Brave New Quilts- Kathreen and her Legacy

I was honored to be asked to be part of the Legacy book tour for Kathreen Ricketson‘s book Brave New Quilts: 12 Projects Inspired by 20th-Century Art From Art Nouveau to Punk & Pop. I am not a quilter so I can’t really give a serious professional review of the book from that prospective, but Kath was part of my online life for so many years and this review is more about her. It makes me happy that through this book, her spirit lives on.

The online craft world was shocked by Kath’s sudden death last spring. She was probably best known for the website Whip-Up. I’d “met” her before her Whip-Up days. I just tracked down her first comment on my blog- April 2005 on this post. She had a blog called RedCurrant and I thought of her as a photographer, doing a year of self-portraits. She was someone who came to the crafty mom world from a background in Art- something I can appreciate and relate to. When she started Whip-Up, she gave generously to the online community. She posted about so many interesting artists and projects, was not afraid to talk about some controversial subjects (I’m thinking about graffiti as art for one), and introduced new people into the limelight. I appreciated her support early on- the work I do was not often appreciated by the in-real-life world and my online community was my lifeline of encouragement and enthusiasm. Kath was a person I think of as a connector- she brought all kinds of passionate people together and made all our lives better.

Now onto the book. When I received my package and pulled the book out, I was delighted by the beautiful cover. And flipping through, so many beautiful photos and again COLOR! There are more book photos over here if you’d like to see. As I said, I am not much of a quilter but if at some point I decide to try get more serious, the book has lots of good technical info. The description of how to do paper piecing sucked me in- I’d never understood what exactly it was. The book is organized by Art Movements- Art Deco, Midcentury Modern, Dada, and more. It was fun to see her interpretations. These were my favorites-

The Seedpod-


And Clear Cut- which she labels as Bauhaus, which I understand, referring to Josef Albers but also has a very strong reference to Amish quilts. Love it.


That is a design I could see myself trying.

Thank you Stash Books for asking me to be part of this tour. Kathreen will live on through this book, through Whip-Up and through her generosity that touched so many of us in this online craft community. We miss you.

If you’d like to read other, more quilt-specific reviews, check out some of the other stops on the book tour.


Tuesday 10/1 Heather Jones
Wedneday 10/2 Kristin Link
Thursday 10/3 Maya Donenfeld
Friday 10/4 Alexandra Smith
Monday 10/7 Sonya Philip
Tuesday 10/8 Ellen Luckett Baker
Wedneday 10/9 Andrea Jenkins
Thursday 10/10 Shannon Cook
Friday 10/11 Mimi Kirchner
Monday 10/14 Cheryl Arkison

2 thoughts on “Brave New Quilts- Kathreen and her Legacy

  1. I’m glad to hear that you’re doing this, Mimi. Yes, it was a shock to hear about Kathreen’s death earlier in the year. The book sound great, and the blog tour a fitting tribute to her.

    Have long been a fan of the precision of paper piecing – as a mathematician’s daughter, I was brought up with tessellation. You can’t get such a neat fit between pieces any other way. And, f you leave the papers in, you can also achieve wild 3-D shapes. :)

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