by Lura Schwarz Smith and Kerby C. Smith, by C&T Publishing, March 2010, 96pp
I have been a fan of Lura’s art quilts since I first saw her demonstrate her face-painting techniques on HGTV’s Simply Quilts. I was so intrigued by Lura's work on this segment that I purchased both of her instructional DVDs and the complete set of Tsukineko inks and applicators. This book combines Lura’s talents in art and quilt making with her husband Kerby’s expertise as a professional photographer. It includes useful information on the how and why of using your digital camera specifically for printing on fabric, which I have not found in other digital photography guides. The technical chapters demystify all those settings on your digital camera and the different types of digital files. Best of all, it explains how to use Photoshop Elements software to improve your pictures for the effects you want in your digital photo fabric. Even if you only want to use a point-and-shoot camera without learning all the technical stuff, there is good information for you in this book. There are mini-art lessons by Lura which deal with elements of design like positive and negative space, symmetry and balance, shape and form, color and value. Additionally, there is a section in which Lura references the types of markers and paints that she uses to enhance her surface design with additional color and shading. There are eight projects which utilize the different techniques explained in the book, with handy page references. What I like about the projects is that they are not patterns or designs for you to replicate. Rather, they offer guidelines and techniques for creating your own unique photo project. A section on construction technique offers a tutorial on piecing curves the P-Free way: no paper, no pins, no planning! I recommend this book for anyone who wants to improve their digital photography and editing skills, and learn some new art quilting techniques.