I really am proud of all the amazing quilting talent that we are growing in Australia. Unlike our friends overseas, we don’t have a long proud tradition of quilting in our country. We can’t really say that we learnt the skill at our grandmother’s knee, that our neighbours were always stitching around the quilt frame and we have quilts in our family that are 150 years old. I wish that was true. Having said that, I really am excited to bring you this month’s quilting book review!
This book was given the Australian Craft Industry Awards – 2015 Best new book by an Australian Author. After having read it for the past month, I can certainly see why!
With By the Block, Siobhan has written a patchwork A-Z. She adeptly covers the basics of patchwork and then taking you by the hand, leads you through increasingly challenging skill sets. By the end of the book, you can tackle almost any project with confidence. However this isn’t a “beginner” quilt book that anyone with intermediate experience would be bored to tears with. Each of the patterns and skills are given such a fresh twist that there is something to appeal to everyone in it’s pages.
Some of the quilts that caught my eye include this beautiful muted text beauty, Love and Be Loved. What an awesome baby quilt that would be!
Another feature of the book which I really enjoyed was the styling. Quilt photography is not easy, and these funky backgrounds are consistent throughout the book, and fun enough to be interesting without distracting from the star of the show, which is of course, the quilt. Love the way these quilted spirals fill the negative space. Those hot orange dots are all that is needed to give this quilt an impact.
Siobhan even tackles the on trend, but challenging, half rectangle triangles and other angular shapes. I am fascinated by this design, Camouflage, and I can see it being made here in my studio sooner rather than later.
I love that they took the time and effort to include full shots of all the quilt backs, especially as there were interesting piecing details and even leftover blocks included on the back. Of course, you often get a great overview of the quilting too by looking at the back of the quilt.
This book is definitely under-rated amongst all of last years book releases. In By the Block, Siobhan has created a modern patchwork classic and there is truly something for every quilter and skill level in it.
The verdict? A definite yes for me. You can buy a signed copy directly from the author, which will help support her pattern business and make more books of this quality happen!