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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Passionate Patchwork: Over 20 Original Quilt Designs by Kaffe Fassett & Liza Prior Lucy (The Taunton Press) Kaffe Fassett, the world’s foremost textile artist and best-selling author in the field of patchwork, brings his brilliant sense of color to over 20 original quilt designs in Passionate Patchwork. His new patchwork designs explore the use of prints and color, combining them with the building blocks of circles, squares, diamonds, and triangles. The patterns in this book are artfully arranged, incorporating Fassett's own stunning fabric designs. There are 20 main designs, and a wealth of variations for each. The designs include full-size quilts, tablecloths, cushion covers and baby quilts in saturated color schemes characteristic of Fassett’s work. Passionate Patchwork features 20 projects based on Fassett's designs, complete with materials lists, pattern templates, cutting directions, assembly instructions and diagrams, and gorgeous photos. Over 200 color photographs and drawings are featured.

Passionate Patchwork is a celebration of color in a fresh, contemporary approach to quilting. For those new to the patchwork craze, the book includes a special chapter on basics with start-to-finish directions and although it is well-written, these innovative designs are probably better for quilters with some experience under their belt.

Quilting the Savory Garden by Sandra Millett (Krause Publications) How does your quilted garden grow? Quilting the Savory Garden offers instructions for sewing designs of flowers, pears, leaves, onions, asparagus, peppers, snails, bricks and vines.

There are instructions for ten garden-themed blocks. Written by Sandra Millet, a multifaceted author, quilter, freelancer and stitchery humor columnist, this is a project book. Projects vary from as small as a block to as big as a quilt. The book explains step-by-step how to assemble various projects by sewing blocks together that can be used to create a quilt or other designs such as pillows, wall hangings, or tote bags (for carrying your on-the-go sewing).

Millett has included options – from appliqué and fusing methods to battings and choosing creative fabric and color, quilters will learn new designs from Quilting the Savory Garden. Block chapters cover everything quilters need to sew a specific block, including materials lists, sizes, hints and additional thoughts. Millett also makes sure quilters are well versed in the basics by including in-depth information on getting started. Manufacturers are listed in the Resources chapter, so quilters can contact them for more information.

Appropriate for both beginners and those who are more advanced, new quilters will find that successive chapters add new skills while building upon preceding techniques, while accomplished quilters will find innovative approaches to established methods and fresh challenges.

Features include

  • Combine hand and machine techniques to create a garden-themed quilt and other designs
  • Clear, easy step-by-step directions and abundant photographs for each block
  • Options galore: Quilting, appliqué and project options

What I liked most about thi s creative guide to quilting was Millet’s artistic compositions, what she calls her let her rip” attitude, not balanced and symmetrical but freeform, and her choice of colors, patterns and textures, which have to be seen to be believed. And the photography does do them justice, helpful and beautifully. Quilting the Savory Garden also goes beyond the call of duty by providing a separate envelope full of patterns at the back of the book so the user does not have to spend time blowing up small sketches.

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