The Uncommon Quilter


Radio Interview
INQUIRY: Uncommon Quilting, hosted by Mark Lynch, WICN radio in Worcester, MA. Interview of Jeanne is available on the web or as a podcast.

Magazine and Newspaper Reviews

Quiltmaker JanFeb 09 cover


Not So Common Quilting, Quiltmaker Magazine, January/February 2009
Cupcake wrappers. Dryer lint. Construction Fence. These are just some of the inspiring materials used by Jeanne Williamson to make the small art quilts featured in The Uncommon Quilter. Full of anecdotes, ideas and insiration, this title can help you see the world in a fresh way.


QuiltingArts OctNov coverQuilting Arts Magazine, Cate Coulacos Prato, October/November 2007
If you like to, or think you would like to, quilt using unusual materials, then there a few better teachers than Jeanne Williamson. She is well known for her feat of making a quilt a week for seven years (inspiring the Journal Quilt project) and her Orange Construction Fence Series (#29 won Best of Show at Quilt National in 2005). In THE UNCOMMON QUILTER, Jeanne share the fruits of her experimentation through 52 small quilt projects that not only teach skills but encourage readers to grow as artists.

Jeanne limits the materials she uses with only two rules: choose materials you can sew by hand or machine (or can encapsulate in sheer material and attach) and don't use materils that will rot, break or spoil. That makes items like plastic mesh, clean cupcake papers, bar codes, shopping bags, and dryer lint fair game - for stitching and for design inspiration. The directions for each quilt are contained on one page making this an excellent book for the beginning or intermediate quilter who wants to experiment and stretch her skills.

Books thread together quilting techniques from around the world, Dallas Morning News, October 18, 2007
The Uncommon Quilter: Small Art Quilts Created With Paper, Plastic, Fiber, and Surface Design, Jeanne Williamson (Potter Craft, $25)
In a new twist on the trash-to- treasure theme, fiber artist Jeanne Williamson set out to make one small (8 inches by 10 inches) art quilt a week, placing no limits on process or materials used – or on her imagination. The experiment resulted in a collection of 365 one-of-a-kind quilts, made from materials ranging from old newspapers to cupcake wrappers to leaves. This book is her salvage story: all about quilting with recycled materials, unconventional techniques, very few rules and a little risk-taking. It also provides quilters and crafters with 52 projects to try, grouped by types of found material (paper, plastic, surface design or fiber). Each outlined endeavor is accompanied by anecdotes and step-by-step instructions.

Books for Crafting Homespun Holidays, Real Estate Journal/The Wall Street Journal Online, June Fletcher, December 20, 2007
The Uncommon Quilter: Small Art Quilts Created with Paper, Plastic, Fiber, and Surface Design by Jeanne Williamson (Potter Craft, 2007): Before the Industrial Revolution, when women harvested, spun and wove their own cloth, every bit was precious, which is why so many old aprons and christening gowns wound up in quilts. But here, items that are considered anything but precious, like dryer lint, torn newspapers, used mailing labels, and leftover cupcake wrappers, are incorporated into the quilts, using the simplest sewing machine. The results aren't always aesthetically pleasing or even interesting -- for instance, a project using discarded rug padding and various types of colored plastic netting looked like…well, old padding and netting. But at least it will get a reader's creative juices flowing the next time the garbage has to go out. It's wise to heed the book's best tip: "Use materials that won't rot, break or spoil."

The Professional Quilter, Book Review: Uncommon Quilter, Morna McEver Golletz, Winter 2008
In 1999 Jeanne Williamson began creating small 8" by 10" art quilts on a weekly basis, continuing for seven years and 365 pieces. With each quilt she developed a sense of accomplishment and increased creativity that found its way into her more serious artwork. (This concept of small quilts was also the inspiration for the Journal Quilt Project that was a popular exhibit at International Quilt Festival from 2002-2007.) This collection of 52 of the small art quilts will inspire you to step out of your box and try something new and grow as a quilter. The techniques focus on using paper, plastic, fiber and surface designs. You'll see quilts using the plastic from onion bags, shredded paper, crayon rubbings and seed pods. While you might not want to try all the techniques, you'll find plenty of ideas to open your eyes and jump start your creativity this new year.

Misc Reviews

Studio Art Quilt Associates, DECEMBER 2007 SAQA e.BULLETIN, and Fiber Art News - Martha Sielman, December 2007
The Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson, Potter Craft, 2007
"Jeanne Williamson is famous in the art quilt world for two things: her Orange Construction Fence series, of which #29 won Best of Show in the 2005 Quilt National, and for completing a small quilt each and every week, 52 weeks per year, for seven years, a feat which provided the inspiration for the Journal Quilt exhibits at the International Quilt Festival. In this book, Jeanne shares some of her favorite pieces and describes the unusual objects which inspired them. Detailed instructions are provided for the reader's own explorations of such uncommon inspirations as: plastic shopping bags, onion bag netting, hair dye, hot beverage sleeves, cupcake holders, clothing labels, dryer lint and ironing board cover rust stains. ........"

