Saturday, June 14, 2008

Liberated Compared to Collaborative

I learned to make houses from Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking. I kept playing with her techniques, playing without patterns and loved every moment of it. I think Home Sweet Home was the fourth quilt I made with the houses. Could be wrong though - I've certainly made several of them. Sweet Pokey helps to model the quilt:

I emailed AQS back in March to ask if there was any possibility of them reprinting LQ. (As I've said monotonously, it's my favorite book and I'm crazed that it's not in print.) I was already thinking about some kind of mail campaign asking for it. But would it do any good? A great fellow-Gwen fan at AQS said I wasn't the first person to inquire about this, so she'd look into it. Groovy.

My next step was to write to Gwen to make sure that she didn't already have plans in place to reprint the book. Nope, she didn't. So completely of my own accord (no instigation from Gwen) I wrote a blog post in which I suggested that everyone contact AQS and beg for the book. But right before hitting the publish button I had second thoughts. What if only 10 people write to them, that would be rather embarassing. What if so many people do that AQS got irate and refused to have anything to do with the book - that would be counterproductive as well.

So I emailed AQS to show them my potential blog post. What did they think? Would that help? The very next day I got the email from Andi that I excerpted in yesterday's post. And here we are.

Your response so far has been incredible. In 24 hours we've already got 76 copies "ordered." I think that's excellent for such a short time period and the circumstances.

One quilter asked:

"I have Collaborative Quilting that Gwen wrote with Freddy Moran. One chapter deals with liberated parts...baskets, churn dash, houses, log cabins, shoe fly, stars, trees, spiky borders, and string borders and blocks. Would Liberated Quilting just be an expansion of those topics or would it cover more blocks in more detail?"

I'll do my best to answer this, but hopefully some of ya'all can help answer this too.

CQ shows you how to make the blocks, LQ tells you. It's not that CQ has patterns but it shows you "put the blocks together like this." In Liberated Quiltmaking, Gwen explains every step of the process. What she was thinking when she came up with the idea for making a particular block, how she made the blocks and arranged them. By sharing the steps, she helps you to understand WHY the blocks went together the way they did so that you can take these ideas and apply them to other blocks.

Liberated Quiltmaking is more restrained in color than CQ, which I think makes it easier for traditional quilters to dip their toes in. CQ is definitely more in your face, high speed and zingy. LQ is sitting around the quilt frame while a beloved friend talks to you and encourages you to play. It's written in a completely different style.

I don't have LQ here with me since I loaned it to my friend Will. (See, I need another copy!) What does LQ have that CQ doesn't? Three different methods for making those fabulous stars, free-piecing pictures, 9-patches, recutting blocks, recutting sashing, those wonderful floating squares.... It also has more details on how to make the houses.

CQ is dessert, LQ is the whole meal. Does that make sense? Personally, I recommend getting both books.

When I read this next email I totally had to share it with you. Amy K gave me her permission:

"Tonya--You know what? I was on vacation with my family last week and JUST HAPPENED to find a fantastic sewing/quilting shop nearby--hahahaha! They had a giant collection of quilting books, and guess what was on the shelf, brand new, for the cover price of $24.95? *Liberated Quiltmaking*, of course. My heart pounded. I furtively looked both ways. I slipped it under my butt and sat on it while I continued to look at the books so nobody else would see it. Finally I took it to the cash register feeling like a thief in the night, paid the absurdly low price, and tap-danced my way to my car.

I have already made my very first tiny but "liberated" quilt top. I felt like an absolute idiot at first, thinking: This is the stupidest and most hideous creation in the world. I even laughed at it about ten minutes into the process. But you, and GM, are right--it took on an amazing life of its own, decisions became very easy as it grew, and, well, I'm pretty happy with this first attempt.

Anyway, enough gushing! I WOULD buy a copy if I didn't already have one. This is a life-changing book, and it seems insane that it's out of print."

Tonya again - I just can't convince Blogger to stop the indentation. Have we convinced you? Go to yesterday's post to "order" a copy. It will be so much easier to keep track if everyone sticks to that one post.


Clare said...

LQ is brilliant. I'm still reading it (in between mowing the lawn and painting the pool!). I think my dessert is LSQ. Although I love Collaborative Quilting, the one thing that put me off was all that black and white. After reading through your copy my eyes were all over the place. Tehn again, it's not the fabric, but the ideas.

I've found LSQ on for £13.00 so am asking DS-D to get it for me and send it out.

Isn't the response great!

MJinMichigan said...

I emailed the information on your blog to everyone who attended my session of Gwen's retreat last year. Many of them have said they'd like to get a copy of Liberated Quiltmaking if it's ever available again.

Anonymous said...

I own a copy of CQ. Everytime I'm feeling blue I just open it and the fabulous colours make your heart sing. I love the ridiculous brights and prints with the black and whites. I started to collect fabrics for my own "" quilt.I'm on the librarylist from the Dutch guild for LQ, so I hope to at least borrow it in a few weeks. I DO hope LQ is reprinted, signed up yesterday.

Diane said...

Tonya, My blog post today references your attempt to get Liberated Quiltmaking back in print. BRAVO for your efforts and tremendous response. Sure wish Gwen was online to witness this first hand.

Quilts And Pieces said...

I think your description between the two is perfect! But I would expect that of you! I finally got my Gwen Lib Quilting posted!

Sharon said...

Love your explanation of the difference between the two books! Just brilliant!
Did you ever think that you would get so many responses to your query as to who would buy a reprint of Gwen's book?? Wow! You must be pleased! And, again, thanks for thinking of/doing this! You Rock!

Kucki68 said...

I love Gwen's liberated Quiltmaking and keep recommending it. While I own a copy and am not likely to buy one just now, I would love that book to be back in print for the people I recommend it to.

Helen Conway said...

I too had been looking for the LQ book for ages never having seen a copy inside but knowing the conept it covered. I was not prepared to pay the crazy internet prices around. Then I found a new copy in a quilt shop on holiday at Easter and just grabbed it - LOVE IT! More people shouls get to read it so I throroughly support your campain although I shan't be orderering because... did I say? I have a copy (Tee hee)