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• Please scroll down to see all titles (The Quilter's Book of Design, Speaking in Cloth, Color by Design, Color by Accident, The Quilter's Book of Design, etc.)

The Contact book

New book!

© 2017 Ann Johnston

Ann Johnston’s six-year project making large quilts about the geology, gold rush, and landscape of the Sierra Nevada in California is described in this 146-page book. The gallery section includes 31 pieces with overall views, close up details, and many of the backs. The inspiration and process sections, over 62 pages, show the sources of her ideas and the processes involved in dyeing the fabric, assembling the pieces and quilting the designs. The text throughout is concise and informative, telling a personal story as well as one of geologic and historic events. The work has been shown—so far—in the Martin Museum of Art, Texas; Sitges, Spain; University of California at Merced; Birmingham, England; Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, France; and The Bellevue Arts Museum, Washington. .

ISBN: 978-0-9656776-6-0
8.5” x 11”, full color throughout, 146 pages
Price: $35.00


The Quilter's Book of DesignAnn Johnston new book

a serious and accessible guide
over 350 examples - all of fabric
oriented to developing the individual voice
brief end-of-chapter workshops
starting-place techniques
full-length projects


> Click here to see excerpts from book

Advance comments about The Quilter's Book of Design, 2nd Edition

"Ann Johnston has a real gift for making learning one of the driest subjects possible into an engaging and effective adventure. In QBD2, the thoughts are three-dimensional: it’s so lush, it’s conceptually like a pop-up book of Johnston’s extremely fascinating body of work, used seductively to keep us hooked on design. Throughout the book, extreme close-ups of her works give us intimate and graphic understandings of her surfaces. Keep reading and using her very accessible and practical exercises with your own fabrics!"
- Susan Shie, artist, Wooster, OH

“…is a thorough introduction to the organizational principles that inform not only quilt design, but also flatwork of all kinds. It is wonderfully clear in its layout and in the marriage of text and supporting visuals. This contribution to design literature should be on the bookshelf of anyone who makes quilts or has an interest in two-dimensional design.”
- David Hornung, Chair, Department of Art, Adelphi University, New York, NY 

“The Quilter’s Book Of Design is an extraordinary tool, bringing into the game of creation, a set of universal constructs that are presented in a manner that is authentic and forthright. This book belongs on the shelf next to Krom Barrett’s Logic and Design and Rudolf Arnheim’s Art And Visual Perception - it is that important.”
- Timothy C. Ely, artist, Colfax, WA

“…is written by a quilter for quilters, demystifying the subject of design. Ann uses hundreds of quilts to illustrate in a very practical way how design concepts function and interact. This book will inspire creativity and clarify the artmaking process.”
- Judy B. Dales, fiber artist, teacher, lecturer, author, curator, Greensboro, VT

“…is even better, especially with the new chapters 4 and 12. It is a great help for the experienced quilter to find answers and solutions for their projects.”
- Barbara T. Kämpfer, quilt artist, Mettmenstetten, Switzerland

“…is a complete guide for the art quilter! Ann has the ability to take the reader through the design process without it being intimidating. I am thrilled that the book is being published again.”
- Jean Wells Keenan, shop owner, teacher, author, quilter, Sisters, OR

“…covers the same topics as a college level design textbook, but goes a step further and relates the concepts directly to quilts and the medium’s special issues.”
- Sue Benner, textile artist, Dallas, TX

“I was amazed at the depth of wonderful ideas and concise directions that guide the reader into the process of creating unique quilts. This book is a must-have for all who are interested in improving their personal style.”
- Yvonne Porcella, artist, teacher, author, founder SAQA, Modesto, CA

“If there is a design bible for quilters, this is it. The richness of information and the wealth of practical advice make it an indispensable tool. Complex concepts are delivered with clarity and strength. It helps to build confidence and provides guidance to explore ideas with a purpose.”
- Alicia Merrett, quilt artist, London, UK

"As usual, Ann has packed a world of information into a compact and well organized package. You will learn something even if you only look at the gorgeous quilts!"
- Libby Lehman, art quilter and teacher, Houston, TX

