The Wednesday Book Review: 2

The funny thing is, I have no memory of buying this book. Presumably I wanted to learn how to quilt… but I have no memory of that either. Maybe I just saw the title and thought yes, in fact I am rather obsessed with material? Or just wanted luscious pictures like these?

(Presumably I did buy it?  Concerned by this memory loss.)

There’s a punchy introduction along the lines of: quilting is fun! Everyone is good with colour!  Just find “the One fabric that makes you sing”! (Really? Yes, that is a quote).   Altogether, about 3 pages worth of encouragement that quilting isn’t difficult, you can do it your own way, make something to be proud of, etc.

But in case you don’t actually want to do it your own way, the authors go on to give very detailed instructions on how to make each of the 23 quilts featured in the book (yes, 23! That’s more than I thought too).  Sarah Fielke and KathyDoughty run their own patchwork shop/workshop in Sydney, where they advise and teach workshops as well as selling beautiful fabrics, so they do know what we need to know. 

For each project there are lists of materials and tools required, traceable templates, and step-by-step guides on how to piece the blocks together.  There’s also a brief summary of ‘the idea’ behind each quilt, but often these are tantalising rather than informative (several were apparently inspired by beautiful vintage quilts… which you don’t get to see.  I know it’s a very small thing, but I was thinking: show us the quilt! Show us the QUILT!)

As I was re-reading the book, I had a vague inkling that I did embark on one of the projects.  And dug out this from under the bed:

Yay! I’m quite chuffed with it.  But the finished thing should be king-size, and look like this:

So I’ve got a LONG WAY to go.  Fortunately, it’s UFO (Un-Finished Object) week over at the Sew Weekly, and I’m all fired up to see it through.  Though clearly it’s going to need a lot longer than a week.

This isn’t the sort of craft book you’d necessarily spend lots of time poring over – it’s more like pick your project and get on with it.  For me, some of the designs are downright awful, lots are middling, and a few made me think “wow”.  So working on the laws of individual differences, I’m sure that there would be something here for everyone.

This book has two big plus points.  Firstly, it’ll get you loosened up about prints.  I always used to stick with nice safe plains, but I think the huge melting-pot of gorgeous fabric designs in here shifted me into a more adventurous mindset –  not just for quilts, but for clothing as well. 

Secondly, it’ll give you a much better eye for how patchwork pieces should go together.  The combinations aren’t the most logical at first, until you realise that it will avoid having to sew around tricky corners, or needing millions of  extra seams.  I reckon I could get by on a simple square quilt just fine on my own, but taking some advice on more advanced designs will save time and tears in the long run.

So, the verdict?  The book’s keeping its place on the shelf for now… I don’t think I have the patience to be a proper quilter, but I’m determined to finish that star quilt.

4 thoughts on “The Wednesday Book Review: 2

  1. I’m enjoying your book reviews – it’s funny what we find in our bookshelves after the initial interest has died down. I also have a couple of patchwork books – but didn’t make anything. I agree with Karen – a wonderful star – I hope you do finish it!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement – I’ve been working on it all week, and now have a complete star (patchwork takes so long!) Now I’m stalled while choosing fabric for the surrounding border, but I will keep chipping away at it 🙂

  3. Pingback: Wednesday book review 3: Crafting Handmade Shoes | Diana & Me

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