7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An inspirational feast of colour,
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This review is from: The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making (Hardcover)
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.