“…will enable quilters of all levels to improve the quality of their work. New images of Ann’s recent quilts enrich the text and two new chapters apply the Principles and Elements of Design to practical exercises.”
- Jack Brockette, fiber artist/Jackethouse Originals, Dallas, TX

ISBN-13 978-0-9656776-3-9
ISBN-10 0-9656776-3-X
Soft cover, 176 pages
Price: $29.95


Fast, Simple, and Exciting...
Color by Design shows you how to dye cottons and silks in an incredible range of colors and patterns-without changing the feel of your fabric. Using every tool imaginable-from brushes, sponges, stamps, and blocks to rollers, sprays, silk screens, and more-you will discover an endless array of techniques. Right away, you will be able to create your own distinctive marks and colors, and with practice, you will create intricate designs with confidence and spontaneity. The fun never stops!

Color by Design offers:
• 48 exercises with crystal-clear directions, step by step
• Recipes that can be prepared ahead and information to store them
• More than 120 color photos of sensational fabrics, with how-to captions
• Information and options for more experienced dyers
• Special chapters on water-soluble resists and on dyeing blacks

"I love this book. Ann's writing is friendly and inspiring. A beginner will be able to follow the processes easily, and dyers with some experience will be able to build on Ann's directions as they create more advanced dyed surfaces. I wanted to rush out to the studio and get started."
Jane Dunnewold, Author of Complex Cloth, San Antonio, TX

"Anyone who is interested in dyeing processes should use this direct, no-nonsense, user-friendly book as a text.
Ed Lambert, Art Professor, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

"How lucky can we dyers be! Ann has clarified the mysteries of dye painting as well as taken the angst away! The photo examples are seductive, luring you immediately into trying each exercise."
Patty Hawkins, Quilt Artist, Lyons, CO

"Ann leads you through a well-thought-out series of exercises that will help you gain a lot of experience in a short time. It is a wonderful book for dyers and surface designers no matter what level of skill and experience."
Heide Stoll-Weber, Textile Artist, Frankfurt, Germany

Color by Accident, 1997

Color by Accident is designed to be used as a workbook and as a reference manual for the adventuresome. Beginning and experienced dyers will find Color By Accident to be an inspiring guide for creating one-of-a-kind fabrics not available commercially. It includes five variations on a versatile method and 54 tested recipes. Not required are expensive equipment, dangerous chemicals or specialized studio space. Other books teach how to repeat a method and reproduce colors. This book points the way to exploring new color combinations and to achieving fabric that will be unique and visually complex.

How is Color By Accident different from other dye books?

"A wonderful textbook reflecting years of practice and experimentation! Clear. Concise. Well thought out...and easy to understand. The recipes have been tried over and over again until they have proven to give great results. Readers will begin to see the enormous flexibility in all of these approaches to dyeing while at the same time gaining a much deeper understanding of the nature of dyeing.
This book will become a classic for anyone wanting to create their own vocabulary of fabrics."
Nancy Crow, Baltimore, OH

“Ann has changed the face of quiltmaking with her innovative combinations of painting and piecing. In her new book, Color By Accident, she explores an exciting and unpredictable approach to immersion dyeing in which colors move and blend and are always a revelation to the artist.”
Jean Ray Laury, Clovis, CA

“Ann Johnston’s Color By Accident is worth every penny! It offers a rare opportunity to discover the hard-earned color dye bath secrets of an artist who is a leading force in the newly emerging surface design movement in contemporary quilts. Each of her color recipes is presented in detailed, easy-to-follow steps. For the price of the book you get Ann teaching you your own personal workshop. If you’ve ever wondered how to add a rich new dimension to your quiltmaking, you should read this book.”
Penny McMorris, Bowling Green, OH


> Click here to see excerpts from book
This book is out of print.

About the book
Speaking in Cloth: 6 Quilters, 6 Voices is published by Ann Johnston and edited by Ann Johnston and Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer. It offers you the opportunity to visually and intellectually enter the worlds of six Northwest quilt artists, inviting you to respond to their use of cloth and thread as they tell their stories and record their explorations. Each chapter addresses, through the artists' work and their words, a question that they are often asked, and that they often ask each other.

