I am a shameless library junkie (and fabric junkie, and button junkie, and thrifting junkie…you get the idea)!! I love the feel and smell of books. I love seeing them stacked and piled and neatly in rows. I love seeing people reading them. I love the potential of joy that leaving a library with a mountain of books promises. As I have become a mother and as my children are growing my love of libraries has changed a bit but not diminished at all. My children and I absolutely love (and frankly need) the endless supply of children’s books to supplement the constantly read ones on our own shelves. My daughter was once, and my son now is, an expert shelf de-shelfer. You know the type…the ones who can clear a book shelf of any book faster than anything, and are on to the next one before you have half of the first one picked up! (In their defense…she was and he is a baby while doing this!) So…in order to leave with happy children, happy mom, happy library, and an exciting assortment of books my library strategy is more than a survival tactic, its an art! One part of the strategy involves judging books by their covers! I make no apologies for that, and as an artist the cover art is a good indicator to whether I’ll love reading what is inside the book over and over day after day until we return to the library!
This is how I met Trucks Go! by Steve Light. It was love at first sight! Its such a fantastic book…you need to read it. If your library doesn’t have it suggest that they get it! Librarians usually love hearing what their patrons want to read.
I was thinking about the art from the book and thought how well the images lend themselves to textiles. I ran through several ideas to turn the artwork from the book into something that could hang in my children’s room and came up with what I think is a great little wall quilt.
I used iron-on adhesive to secure the truck pieces to their backing fabric. After the sashing and borders were in place I layered the front of the quilt with thin cotton batting and used an old bed sheet as backing fabric. I had a blast using free hand machine quilting to applique the trucks, giving them a sketchy, fun feeling that I loved about the book. I alternated truck blocks with blank white blocks on which I wrote with a fabric marker the noise each truck makes from the book.
I was very happy with the quilt and loved seeing it in my children’s room. I sent images of the quilt to the author, Steve Light, to let him know how much I loved his work. It turned out he also loved my work and invited me to bring my quilt down to NYC for a book signing in NJ. I was very excited and had a wonderful time meeting him and his wife, both artists. We had a great time talking and looking at their sketch books and discussing art, the joys of creating, the challenges of getting published, etc. It was great. And yes, we were “those people” on the train that talk the whole ride and don’t stop to think that others might not want to hear about art…! And who doesn’t love a good book signing…especially one punctuated with story time by a seriously awesome story teller. (Really…check out Steve’s Storyboxes!)
It was great exposure and I really learned a lot. It was also a wonderful excuse to visit a city that I love, to see dear family, and to have an adventure or two…because some things only happen in New York!