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on 5 May 2010
I absolutely adore this book. As a new but very keen quilter I have been paralysed with fear and doubt over my abilities and my lack of technical knowledge and sewing skills etc. This has held me back from creating quilts as I would like to, and I have been slavishly attempting to copy the complicated hand techniques that I have been told are the 'proper' way to quilt, with little success and much frustration! Jane Brocket blasts all these rules and regulations out of the water and encourages you to have FUN with quilting and not worry about the technicalities - it's so liberating! Can't do complicated hand quilting? Then just do running stitch - it looks lovely and takes half the time. Don't want to faff about with papers and hand piecing? Then it's perfectly fine to use your machine and still make beautiful and complex looking quilts. Worried about colour and pattern? Just choose the fabrics you like, trust your instincts and get on with it! Jane has taken all the fear and mythology out of the art of quiltmaking and has transformed it into an easy, exciting, and most of all, FUN, activity that anyone can do, regardless of your skill level or perceived creative abilities. The quilts featured are all absolutely beautiful and the instructions are so simple that a child could happily follow them. Coupled with the gorgeous photos and lovely, encouraging and insightful text that accompanies each section, this is a book to inspire you and to equip you with the knowledge and confidence needed to make lovely items for your own use and help you stop worrying about doing everything the 'right' way. Highly recommended for people who just want to make a quilt and not a stitch perfect competition entry for the Festival of Quilts!
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on 28 June 2010
The pictures and the explanations of how Jane Brocket arrived at her designs are inspirational. Beautiful small photos highlight the details of stitching, and all the quilts are shown in full at the back of the book. However, if you want to learn how to do such things as mitre a corner, bind an edge or fix a hanging sleeve the only instructions are to look on the Internet; since the book refers to the "art" of quilt-making, I think the emphasis can be justified. A lovely addition to a quilt-maker's bookshelf, but don't rely on it for method.
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on 8 May 2012
This is the book that started me on quiltmaking after I had been put off by what seemed fearsomely complicated rules and techniques. As with Jane Brocket's other books, this book is a feast for the eye, and with plenty to read - not an endless series of diagrams and complex instructions. The quilts are beautifully photographed, and I particularly liked the fact that everyone of them is in a flat, full spread photo index at the back so that you can really get an idea of the whole design. Brocket discusses her choices of fabric and colours, and the sources of her inspiration, in great detail, with lots of photos of quilts as well as colour inspirations, etc. The construction of most of the quilts is essentially quite simple, although there are some which are slightly more complex geometrically, or with small pieces, which would be more demanding, so it is a great book for a beginner, but with something for those who are more practised at quilting, but are looking for inspiration and ideas.

There are clear instructions as to how to calculate quantities for fabric, binding, backing, wadding, etc, and although the quilts come in varying sizes, the reader is also told how to adjust these sizes. In fact, the first quilt I made using this book for guidance was a cot size one - demonstrating that Jane Brocket's methods and ideas for quilting are simple and easily transferable. There is no mystification of technique - I had always found the idea of hand quilting quite scary, but thanks to this book I have found that it is really quite easy, and that you don't need to have the facilities to machine quilt. I think what I have gained from this book is an encouragement to have a go, not to get hung about skill and technique, and to enjoy the creative process and be brave enough to think outside the box.

So if you want a beautiful and inspiring book to look at, enjoy thinking and reading about the creative process, and are feeling daunted by all those quilt books with jigsaw puzzle diagrams, then this is the book for you. However, what you won't find is a lot of technical detail about the various methods of patchworking, and there is nothing on handpieced hexagon (traditional English) patchwork, or detailed instructions for the complex geometrical block type of patchwork. This is not a criticism of this book - there are plenty of books out there covering those areas of quilting, and Brocket does not claim to be working in those fields - her book is quite different, and a refreshing and individual demystifying take on a very rewarding craft.
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on 28 August 2011
I am sure that many quilters are just like me. I have a huge collection of fabric - every time my main supplier had a special offer I just had to buy something - I just love fabric.
I have also bought many quilting books, always hoping that one of them would resolve my stash problem, and I have actually made several quilts - but since I don't make big items, somehow my stash seemed to get bigger and bigger.
This book seemed a godsend - as another reviewer has written, the author has cast aside all rules and regulations and insists that the most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing. At last I found the inspiration to make quite simple smaller quilts, baby quilts, table runners, which actually look quite complicated because of the use of colour - and playing with colour is the thing I like best.
My nightmare was always the final quilting so the author's idea of making no fuss about finishing the items with simple hand quilting in straight lines really stimulated me into working hard - and at last my stash is slowly getting under control once again. And I have made many people happy with a gift of my work.

