September quilting book reviews

posted in: Book Review, Quilting, sewing | 4

Once again, the wonders of modern technology have brought me two more quilting books to review, thanks to the wonderful one card library network.




Modern One-Block Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting, and Vintage Quilt Revival by Katie Clark Blakesley, Lee Heinrich and Faith Jones.

Firstly Modern One-Block Quilts. This is a beautiful book, and the projects in it are modern in the most accepted sense of the word. The sample quilts use lots of solids, fresh simple colour combinations, and often dense quilting, which is not surprising considering the authors. Now I know my mother would always tell me about sewing patterns, look at the design and not the colours/fabric, but I find that very hard to do.


Charmed pattern from Modern One-Block Quilts
Churned pattern from Modern One-Block Quilts


Although I really enjoyed reading the book, my stash is full of big bold prints and I found it so hard to visualise the patterns in anything but their fabrics. Maybe that’s my own failing, but I felt they could have had more representative variety throughout the book.


Alternating Stars pattern from Modern One-Block Quilts
Alternating Stars pattern from Modern One-Block Quilts


All in all, it is a beautiful book, with well written patterns. I really liked that they gave you the dimensions and fabric cutting requirements for 3 sizes of quilt, as I find quilt math stretches my brain somewhat. However, it was a book that failed to inspire me. Maybe I’m not that much of a modern quilter after all.

Secondly we have Vintage Quilt Revival. Can I just say how much I love the cover of this book? It’s a great representation of what is to come.

Although it doesn’t have the variety of sizes for each project that Modern One-Block quilts has, one of my favourite features were the design notes and history lessons all through the book. Coming from a non-quilting background, in a country that hasn’t the history that America does, I appreciated learning more about where these patterns have come from, and the ideas behind updating them. It really is true that there is nothing new under the sun!


Star Bright Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival
Star Bright Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival


I love the happy colours of their quilts. Several of the designs have copious amounts of negative space too, which was refreshing. I find myself drawn to those over other all-over designs.

One warning – if you don’t like or aren’t comfortable with paper piecing, then this book is NOT for you. I am glad that I learnt paper piecing over the last few weeks, as it wasn’t as intimidating as it could have been. As a bonus, the book comes with a cd of all the designs, so you don’t have to try to photocopy them. I have heard of many struggles copying templates out of books that are printed too close in to the book spine. It’s also a good way to damage book spines. I’m really impressed they included that feature.


Seaside Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival
Seaside Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival



So, head to head? For me, it’s Vintage Quilt Revival. There are just so many quilts in there that screamed make me! They have also included projects from mini quilts to runners, and plenty of ideas of resizing, recolouring and otherwise making these blocks and projects your own.



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 Happy Crafting - Cassie.

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4 Responses

  1. Fiona

    A tip I learnt in my paper piecing bee – we were encouraged to get our books spiral bound to make it easier to photocopy the templates. Officeworks do it and the price is about $5-$6 ish depending on the store.

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