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4.7 out of 5 stars23
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2012
I love that this book not only has got great projects (quilts mostly) but features a lot of individual blocks as well. Some blocks are basic, some are traditional with a modern twist, there is really something for every quilter in here. Beginners will find all the basic information about quilting in this book and easy blocks to start with and gain confidence in quilting. More advanced quilters will find much inspiration in this book.
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on 10 May 2012
A really useful book that will appeal to both beginners and more adventurous quilters. The four authors have contributed a good mix of blocks: new takes on traditional blocks and inventive modern blocks. The projects are approached in the same way. Never liked Dresden Blocks? See the clever version in the Nordic Star Quilt and you'll want to try one.
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This book is written by the editors of popular quilting e-zine Fat Quarterly. The colourful modern style of the magazine carries over perfectly to this book which teaches you how to incorporate different shapes into your quilt design.

The book is split into 6 chapters, each one focusing on a different shape: Squares & rectangles, circles, triangles, stars, polygons and diamonds. Each chapter features 10 different blocks made up in eye-catching designer fabrics plus a project and a full size quilt using the blocks. A range of different techniques are covered in the book including appliqué, English Paper Piecing, foundation piecing and fussy cutting.

The instructions are easy to follow, and there is a section on quilting basics at the back of the book to help you. You will also find colourful photos and diagrams throughout the book and templates at the end of the book. Personally I love the use of stunning colourful fabrics throughout the book. It would be hard not to be inspired and full of ideas after reading this book.

This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory.
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on 24 December 2012
Where to start - the book is organised by shapes and variations on each shape are then clearly explained. Each chapter then has two full sized projects using the techniques. Love this as there is plenty of scope to adapt and rescale each block according to the individual.
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on 26 May 2012
This book is a must have in my opinion for anyone who quilts. The book is split into showing how to make different styles of quilt blocks and then how to use them in projects (mainly quilts). It has beginner friendly blocks through to much more advanced blocks, it's great for those quilters who want to design their own quilt and not necessarily follow a pattern.

The styling and quality of the overall book is superb, I cannot put it down!
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on 15 May 2012
Four different authors, living both in Europe and America have joined forces to present this book. The book is divided into different shape sections and the blocks of each shape are all sewn in the same colours. This makes it really easy to see how the same shapes can be combined into different blocks, both traditional and modern. The book starts with the square/ rectangle, and then as your skills or confidence grows, you could move on through the book.

Clearly well written and very inspiring. I have never before though about making a Dresden plate quilt, simply because I thought it was too fussy, but as it is shown it his book, I many well have one completed before the year is out.
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on 8 May 2012
As expected from the Fat Quarterly team, this is a fantastic resource. Beautifully presented with clear instructions and gorgeous photos, a really inspirational book.
A must-have for the modern quilter!
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on 24 December 2012
I love this book because it offers small projects as well as larger one. There is a simple step by step for each block and each technique. I am completing one of projects as we speak.
I am not a very experienced quilter so I would have liked more tips on how to handle seams at the back and suggestions for quilting but most books don't provide this information...
I would still recommend the book if you want ideas to create modern, colourful quilts.
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on 30 November 2013
To date, it seems like only one other reviewer has done more than just flick through "Shape Workshop for Quilters". It does indeed look inspiring, but when I dig deeper, there is lots of negative feedback to give alongside the obvious positives.

GENERAL:
- In the Welcome text, it is mentioned that the book is "an invaluable tool for anyone starting out in quilting", but I disagree. Basics such as tools and handling fabric aren't dealt with at all, but you will have to learn them elsewhere.
- Curves (Chapter 2 Circles), which are highly challenging for beginners, aren't mentioned in Quilting Basics. Useful tips how to pin curves aren't shown in any of the blocks either, even though there's plenty of unused space on the pages. A photo or diagramme would be helpful.
- In the Welcome text, stars are placed last, whereas they make chapter 4 out of 6 in the book. It would have been nice to indicate that stars aren't a basic shape the way squares, polygons, etc. are, by placing them last, as a specialty shape.

