Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quiltscapes II by Rebecca Barker

Title: Quiltscapes II
Author: Rebecca Barker
ISBN: 1574328786
Publisher: American Quilter's Society, 2005
Trade Paperback, 80 pages
Genre: Art, Crafts
Rating: A
Source: Purchased from Amazon.

First Line: The first Quiltscapes book received so many requests for more pictures and patterns that a second one was inevitable.

I, for one, am very glad it was inevitable. Back in October, I posted about one of my favorite books-- the very first Quiltscapes. When I discovered that there was indeed a second book, I couldn't resist buying it.

As an artist, Rebecca Barker has a unique vision, one that combines landscapes and quilts. Taking a traditional quilt pattern and blending it into a landscape painting sounds unusual, but with her keen sense of color and eye for detail, her work is beautiful.

Just take a look at "Delectable Mountains" to the right. The quilt draws your eye back into the painting, slowly becoming meadow grass being eaten by elk, a clear running stream, trees, and the mountains beyond.

Barker's work can often bring a lump to my throat. Probably because I view quilts not just as works of art, but as pieces of history. The numbers of women who pieced quilts as they traveled across this country by covered wagon will never be known for certain. But each scrap of cloth and each stitch carried hopes, dreams, trail dust, sorrows, chores, and joy.

My mother had my great-grandmother's crazy quilt all through my childhood. My Grandma Brookshier could point at each scrap of cloth and tell you whose shirt, dress, petticoat or trousers it came from, and the beautiful stitching binding the pieces together was traced by my childish fingers over and over again. My mother finally threw away this crazy quilt because it was, literally, falling to pieces. It had been completed in the 1890s and kept four generations of our family feeling warm, safe and loved. To this day I wish my mother had kept at least one small corner of it.

What is so marvelous about Barker's Quiltscapes books is that, not only do they contain wonderful pieces of art, they also contain patterns for the quilt blocks used in each painting-- making it very possible for quilters around the globe to make history and memories for their own families.

I think this book and its predecessor would make wonderful gifts for quilters and art lovers alike. The range of Barker's paintings means that there should be something for everyone: all four seasons, pastoral farm scenes, mountains, prairies, the desert, village life, wildlife and-- some of my particular favorites-- lighthouses and the sea.

If you click on the author link at the top of this review, you'll also see Barker's line of prints and notecards as well.

Sample Rebecca Barker's Quiltscapes. I think you'll be hooked.


  1. Cathy - This does look beautiful! I so often wish I had that sort of visual, creative intelligence. Quilts really can be gorgeous.

  2. I don´t quilt, but I can certainly appreciate other people´s efforts. If I ever wrote a fairy tale, including a swan, I´d love to have that cover.

    Speaking of wonderful pictures, I know I haven´t commented on your Deborah DeWit paintings for a long time, but I *do* love them. They are such an important part of the atmosphere of your blog.

  3. What a gorgeous painting - the book sounds wonderful!

  4. I keep wanting to buy this for my sister-in-law who quilts. Thanks for the reminder. I still have old quilts passed down through my family. Since I'm the end of the line, I feel free to use and enjoy them so they're beginning to look bad but oh the memories!

  5. The human brain is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

    Dorte-- The swan painting on the cover is called "Lady of the Lake" and I love it, too. Thanks for your words about DeWit paintings. I know I love them, but I wondered if anyone else thought they were part of my blog's atmosphere.

    Kathy-- It is wonderful.

    Barbara-- The memories are wonderful. Grandma Brookshier's crazy quilt had a certain smell that I loved. There was nothing better than to curl up wrapped in its warmth.

  6. Uh oh. I really, really did not need to see this post. I don't quilt very often, but I have a profound weakness for cool quilt books. Sigh.

  7. A woman I used to work with was an avid quilter and I was always in awe of the ability it takes to do this.
    The book is beautiful, something that even me, who can't sew to save her life, would enjoy :)

  8. Beth-- I don't even quilt and have a weakness for cool quilt books! LOL

    TBG-- That's one of the best things about the book: you don't have to quilt to be able to enjoy it!


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