Paula Nadelstern's Kaleidoscope Quilts: An Artist's Journey Continues Paperback – Oct 14 2008
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I have always been in awe of Paula Nadelstern's work and I have several of her books, but I think this one is my favorite. Armed with this book and Paula's instructions and guidance I think I might just have the confidence to tackle a kaleidoscope quilt on my own. Paula goes into great detail about her tools, techniques and different fabrics and their role in a kaleidoscope quilt. Having gone through the book, I would strongly recommend to anyone who wants to consider making a Kaleidoscope quilt that they first read this book. I think Paula's guidance could make your quilt much more spectacular than it might be without her shared knowledge. (The Canadian Quilter Magazine, 5/2/13)
About the Author
Paula Nadelstern is an award-winning designer, teacher, and author
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However, if you think you are going to produce one of these quilts in your lifetime, think again.
Nadelstern should be teaching pure mathematics at some higher university; the fact that she has devoted herself to making these quilts is a true gift to the world of art because these pieces are high art. A quick look at the diagram on the bottom of p. 21 which, by my count, includes 27 odd (and uniquely)shaped pieces in each triangle with 18 triangles required for the quilt...everyone one of which is a different size, you begin to get an idea of the complexity of what she does.
Having said that, there are some valuable ideas here for any quilter. The first of these is her statement (p. 68) that she STARTS with the fabric rather than starting with the design. This is 180 degrees from the normal quilter's decision-making process...and I think a little more attention to what Nadelstern calls "a collaboration between me and my stash" would vastly improve about 60% of the quilts being made today.
Second, Nadelstern dares to use fabric that most quilters would dismiss as useless. And it not only works, it scintillates. PP. 79-87 (and scattered elsewhere throughout the book) you can find excellent advice on how to look at fabrics with a fresh eye.
Third, if you actually want to try this (and I would warn again that deep and broad experience is going to make this more possible), pp.90 - 121 give you step by step directions and two patterns for simple (well, relatively simple) kaleidoscope quilts.
If you want this book as a "how-to," my strong advice is to take the book out of the library or borrow it from a friend and look through it carefully, being brutally honest about your own skills and interests.
If (on the other hand) you want a book that is an inspiration in the purest sense of that word, and one of the most glorious examples of piecing and quilting that you will ever see, buy it NOW.
In the first half of the book nineteen amazing quilts are shown. Dreamy ocean blues, glowing golds and radiant reds play in dramatic symphonies of light and repeated images that entice and captivate the eye. Close up shots show exquisite details that look more like cathedral windows than pieces of fabric. As she describes the creation of each quilt in words and visuals, Paula lets the reader inside her personal creative journey. What a gift!
The second half of the book reveals a treasure trove of secrets. Paula walks the reader through her essential design techniques including lessons on symmetry, drafting and piecing. The reader learns to camouflage seams and to use the visual elements in fabric to create a shimmering dance of vibrant color in each kaleidoscope block. Best of all, the math has been done and presented in easy to use table format. Using a ruler and sewing a quarter inch seam are all the basic skills needed to be successful with this technique. Give it a try!
This book is both coffee table art book and craftsperson's how-to book bundled into one cohesive text. A must-have for the contemporary quilter.