Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Quilter's Bible

By Linda Clements

London, David & Charles, 2011

256 p. Non-Fiction

Patchwork quilting is a tradition in our family; the women in the family have been doing it for generations. When my mother died last year, each member of the family came into the sanctuary carrying the quilt that my mother had made for them. Each uniquely designed patchwork quilt was placed on the altar rail and added so much color, joy, and family history to the celebration of her life.

I have been quilting for several years, and enjoyed reading and utilizing The Quilter’s Bible by Linda Clements this week. This is a very skillfully designed book which covers all the necessary information about patchwork, quilting, and appliqué. It is comprehensive, and a beginner who follows all the steps could become a proficient quilter. Advanced quilters will find much to appreciate as well.

I knew many of the basic patchwork techniques suggested in the book, so I decided to follow the directions for appliqué, a technique that I have been afraid to tackle. But, I had two projects in mind; an elephant wall hanging to go on the wall in our new granddaughter’s room (hopefully I will get it done before she is born!) and a batik tote bag for the midwife who will deliver the baby. I used the freezer paper appliqué technique for the elephant appliqué and a raw-edged technique for the flowers on the tote bag. I followed the written directions exactly and was very pleased with the finished appliqué. The Quilter’s Bible has lots of pictures that illustrate each technique, and by utilizing the written explanations and the pictures, I was able to execute my design.

There is a comprehensive section on quilting in addition to the sections on patchwork and appliqué. The directions show the reader how to hand quilt and machine quilt. Additionally, the discussion in the book about choosing fabric is nicely done and helpful as is the section on choosing supplies.

What I love the most about quilting is choosing the fabric and the design. The truly creative aspect of quilting to me is choosing the colors. I think I have a pretty good eye for color. Frankly, I don’t intend to learn how to quilt. I have a fabulous quilter named Patrick who is a genius at long arm quilting, and everything he has done for me has turned out to be a work of art. If I feel that I can get by without the expense of Patrick’s quilting, I am quite happy tying the quilt, a technique I use primarily for baby quilts.

One reviewer noted: “A delightful surprise found in this book are the fun projects dropped in here and there among the techniques giving the reader a hands-on experience learning each process. How clever is that? The photography is lovely, the techniques are dynamic and every quilter’s library will benefit from this essential resource.”

Here is a review from a sewing blogger that is very comprehensive:

I received this book from FSB Media and was very pleased to have the opportunity to review it.

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