- Why do you choose the language of fiber and thread to make your art?
- Do you find yourself working with recurring themes over time?
- Is there a visual voice that identifies you work?
- What is your working process?
- What are the challenges and joys of making your art?
- Does it matter if the quilt communicates a specific message to your viewers?

This project is supported in part by an award from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Advance comments about Speaking In Cloth: 6 Quilters, 6 Voices
"This exciting compilation of works by six recognized quilt artists of the American Northwest deeply explores the magical alchemy between dye, cloth, and transformation. Finding inspiration in myriad sources, each artist finds her own voice in manipulations of color, fiber, and form that express unique perspectives on life, place, and art."
- Stacy C. Hollander, Senior Curator, American Folk Art Museum, New York

"Art goes beyond the material and gives space to emotions and ideas. Six quilters have succeeded creating art, as this superb book proves."
- Caroline Boot, Curator Art and Design, Textielmuseum, Tilburg, Netherlands

"Speaking in Cloth: 6 Quilters, 6 Voices offers a clear window into the work and creative processes of six very different artists in the quilt medium. It's a real pleasure to see such a focused exhibition. Viewers have the opportunity to really get to know the individuals and hear their distinct voices. We need more exhibitions like this."
- Robert Shaw, Curator and Author, Shelburne, Vermont

"A fascinating insight into the inspirations, thought processes, and challenges of six contemporary quiltmakers as articulated in these works."
- Anne Scott, Editor, New Zealand Quilter

"The internal conversations exploring the concerns of language, ideas, process, and challenge are kin to those of their peers in painting and sculpture, and further cement the footing of fiber artists in the universe of fine art."
- Rick Gottas, Fine Art Gallery Owner and Collector, Tacoma, Washington

"...A body of work that will set the tone for the early 21st Century art quilt medium in our region. These are fully realized works of art that draw you near, beckoning you to look closely and then asking you to step back and think—and join the conversation."
- M. J. Koreiva, Director, Coos Art Museum, Oregon

"The Quilter's Book of Design is a unique visual experience. Page after page of stunning color photographs reveal how quilt designs take shape, moving from inspiration into fabric. Showcasing quilts that range from the very simple to the extraordinary, this book takes the mystery out of the design process and shows that unique, creative quilts are within the reach of every quilter.

Ann Johnston, an award-winning quilter, designer, and instructor, begins by introducing the three key principles that govern good design-balance, unity, and variety. In crystal-clear text and visuals that illustrate each principle, she helps you understand why some designs work and others don't. Next, you will learn about the design tools you will use to move a design concept toward a finished piece-line and shape, value and color, and pattern and texture. At the end of each chapter, short workshops help you practice techniques and apply everything you have learned to your own quilts.

To provide real insight into the design process, Ann takes you through the decisions she made while developing some of her own quilts. Her early sketches and photographs show how the quilts progressed and how she used each design tool to achieve the final result. The closing chapter provides techniques you can use to jump-start your own quilts. Ann shares five ways to begin that will get your creative juices flowing and help you create the quilt of your dreams."
National Textbook Company, Chicago, Illinois

"This is one of the best books on design intended for quilt makers. Using fabrics she has hand-dyed and her own quilts in the illustrations, she treats us to a review of her work as well as good design theory.

This book has some of the best demonstrations of value, and the effect of value change offered in a quilt book. The same value studies are laid out in both black and white and then in color. By now you know I am a nut of the value of value, and this is very clear in both pictures and words.

I think the last chapter is worth the price of the book. This is the kind of book I like to take with me on a trip when I have some free time to just play around with the ideas and possibilities already in my sketch book."
Carol Moe, Bits and Pieces

The Quilter’s Book of Design by Ann Johnston provides a compelling blend of instruction and inspiration that will energize the quilts you create. From this remarkable visual experience that takes the mystery out of quilt design, you will learn how to make quilts that not only please the eye, but that surprise and delight and ultimately move those who view them. Richly illustrated with quilts that range from simple pieced designs to extraordinary art-in-fabric. A wonderful addition to any sewers library.”
Lois Ericson, Good News Rag

This book is out of print.

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