February quilting book reviews – Tessellation and Creative Drafting

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Don’t you just love two for the price of one deals? Especially when it was free to start off with! This month’s quilting book reviews, courtesy of the library system, are of two books I never would otherwise have seen.

First we have Tessellation Quilts, by Christine Porter.Book Review - Tessellation Quilts

I don’t know about you, but although I’m not very good at maths, like many quilters I am a geometry geek. I get very inspired by all the patterns out there, in architecture, nature and the world at large.

Book Review - Tessellation Quilts

It would appear that Christine shares this geeky love. Included in the resources at the back are these cute colouring in pages you can use to make her ideas your own.

Book Review - Tessellation Quilts

She gives you the inspiration behind the design, often quite non-quilt related, as well as detailed construction hints and even alternative piecing methods if one way is more complex than another.

Book Review - Tessellation Quilts

Another impressive feature of this book is the addition of varying colourways. The quilts here are not just mock-ups, they are the real thing, pieced, quilted and bound. That isn’t a small undertaking for a book project, but it certainly makes the patterns more appealing. For example, in the spread above I have great difficulty seeing past her novelty prints and colours on the left. Although not quite my thing, the variation on the right allows me to see past the fabric to the block design.

However, our next book contender takes quilt design options to a whole new level – Drafting for the Creative Quilter by Sally Collins.

Book review - Drafting for the Creative Quilter

Billed as the ultimate reference guide, this book is surely comprehensive for those that want to make complicated looking blocks out of her easy techniques.

Book review - Drafting for the Creative Quilter

This is hard core quilt geometry, although Sally explains at the beginning that most quilt blocks start with a basic four, nine or sixteen patch premise. You simply decode the underlying skeleton and build back onto it from there.

Book review - Drafting for the Creative Quilter

She makes sure to show lots of variations and real quilt versions of the designs she helps you to understand.

Book review - Drafting for the Creative Quilter

Sally explains how to use mirrors to view symmetrical blocks, enabling a quick way of envisioning your finished masterpiece. This would allow you to fine tune your fabric choices or placement to get the most impact. There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours creating such a centrepiece, only to wish afterwards that it had more contrast, was less busy, or used the colours in a different balance.

Book review - Drafting for the Creative Quilter

One day, I would definitely like to make a feathered star block, if only for the challenge. Not to mention the bragging rights!

February Book Reviews - Tessellation Quilts : Drafting for the Creative Quilter

The conclusion? If you are a bit of geometry fan, then the Tessellation Quilts book will most likely give you plenty of future projects. However, if you are into serious quilt design, aren’t afraid of maths and are in possession of a good compass, then Drafting for the Creative Quilter may be the book for you. I question it’s value now that we have so many computer programs available that can aid in pattern drafting, from fabric and value selection to calculating yardages. However, many may not wish to use a computer, have the skills to do so, or you may just simply enjoy the process of sketching designs out. If that is the case, then Sally Collins’ book is certainly a comprehensive guide to designing your own patterns.

What is your preference? Full quilt drafting, or just a general interest in geometry? Shout it out for me in the comments!

Happy Crafting - Cassie.

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