U&U included among books that "spark" creativity

The Associated Press via the Union-Tribune San Diego has included Unconventional & Unexpected among an astounding list of books to "spark you or your child's creativity" -- craft and art that everyone can enjoy this new year.

Unconventional & Unexpected has great company among Merrilee Liddiaro's Playful: Fun Projects to make with + for Kids (also published by Abrams), Merrilee Liddiaro's Quilting with a Modern Slant, and The Plant Recipe Book by Baylor Chapman.

See the full list of craft suggestions here.

The Quilt Show's Daily Blog features U&U

It was great to chat with someone just as excited about quilts as I am. It's always a pleasure when someone sees these quilts as I do -- as "bridges between the traditional quilts of the past and the new modern quilts, which are coming to the forefront of quilting." There is a recognition of the soulfulness in these quilts. Thank you!


Read the feature in The Quilt Show's Daily Blog here.

Did they run out of fabric? Did they want to use up their scraps? Or perhaps they were accepting a personal challenge to create something beautiful out of chaos. In many cases, he is as interested in what they used for the back of their quilts as much as what they used on the front.
— The Daily Blog

Janneken Smucker weighs in

I had the pleasure of interviewing Roderick for my research for Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon about his role as a quilt dealer in the 1980s. Although Kiracofe and Kile did not specialize in Amish quilts, they bought and sold many of them, and convinced corporate buyers of their significance. In fact, the first substantial article I read about the Esprit Amish quilt collection was by Michael Kile, published in the 1983 Quilt Digest. The accompanying images of Esprit’s corporate headquarters filled with Amish quilts helped me build my argument about Esprit’s vital role in the promotion of quilts as art objects.
— Janneken Smucker
Janneken and I at AQSG Seminar 2014, Milwaukee. Image courtesy of janneken.org.

Janneken and I at AQSG Seminar 2014, Milwaukee. Image courtesy of janneken.org.

I was so pleased when my friend and colleague Janneken Smucker agreed to write the "quilt history" essay for the book. She is doing an amazing job as part of the next generation of quilt historians. I have always enjoyed following her writing and projects. Be sure to include her newest book, Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon, in your quilt library.

Her blog post about Unconventional & Unexpected really captures what I hope people take away from U&U as she concludes: "I hope you join me in looking, reading, and thinking, and then behold these quilts as completely unexpected, yet just what you’ve been looking for."

Read her blog post here.