Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts by Rayna Gillman
I've been a big fan of Rayna Gillman ever since I discovered her first book in 2008. In that one she makes surface design real, easy for the everyday average artist. She does the same thing again in her latest book, Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts.
Rayna breaks down the process she uses to create her stunning quilts in a way that inspires and does not feel intimidating at all. Her easy way of writing makes you feel like you are sitting next to her drinking coffee and chatting.
I also love that Rayna mixes her commercial fabrics in with her hand printed ones. I'm a big proponent of this too - if you got it, use it. No need to go out and start your stash all over - its the artist that makes the artwork, make that fabric do your bidding. (That last bit was me, not her, but she says pretty much the same thing.)
You should know that this is not a book of patterns. Instead, Rayna teaches you how to look at variations of arrangements, how to conquer your color hang-ups, reusing old projects and lots more. In other words, she teaches you the skills you need to make your own original work.
Doesn't get much better then that, if you ask me.
I can't recommend the book enough. I've had it sitting on my print table in my studio, perusing it every time I wander by it. Its an excellent tool for the artist that wants to take the leap into independent design but wants to keep their own voice.
Great gift for an artist friend as well as yourself - a great book all around! :)