While I will probably never complete a quilt with my thread tangling tendencies, I can certainly dream and admire others’ handiwork. The stack of quilting books we have in now are just perfect for that, or for actually designing a quilt if you are more coordinated than me. These are some beauties, with interesting reading in addition to attractive patterns!
In the dreaming category, what could be better than lovely quilts in gardens, with picnic recipes to go along with each masterpiece? Patchwork Picnic by Suzette Halferty and Nancy J. Martin is truly beautiful, and if I never manage the patriotic Stars and Stripes quilt, I could probably accomplish the Fresh Tomato Tart, so that is something! While most of the recipes in the I’d Rather Be Quilting Cookbook sound like the tasty concoctions of a quilting grandma, I had to smile at the Sauteed Liver recipe accompanying the Kansas Troubles quilt pattern…there would be trouble at the dinner table if not in Kansas! The author writes for the Winged Square pattern which inspired an oven fried chicken recipe, “Winged Square looks very much like a pre-Columbian Indian picture of an owl flying overhead. The designer of this block could easily have had in mind the flapping wings of the young rooster which was about to become oven-fried chicken.” I am positive you have never thought about your quilt patterns or your dinner this way! This copy is signed by all three authors, and I don’t know which of these ladies are quilting grandmas, if any.
Plain and Fancy, Vermont’s People and Their Quilts by Richard L. Cleveland and Donna Bister is another quilt book meant for reading. Great historic photos fill the pages along with many stunning old quilts like a Slashed Star pattern or an embroidered Kate Greenaway style beauty. The artwork in Quiltscapes by Rebecca Barker is exactly that, art. She has painted her quilt patterns blended into lovely settings just to inspire you. Who could pass up the blue and yellow geometrics of the Lighthouse pattern surrounding a windblown lighthouse scene with seagulls flying? The practical patterns and measurements are included too. Takako Onoyama has also brought us a beautiful book Honoring the Seasons, Quilts from Japan’s Quilt House Yama. Her store in Japan opened in 1976 to a puzzled but increasingly enthusiastic clientele, and her quilts blend traditional American patterns and techniques with Japanese materials, themes and design. It all comes out well, and makes for interesting reading!
For you practical minded quilters, we have a slew of inspired pattern books, from Beyond the Blocks, Quilts with Great Borders by Nancy J. Martin, to Quilts for Baby, Easy as ABC by Ursula Reikes, or Chameleon Quilts, Versatile Looks Using Traditional Patterns by Margrit Hall. It is amazing how different a basic Log Cabin quilt can look with different treatments! Advanced quilters will appreciate the plethora of unique combinations in A Colourful Journey, including items like pillows and table runners as well as bed quilts and throws.
I’ve seen memory quilts made from dad’s shirts, T-shirts, baby clothes and of course crazy quilts made from lovely scraps. Shirley Botsford’s Daddy’s Ties book presents patterns for quilting with the gorgeous silk patterns from dad’s old ties. These are some great ideas, from Christmas ornaments, to lampshades to full quilts. There are some practical considerations too, like how to take apart a tie and wash that fragile fabric. These are pretty unique! If you need more unique quilting design ideas, try one of the design coloring books like Swirling Designs by Get Grama. These would look fantastic quilted!
One last favorite to consider, Quilts from Larkspur Farm by Pamela Mostek and Jean Van Bockel. Larkspur Farm is a beautiful flower farm, cottage rental and wedding venue. Flowery quilts are spread around the grounds with patterns and instructions on other enhancing projects, like holding a garden tea party or making a blackberry pie. Big sigh, everyone would like to move in here I imagine.
Did I mention all Quilting books are on sale this month? 15% off!