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Striding Lines: The Unique Story Quilts of Rumi O'Brien.

Striding Lines: The Unique Story Quilts of Rumi O'Brien

Bobbie Malone

University of Wisconsin Press

728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418

9780299325541, $24.95, PB, 112pp,

Synopsis: The gnarled branches of a beautiful old plum tree reach toward the sky. A mushroom hunter searches for morels among rolling hills. A small boat is tossed among the tumultuous waves of an angry sea. "Striding Lines: The Unique Story Quilts of Rumi O'Brien" is a beautifully illustrated homage to Wisconsin artist and quilter Rumi O'Brien who presents these striking images of her work and many more, accompanied by descriptions that share the stories of each piece in the artist's own words. Each quilt represents a moment, often autobiographical, crafted with whimsy, revealing an inspired talent.

In "Striding Lines" Bobbie Malone (an historian, author, and editor, and former director of the Office of School Services at the Wisconsin Historical Society) reaches beyond the quilts themselves to tell O'Brien's own personal story, from her initial foray into the quilting world to her developed dedication to the craft. Contributions from leaders in the art, textile and quilting community, including Melanie Herzog and Marin Hanson, contextualize O'Brien's work in the greater community of quiltmakers and artists. "Striding Lines" celebrates and showcases the life and ingenuity of a Japanese-born American immigrant whose oeuvre is equally Japanese and Wisconsinite--and entirely distinctive.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, splendidly elegant, and impressively informative study of the life and work of Rumi O'Brien, "Striding Lines: The Unique Story Quilts of Rumi O'Brien" will be of particular interest to dedicated quilters, as well as the Wisconsin Art History collections of community and academic libraries.

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Author:Bethany, Susan
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2019
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