The Textile Directory
"Jeanne Williamson is well known for her journal quilts, having exhibited in galleries throughout the world and been published in many books and magazines. In 1999 she took the decision to make a small art quilt every week in order to expand her creative horizons, she placed no limits on either the materials or the techniques used for these 365 very varied and personal works. From here grew a worldwide journal quilt fraternity culminating in the Journal Project organised by QuiltArt online and the selective catalogue Creative Quilting.

In The Uncommon Quilter Williamson illustrates 52 projects intended to inspire the reader’s own creativity. The type of medium or technique used for each divides the projects: Paper, Plastic, Fiber and Surface Design. Alongside anecdotes about her inspiration for the quilt, each one has a list of materials used and detailed instructions about how to produce it. However the basis of the book is to encourage readers through their own process of observation and artistic development at that point in time and suggest ways to achieve that. The book is very colourful and well produced with good close-up photographs of Williamson’s quilts and materials. The book will inspire the reader to look differently at everyday freely available materials and use them in innovative ways." The Uncommon Quilter, Reviewed by Davina Thomas, 21/03/08
"... The book is beautifully produced with a full size - or larger - image of each of the 52 quilts shown, with instructions on the opposite page. It is a delight to browse through and to be inspired by and I know there are ideas I will be using this year. It is a musthave book for any contemporary or aspiring art quilter. ...." Fiber Crafts, Jan Zlendich, Librarian Emerita, California State Univ. Lib., Fullerton -- Library Journal, 12/15/2007
Williamson, Jeanne. The Uncommon Quilter: Small Art Quilts Created with Paper, Plastic, Fiber, and Surface Design.
"Quilters can get so wrapped up in choosing beautiful fabrics and following patterns that they ignore the creative possibilities of their art. What better way to free themselves than to create a small quilt a week with found objects like clothing labels, tree bark, old sock fragments, and cupcake wrappers. Williamson, who once made a quilt a week for seven years, guides readers in completing 52 small quilts via clear instructions, good color photos, a materials list, and commentary. An excellent choice for large public libraries and academic art quilt collections." The Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson
"Not your average sewing book, The Uncommon Quilter does more than teach you to perfect a skill: it inspires you to grow as an artist. The 52 art quilts featured in this book make use of found materials-everything from newspaper to cupcake wrappers and fall leaves to funky yarn-for an effect that is beautiful, unusual, and overwhelmingly personal. Once you unleash you inner artist, you'll want to try a new project every week!"

Blog Reviews and Comments

Expression Studio - Book Review and 52 Projects "It's not often enough when a book comes along at the exact moment that I need it, but this one did. ..." (read more)

Frieda Quilter Musings - NOW READING!! "The Uncommon Quilter. By Jeanne Williamson. This book has been written by the founding mother of the Journal Quilt movement so to speak. Jeanne began to make small art quilts (no larger than 8 x 10") in 1999 and has produced a total of 365 at the time of writing. She has split up the quilts featured in the book by the material used to produce them: plastic, paper, surface design and fiber. For every quiltie there is a picture of the whole quilt as well as a detail picture. It's worth getting this book just for these details. It's not often that you can have such a close look at someone else's stitches. This book focuses strongly on the design thinking behind the quilts pictures as well as on the problems which can occur when using unusual material. I have the feeling this might become a classic before very long!"

Emmie Seaman (EmPrint) - "Thank you, Jeanne Williamson. Your book THE UNCOMMON QUILTER turned on the light bulbs. Funny how you know something all along, but you need to have your cage rattled now and then." - Book Recommendations: Quilting

Sleepless Beader - The Uncommon Quilter - Book Reviews - The Uncommon Quilter

J's Quilting Blog - The Uncommon Quilter

Virginia Spiegel - The Uncommon Quilter

THIMBLE: arts and crafts blog - Book Review: The Uncommon Quilter

Dordogne Quilter - The Uncommon Quilter

Going to Pieces - Book Review - Uncommon Quilter - The Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson

Creative Dabbling - More Inspiration

MG Quilts - The Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson

Crochet by Faye - Book Review: The Uncommon Quilter

Anna Maria Horner - Uncommon Quilting

Urban Paper Arts - Book Review: Uncommon Quilter


The Uncommon Quilter - The MetroWest Daily News, Kristine Diederich, Sunday, October 28, 2007

Quilters sew meaning in fabric of life - Houston Chronicle, Carolyn Feibel, Nov. 5, 2007 (in PDF format)

Life in Stitches and Swatches - The Newark Star Ledger, Claudia Perry, Friday, February 22, 2008

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