Prima donnas all over, a secret revealed, an act of seduction...With Puzzle Quilts Simple Blocks, Complex Fabrics, optical illusions virtuoso Paula Nadelstern undertakes to "seduce [us] into loving beautiful, complex fabric" and uncover the magic of light and colour.
She invites readers to a science lab where imagination is challenged out of the ordinary and complex printed fabrics are explored, evaluated, analysed, dissected, deconstructed and reconstructed to derive endless possibilities from the same simple patchwork block. Paula does it with maestro in six sumptuously illustrated sections, generously sprinkled with invaluable tips and good humor.
Chapter 1 reviews elements of design: line, rhythm, symmetry and colour.
In chapter 2, Paula explains her concepts. Seamless connections of block shapes, contrast, luminosity, image fragmentation, faux curves and design process.
Chapter 3 discusses fabrics as a quilter's palette and describes their personality and functions.
Chapter 4 honours the role of templates in accurately replicating fragments of complex patterned fabrics (readers of Soft Edge Piecing by Jinny Beyer will be here in familiar territory).
Chapter 5 guides quilters through the piecing process hierarchy. It also contains examples of strip piecing and power stitching.
Chapter 6 is a workbook of puzzle blocks; it features six block designs, each with six variations. Piecing diagrams, templates and blank diagrams for photocopy are also provided.
The books ends with a list of resources and a useful index.
If you welcome challenge, if you want to depart from the conventional, if for you the sky is not the limit, Puzzle Quilts Simple Blocks, Complex Fabrics is definitely for you. Follow Paula Nadelstern's lead into a journey of exploration and let your imagination run wild.
On a more personal level, Puzzle Quilts has empowered me and validated my views. For a long time, I was very embarrassed when asked what I would do with "all this fabric".
I couldn't say that I was interested in only one element or two, not the whole fabric; and that because the elements were few and far between, I needed an industrial quantity to make my Swiss cheese. In addition, I no longer feel the need to "justify" my love for fabric or the size of my stash.
Another personal benefit of Puzzle Quilts is that it reconciled me with patchwork. I consider myself to be an "appliqué person" and prefer the flowing, gracious curves of appliqué to the sharp contrasts of patchwork shapes and their spiky seam lines. Now, I can expand my repertoire of techniques with faux curves and camouflaged boundaries.
Thank you, Paula, for sharing your extraordinary gifts with us.