BLOCKS:
- I haven't found any text stating the block size prior to sewing it into a quilt, but it is left at "finished 12 inches" in both Welcome and Quilting Basics in the back. The size when finishing an individual block is 12.5''x12.5'' prior to piecing the blocks together into a quilt top, in case you didn't know this (seam allowance 1/4'' on all sides).
- In the descriptions, adding sizes for smaller blocks prior to assembling into final block would have been very useful throughout the book. Now you have to calculate for yourself in some cases, if you want to check that you're on track.
- Photos show numerous blocks, which have been pieced with points not matching and/or crooked seams. Not good.

DIAGRAMMES IN DESCRIPTIONS:
- There's plenty of space to cater to visual quilters, but we have been neglected. Lack of informative, accurate diagrammes is a huge minus for me; larger pieces, piece sizes added, etc. would be a few improvements. The diagrammes aren't consistently featuring unpieced or pieced pieces only, but throughout the book there's a frustrating mix of these two types, as if the graphics person has no clue how to handle seam allowances in the diagrammes.
- Many diagrammes are mere replicas of block photos. They should have been edited away and replaced with proper assembly diagrammes. In some cases, there is a photo only. An example is Orange Soda Redux in the Circles chapter; the uppermost row is shown with pieces separated and then miraculously the three lower rows appear with petals already sewn in place. A more helpful approach would be to show the squares only in the first figure, and then make a second one with petals in place. This isn't interesting to verbally-geared quilters, but if you're more visual the diagramme could tell a lot in just one glance.
- Many diagrammes are completely off as far as size ratios go. Read the instructions and find that even rough eye-balling shows differences in these. Look at Cub Crawl Baby Quilt in Ch.1 and see the off-centre green and orange rectangles in figure 17 as example of what I mean.
- When cutting fat quarters for the Cub Crawl Baby Quilt, don't leave "sashing" between pieces as figure 15 suggests.

ERRORS:
It's been too frustrating to wade through all block instructions, but I've found some already that contain significant errors.
- A Dime A Dozen in Ch.2 consistently talks about 1.5-inch strips, but from what I understand it should be 1-inch strips as written in the cutting section. The photographed block supports this. To ensure the directions of your print fabrics are correct in the finished block, skip looking at figures 2-5 and only look at figure 6. Block A is illustrated correctly in figure 6, which supports the instructions in paragraph 5 as well as the photo, and it is illustrated incorrectly in figure 2. The same applies to block D. Blocks B and C are illustrated 180 degrees incorrectly in figure 2 compared to figure 6 and the photo. Look at figure 6 only when positioning your printed fabric in blocks L and K, or you will have them tilted 90 degrees if you trust figure 5.
- Crooked Frames in Ch.2, figure 10 indicates that you chop off fabric from the outermost white border, but the square ruler is much larger than the outer perimeter of this white border. In the photo, only the red border is wonky and the rest are intact.
- If you want to assemble the quilt His Hope Chest (Chapter 2 Squares and Rectangles) correctly, don't look at the diagramme, but stick with the photographed quilt only.

My first version of this review was really negative and I had decided to give it two stars only, but I feel generous today. Fat Quarterly has a great reputation and I had planned on buying their magazines at some point, but now I'm very much on the fence; don't want to pay to do even more proof-reading.

I was very excited when ordering this book and, seeing as it contains 60 blocks to practice techniques on, I saw many sampler quilts in my future. I'll have to put the book back in the shelf and return to it only when I'm up for double-checking several times before cutting. As mentioned, there are positives to this book, too, but be prepared to do some serious reading and comparing of text and figures prior to sewing.
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on 31 May 2012
I love this book. photos are fab. and the quilting designs and ideas are great. Will be inspired into making even more quilts now
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