Tuesday, April 30, 2013

score...



Anna Williams (1927-2012) was a self-taught quilter from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who can rightfully be called the mother of improvisational quilting. She sewed all of her quilts with no rulers or rotary cutters and made beauty out of the most seemingly discordant scraps of fabric. Her quilts are breathtaking and have influenced an enormous number of contemporary quilters of note including Nancy Crow. This publication is very small as it was produced for an exhibition of her work.




It is very rare and often commands enormous prices. Nifty told me that there was a movement to get the book republished and expanded but so far with no luck. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to find a copy crazily underpriced. It is a privilege to own and I pore over it every day since it found its way to me. It is definitely on the list of things I would grab in a fire... You can find lots of breathtaking shots of Anna William's work online and read more about her here. A simple Google search turns up tons of gorgeous quilts inspired by her and made by modern quilters such as this onethis one, and this beauty by Nifty herself.  I would love to have met A.W. and seen her artistry in action...




16 comments:

  1. Yea! What a great find! Thank you for showing these wonderful photos from the book. I'll be looking at them over and over again! Thank you, also, for mentioning my quilt inspired by Anna W. There's a quilt of hers on display at the Brooklyn Museum. Definitely worth the trip if you can make it!

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    1. I got a bit shaky when I realized what it was! I love your AW quilt and your post about the quilt on display in Brooklyn. Will definitely check it out the next time I'm in NYC...

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  2. I got a bit shaky when I realized what it was! I love your AW quilt and your post about the quilt on display in Brooklyn. Will definitely check it out the next time I'm in NYC...

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  3. OMG! AW is an icon and I really, really, really hope they republish this book. Thank you for sharing this amazing find! BTW - love your work and Nifty's as well. Read both of your blogs regularly.

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    1. Thank you so much!!! I would love to see a scholarly book on Anna Williams with hundreds of pages of color shots of her quilts. Hopefully there is someone out there researching and writing it as we speak...

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  4. Oh that looks like such a good book!

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    1. It is pretty amazing to get to look at so many of AW's quilts all in one place!!!

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  5. NO WAY!!!!
    Oh how lucky are you! SO glad you found it. She is such an inspiration. SO glad you shared the pictures. I sure hope they republish that catalog.

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    1. It was mislabelled!!! I hope they republish it too with new and more photos...

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  6. It was mislabelled!!! I hope they republish it too with new and more photos...

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  7. Wow, so amazing!! What a story. I think that the Alliance people would be all over this, trying to preserve her story and create a lasting record of her work. I'm not a scholar, but I'd love to write this book . . . author, author . . . we need this to be written.

    P.S. I love your work and Nifty's too. Thanks for bloging this.

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    1. Thanks Jane! DITTO to everything you say. I'd love to research her life and compile a complete visual record of her quilts. I only hope that someone more qualified is doing so somewhere right now...

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  8. How wonderful to find a copy of her book. Like you and Nifty I am totally inspired by Anna, fingers crossed they will republish!

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    1. Thanks Cathy! It was thrilling to find and I hope they republish so that everyone can have a copy...

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  9. What a find!! That's been difficult to find for years.

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    1. Thank you Jan! Finding it made it a pretty exciting day for a quilter!!!

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