A book which makes me happy every time I look through it. Highly recommendable
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on 15 April 2010
This book is a real pleasure to read - I'm a pushover for quilting books anyway and each tends to have its own particular strength. This book is good for beginner quilters. Its encouragement to explore different fabrics and have confidence in your own taste and preferences is refreshing and good for experienced quilters too. I liked the accessible writing and clear descriptions of techniques. I enjoyed it so much that I have abandoned (temporarily) a complex quilt to make a simpler design using my favourite fabrics.
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on 27 May 2011
This was the book that finally got me quilting, I've looked at quilting books before but none inspired me the way this one did. While the designs may not be as difficult or mind bending as in other quilting books , it's the writing and the beautiful fabrics & colours that set this one apart. Brocket's tone is encouraging and gives the impression that anyone can create quilts as beautiful as the one's she makes. I highly recommend this book even if you never make any of the quilts but just to soak up the inspiration!
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on 22 May 2010
I came across this book at the Malvern Quilt Festival a week ago. I am such a pushover for quilting books, that I really do not need another one, but after looking through it I just kept going back to the stand to look at it again, and again....and again. In the end, it would have been rude not to buy it! There is nothing complicated about any of the quilts in this book. Using simple shapes and designs they are totally suitable for a real beginner. What is lovely is the choice of fabrics and colours that would give hope to even the most daunted beginner. As a person who would describe her tastes as "traditional", I found that (like Kaffe Fassett) this book makes you think outside the box when it comes to mixing colours and designs. What is even better, is Jane does not stick to one fabric range (unlike Kaffe who has a range to push!) and she has introduced me to new designers who I hadn't even heard of before. As a result many happy hours trawling the net has really opened my eyes to who else is out there beyond the "same old same old". The instructions are clear and concise and the only difficulty is.....deciding which one to make first!!! This is a fabulously scrumptious book and worth place on any quilters book case.
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on 17 May 2010
I've been sewing for quite a while now - I started with the intention of patchwork quilting, but somehow I never quite got there. It always seemed such an enormously complex undertaking, and I was too daunted until, however, I received this book from my children for my birthday. Jane Brocket has assembled a collection of almost edible quilts, sumptuous colours, icecream cottons, drawing together all the colours and patterns that make me think of pick and mix sweeties in glass jars (back when we only got 20p pocket money a week, and there was such a thing as half penny sweets!) This book captured me because she replaced daunting with tempting, and before I knew what I was doing I had piles of fabric on the floor, and now I have my first quilt top under way. I really hope she does another quilting book!
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on 19 June 2010
I bought this book for a friend's birthday and was so suprised to discover a real gem that I had to buy one for myself. I am a quilter of 20years plus and thought it would be just another quilt book but boy was I wrong. This book is right up my alley. Even her relaxed attitude to the actual quilting was the same as mine. I have never been a fan of huge flowers but i have mentally made all of these quilts this week. It has made me look at my stash and quite a few websites in quite a different way. Thank you
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on 20 June 2010
Quilting is one of those things I've always wanted to do and never known how to start. This book is an utter delight to look at and gives all the detailed practical stuff I should imagine anyone needs to know and is inspiring and confidence-boosting at the same time. My 9 year old daughter was so taken by the 'suits and ties quilt' she has set about making her own out of old school uniform and discarded t-shirts.
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