Monday, 2 December 2013

Dear Santa.............

 I have a lot of books about quilting. I try and justify this by saying that most of my sewing skills have come from the faithful perusal of these lovely books. Also lots of them have been gifted to me, I love those kinds of quilting books, out of print now and full of old but new ways to do things. I can't pass up a quilting book in a a charity shop or at a table top sale, and I do have a busy amazon footfall, although I do try and limit that a bit these days before my bookcase falls apart at the seams!

I'm often asked if I can recommend 'a' book for a mum/auntie/wife etc taking up patchwork, and I LOVE recommending books! Always book(s) never 'a' book, mind you!

Given that it's almost Christmas, and I know you don't REALLY want to get a chopping board or a kitchen timer in your stocking again(!) I thought it might be timely to do a little run down on my most recommendable patchwork and quilting books for you to use as useful hints to those who buy your pressies!

Now in the interests of trying to be succinct I have limited my list to 10 and a couple of embroidery books, which I just couldn't live without, or I think you shouldn't try and live without! Most of these books still get used every month. In fact some of them never make it back to the shelf as they are always propped open at some inspirational page on a quilt I'd make if i could slow down time and make dinners cook themselves and floors hoover themselves etc! All of these books have inspired me in some way, many of them I would credit with showing me the way. I've picked what I consider the classics. There are a lot of new releases now, and lots of them are good, but you could buy these books below and that would be you done for life, honestly, you probably don't need another book. I really love these books!

The first one is Quilting by Sarah Fielke and Material Obsession by Sarah and Kathy Doughty. I couldn't just choose one of Sarah's books, so have limited it to these two. I love Sarah's quilts, when I received her first ever book I literally jumped for joy. It was one of the first really modern quilt books that came out and it blazed a trail for modern quilt making. Sarah loves hand quilting and her quilts are the most perfect combination of history and modernity. I love everything she makes.
The second is Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. This book is just a joy. I have made so many things from this book. Every pattern works, it's all just so tasteful and lovely. It's a book to savour.A perfect gift for someone if you can bring yourself to give it away.

Next The Gentle Art of Quilt Making by Jane Brocket. I am a super fan of Jane Brocket. She's clever and kind and all round wonderful. I loved her The Gentle Art Of Domesticity which literally kind of gave me the intellectual permission to be a happy home maker for the first 10 years of my kids lives and I love her quilt book for it's wise and sensible balance. Her style is bolder than mine, but I do love the luscious flower prints and the simple geometry. Most of all I love the real spirit of quilt making in her books, re using, repurposing - perfect.

Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg. This book is a recent favourite, most of the others i've owned for years, but so much about this book makes it an instant classic in my eyes.It's all about reusing scraps and making them into things of beauty. Her quilts are all about quiet perfection, understated and elegant even though made from scraps. I love this book and the simple patterns in it. Plus you'll never throw away another scrap!

Modern Quilts: Traditional Inspiration by Denyse Schmidt. Anyone who reads my blog knows I love Denyse Schmidt. I love her fabrics and her eye for colour. I also love the aesthetic that looks at the history of quilt making and cleverly makes it modern. This book is a total classic. One day I will make all of the quilts in it, one day.

The Practical Guide to Patchwork - Elizabeth Hartman. This is the book I most commonly reccommend to new sewers. Its just such a perfect no nonsense introduction to the main skills you need in quiltmaking. No insistence on doing things a 'right'way, just lots of practical tips about how to use colour, how to choose fabrics and how to make lovely quilts. Worth every penny.

Quilts!Quilts!!Quilts!!! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes. This book is out of print now and it does look a bit dated in its pictures, but if you can get your hands on an old version at a reasonable price no one does the basics better than this book. 10 years ago I literally spent 3 years making everything they told me to in order! I have a very big soft spot for this book, but if you cant get it Elizabeth Hartman's book above does a very good modern version of the same.

***Edited to add - Thanks to Cynthia who has just e mailed me to say that this fab book has just been re-released with all new samples and piccies. Fabulous x
Liberated Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston is a fab book. It made my head spin the first time i read it. Throw out the rulers and the measures and your fabric conformity and let creativity in! You will need sunglasses to read it - these quilts are no holds barred but for sheer joy and optimistic exuberance you can't beat this book!

Lastly two lovely, not strictly quilty books but very dear favourites never the less. Scandinavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikmen and The Embroidery Companion by Alicia Paulson. Lovely books, full of projects that are never vanilla and always have a kind of gravity to them, like someone really made something that they wanted you to LOVE rather than just to fill a book pages?

I really hope that this gives you some Xmas list ideas and that you love these books as much as I do. If you have another Modern Classic that I have missed off the list do let me know!

In the interests of full disclosure, if you click onto any of the Amazon links and buy a book I get points towards my next must have quilting book. I kind of feel bad about that after watching this weeks Amazon documentary, but I suppose at least my whole shopping list of books must be down one aisle so less distance to run, poor things. dx