, solid red with black type when the paper sleeve is removed. It was a very bold choice for a book brimming with intensely detailed photographs, and that's exactly what I love about it. Very few quilt books could pull that off, but I think this one does.

Capper's Weekly Springtime in the Rockies, detail of edge finish

The thing that makes the book special is it's approach to quilt description. Being factual and unromantic was a purposeful choice. During my 25 years collecting and handling these quilts, I heard all kinds of interesting tales about the origins of the New York Beauty quilt design. The regionalist folklore had to make me wonder, but the quilts clearly had their own agenda.


It was just a matter of paying close attention, and that's the funny thing about quilts. They have voices of their own. If you think about it, the same premise is offered in Barbara Brackman's seminal book, "Clues in the Calico, A Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts", published in 1989, the year I bought my first quilt. Each quilt has clues, and to be a good detective it is important to look at the clues and understand what they mean. These clues are the quilt's true voice.


"New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" is published by Quiltmania. The book includes more than 300 pages, it is bilingual in English and French, with detailed descriptions and photos of 70 quilts made between 1850 and present day. To learn more about the book and see a preview, click here.

6 comments:

  1. The minute I saw the QuiltMania booth I knew I had to send you a photo. Lots of folks were looking at it--congrats on a beautiful collectors book!

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  2. Congratulations! - definitely a book to collect😄

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  3. How fantastic! Am off to purchase:)

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  4. So much more exciting in the real than in the abstract!

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  5. I love the cover...it invites you in...congrats

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