Deciding where to locate a book is a huge question. When it's a quilting book you have to consider the style you want to create, whether you want cosiness and domesticity or abstract and decidedly undomestic, accessorised or bare, highly styled or simply set out, plain or colourful.
On Friday had a second photoshoot for the quilting book I've just finished. It was in a very different sort of location to the ones we usually use, but it turned out to be ideal for my quilts. The ceilings were high, the light was clear, there was space to move, the owner had a great collection of carefully chosen bits and pieces, books and furniture, and I brought a big bucket of bright dahlias to go with one particular quilt. It was a very good day, and it made me think again just how much a location can influence the look, feel, and even the message of a book.
I like quilt books that do something a little bit different with locations. Kathy Doughty uses the Australian landscape to tremendous effect; who ever said quilts could only be photographed indoors, especially when you have all that amazing outdoor space and colour that inspires and informs your quilting style. (I particularly like the use of railway lines in the new book.) With every Rowan quilting book he writes, Kaffe Fassett finds yet another incredible place (Bulgaria, Malta, Provence, Sweden, Great Dixter, urban London) to locate his quilts and uses all sorts of surprising backdrops and details. (I sometimes think that because these books come out annually, it's easy to almost forget to look at the amazing backgrounds that Kaffe and his team have chosen so carefully. My favourite in the latest book is a quilt next to an enormous pile of corn husks.) I also like the Japanese quilting books that use studios and virtually no extraneous stuff in the shots - it's a brave decision to be so bold and plain, but if the quilts are strong, it's an approach that can work well. And it's cheap.
Looking at location websites is strangely fascinating. I've had to because I help choose where we go, but even if I didn't look for work, I could easily imagine getting a little bit hooked. Fresh Locations and First Option are both full of the promise of escapist fantasy.