MODERN FABRIC: TWENTY-FIVE DESIGNERS ON THEIR INSPIRATION AND CRAFT by Abby Gilchrist and Amelia Poole; Princeton Architectural Press, 2021; 256 pages; $40


On creativity, American playwright Edward Albee (1928-2016) had an interesting thought: “The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is all there is to it.” If it’s that simple, then the fabric artists featured in “Modern Fabrics” are certainly some of the most creative people in the fascinating world of textile art.

This beautifully illustrated and smartly descriptive book is the creative idea of two Maine fabric artists and businesswomen: Abby Gilchrist of Belfast and Amelia Poole of Brooksville. The result is an intriguing presentation of 25 American and international fabric artists who describe their initial inspiration, idea formulation, creative process, materials, designs, colors and how they produce a marketable product.

Several of the featured fabric artists are self-taught, others were mentored or school-trained, but all have achieved noteworthy success as artists and business men and women. Their remarkable stories are illustrated with 398 color photographs. The artists work with a variety of textile materials: lightweight cotton, double gauze, canvas, pure linen, sateen, wool, needlepoint and flax, and coloring with watercolors, acrylics, oils even pencil.

Two important factors stand out. First, all the artists are successful in the marketing of their textile art products from bed linens, handbags, towels, apparel and wall art to tapestries, pillows, quilts, home décor — even swimwear — selling through Etsy or other business outlets.

Second, while most artists begin their designs with sketch drawings, they quickly shift to computer programs for experimentation and refinement of color, pattern, even texture. Few do their own product manufacture (print screening), while most rely on commercial companies for that work, companies like Illustrator, Spoonflower and Procreate.


The authors and publisher have put out a polished product that reveals a creative spirit and entrepreneurial drive, too often taken for granted and seldom understood.


ONE LAST LIE by Paul Doiron; Minotaur Books, 2020; 310 pages; $27.99

ONE LAST LIE by Paul Doiron; Minotaur Books, 2020; 310 pages; $27.99

When a Maine game warden doing undercover work to infiltrate a poaching gang in northern Maine went missing 15 years ago, no trace of him was ever found. That is, until an old warden’s badge turns up for sale at a creepy vendor’s flea-market stall, setting in motion a chain of lies, cover-up and murder.

“One Last Lie” is Maine author Paul Doiron’s 11th novel in his mystery series featuring Maine warden investigator Mike Bowditch. Doiron has won numerous awards for his mystery writing, all richly deserved. And this popular series just gets better and better. Realistic plots, believable characters and careful foreshadowing mark all his mysteries — especially this one.

Fifteen years after that first warden went missing, retired warden Charley Stevens, Mike’s mentor, has also disappeared, leaving cryptic clues for Mike to follow. Mike has no idea where Charley is or what he’s doing, but he knows it must be connected to that old badge. This is an unofficial investigation, and Mike’s involvement in the cold case and Charley’s recent disappearance surprises and angers several law enforcement officers. What are they hiding?

Mike discovers more clues to the two disappearances: a mysterious letter, an old photograph,and the curious burn brands on the arms of the poaching gang suspects. Mike realizes he cannot trust anyone, but worse, he suddenly understands he is being used as bait to flush out a killer.

The result is attempted murder, a gruesome killing and a carefully laid trap that ensnares Mike but not his expected quarry. Add a warden with an odd lakeside set-up with a couple of Haitians, a pair of snipers, a wild shoot-out and a long-held revelation, and Doiron has again produced an exciting, fast-paced, intricate mystery in the North Woods.

Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.

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