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Victorian Reader (Yorkshire, UK)

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The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: More Than 4, 050 Pieced Designs for Quilters
The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: More Than 4, 050 Pieced Designs for Quilters
by Jinny Beyer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £32.66

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate patchwork resource, 8 July 2011
The book may look a little boring from the outside; the colours are perhaps not as appealing as in some other books. But, oh! the wealth of information in there! More than 400 pages with actually thousands of quiltblocks, the various names by which they are known, a diagram of each block and collections of blocks for easy reference. All known flower blocks together, all 8-point stars, all baskets; for the true quilter, this is a feast!

The introductory chapters are very interesting, the research seems immaculate and if this can't inspire you, nothing will. Reading it, I conceived at least twenty quilts in my mind and I'm sure that when I open it again, I will be able to add another ten to the list.

This book was lying in my 'saved for later' for quite a while, as it isn't very cheap. I now wish I had bought it immediately.


Romantic Prairie Style
Romantic Prairie Style
by Fifi O'Neill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very pretty, 8 July 2011
This review is from: Romantic Prairie Style (Hardcover)
This is a beautiful book. The photographs are of a wonderful quality and make you want to pack your bags and move to the prairie. You can smell the food that's on the tables in some of the photos. The author points out the little quirks that represent the style or make it stand out. There are photos of the vegetable gardens, the exteriors and overall, the book gives you a very good idea of what the style is like. By meticulously pointing these things out, you are shown what you can do yourself to make your home more prairie-like, short of moving there yourself.

Two things surprised me, and they're the reason why I didn't think this a 5 star book. I got the feeling that few of these houses, however beautiful, are representative of 'prairie style', I think I'd rather call it shabby / vintage chic. One home, for instance, has more French influences, including a pattern of Provencal olive branches on the kitchen walls, than prairie / American pioneer influences. Another home has books on the bookshelves, but with their backs to the inside of the bookcase, so that they don't jar with the interior. I thought that that jarred a little with the idea of leading a wholesome country life. It is only a small thing, however, which is entirely off-set by home-made items, from chair covers to kitchen cabinets and bookcases, that fit in entirely with the prairie ideal. I particularly liked the fact that it is not only the home which is given attention, but also the outside; the vegetable gardens and the like. Also the pictures of some of the children with their pet animals make it so much nicer and real than other interior design books.


A-Z of Whitework: The Ultimate Resource for Beginning and Experienced Needleworkers (A-Z Needlework): Book 1
A-Z of Whitework: The Ultimate Resource for Beginning and Experienced Needleworkers (A-Z Needlework): Book 1
by Various
Edition: Paperback

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to its name, 15 Feb. 2010
This book is certainly an A-Z of Whitework! As a novice to whitework, I bought this to get me started. Its chapters each discuss a type of whitework (Ayrshire, Broderie Anglaise, Candlewicking, Carrickmacross, Hedebo, Madeira, Mountmellick, Shadow work and Tambour), looking first at the history and the materials used and then providing instructions on the stitches needed for that type of work. These illustrated instructions are easy to follow, and have given me a lot of pleasure in creating my own pieces. Although I do not like ringbinder books, it looks nice inside and the photos are of good quality. There are not many photos in there of finished pieces, but it is not intended as such: it is to show you how to create your own, and not to display the work of others.


Quilting Designs from the Past: 300+ Designs from 1810-1940
Quilting Designs from the Past: 300+ Designs from 1810-1940
by Jenny Carr Kinney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actual quilting, 15 Feb. 2010
Many books provide details about how to make quilts, but they mostly focus on the patchwork side of quilting. This book, however, just focuses on the actual quilting. It winds through American quilting history, detailing the quilting patterns popular in the different eras and providing templates to re-create the patterns. I think it is a great source of inspiration and I love the idea that I can make beautiful and historically accurate quilts.


Sylvia's Bridal Sampler: From Elm Creek Quilts
Sylvia's Bridal Sampler: From Elm Creek Quilts
by Jennifer Chiaverini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource, 15 Feb. 2010
I decided to buy this book because of the Elm Creek Quilt series which inspired it. Even if you have not read any of the Elm Creek novels, however, this book is a great quilting resource. In the series, the quilt is a gift from friends and admirers to a newly-wed bride and quilter: each person contributed one block to the quilt. This book, therefore, provides 140 traditional quilt blocks, with very clear instructions and templates. The colours chosen for the blocks are not to my taste, but the examples of finished quilts demonstrate that you can choose your own colours and create something wonderful.


The Gentle Art of Domesticity
The Gentle Art of Domesticity
by Jane Brocket
Edition: Hardcover

55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, but also pretty useless, 18 May 2009
The book is very attractive, with beautiful photos and a charming lay-out. But there, I think, it stops. It is one long parade of 'look at me - am I not wonderful?' For instance: Rather than giving useful ideas on quilting, the author tells us how her son helps her with laying the quilt blocks and what a lovely experience that is. What do I care? If I like the quilt pattern I might want to make it myself, but there are no hints on how to do anything yourself. Furthermore, the tone used in the book annoys me. Another commentator used the word smug: that's exactly how I would describe it. I can go on, but the bottom line is that I thought the whole thing was just an empty shell. Pretty, but empty.


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