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Civil War Legacies II: 17 Small Quilt Patterns for Reproduction Fabrics Paperback – 28 May 2014
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About the Author
Carol Hopkins is the owner of Carol Hopkins Designs and creator of the popular Civil War Legacies and Vintage Legacies Quilt Patterns.
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Top customer reviews
Now for me, I will immediately update the quilts by using fabrics more suited to my tastes but the patterns are fabulous. Each starts out with a paragraph about it and is then followed by materials and cutting lists. There are tips set off in a box.
Graphics are scattered among the written instructions to help keep you on the straight and narrow so you won’t have to use the dreaded seam ripper. No specific quilting designs are suggested.
If you are looking for a new quilt to make, this book will provide you with 17 ideas.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Carol Hopkins' second entry in her Civil War Legacies series gives repro fabrics their rightful center stage position. These 17 downsized quilts demonstrate Hopkins' flawless ability to combine colors and prints. The largest quilt is 51 inches square; the smallest is 16.5 by 19.5 inches. Several block sizes are as small as 2 or 3 inches.
The book positively glows with color and pattern. Scrappy is the key word here, with "triangles" a close second. (There's only one project that does not use triangles.) Traditional blocks such as the "Snowball Block" are transformed into the petite "Grandma's Porch", along with background comments by the author.
You'll need a ruler with 1/8th-inch markings for many of these 17 projects. Quarter-inch seams are used, with FINE cotton thread. A huge Civil War repro stash is recommended. For example, "Hard Crackers" is a simple bar construction, but the instructions call for 210 (total) assorted light, medium, and dark prints. (Certainly, a few repeats can be snuck in there.)
Very similar in overall look and style as Hopkins' earlier book Civil War Legacies: Quilt Patterns for Reproduction Fabrics. But that's not a bad thing for quilters who could look all day - or all year - at such a fine array of Civil War repro quilts and fabrics. Carol Hopkins admits to amassing quite a few yards of repro fabric and she knows how to use them. This is a nice follow-up to her first volume.
Next time - in Volume III ? - I'd like a sneak peek at her studio.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Long, Long Version (Optional Reading):
Taken by themselves, Civil War repro fabric prints can be majestic. But joined together, they may get all blend-y and bland. In small quilts, their resplendence can disappear altogether.
Thankfully, modern quilters have a bounty of books available to guide us - such as Carol Hopkins' second volume of Civil War Legacies. Just take a look at the "Thorns and Roses" quilt on the cover. In my hands, the overall finished product would look uniform and muddy. But Hopkins successfully pulls out each distinct print with surprising color choices such as violet and orange. (You know, the colors we tend to look past in the shops.) They're all reined in by a brown thorny sashing - a print I'm attracted to, but clueless as to how to use it for best effect.
Hopkins is not only a print combo color master; she's a wizard at scaling down. Traditional blocks such as "Cake Stand" or "Shoo Fly" finish down to an economical 4 inches or 3 inches, respectively. Not exactly miniature, by any means. But very manageable on a lap, in a hoop, or on a regular sewing machine. Some blocks finish to a diminutive 2 or 3 inches.
The smallest quilt is "Dear Friends" at 16.5 by 19.5 inches. It's a "Broken Dish" pattern with eighty 2-inch half-square-triangle units. These pieced units may flummox the beginner when it comes to joining them into straight, flat rows. Not only is it difficult to keep those triangle points sharp, but seaming together 8 pieces of fabric at those points can create pesky bulk. Hopkins directs us to press the row seams open. The largest quilt is the cover quilt "Thorns and Roses" at 51 inches square. This would be a great project to use your stash's ornery colors like Poison Green and orange.
One of my favorite quilts is "Gettysburg Sun", featuring indigos and golds, with grey/green sashing. An abundance of triangles make the sun block shine. It's a fittingly somber design, yet quietly radiant. Another pleasing quilt is "Lauren's Hat Pins" with its soft floral setting squares and use of stripes.
Hopkins' precedes each project with an explanation as to how each quilt and its name came about. Some are poignant, and each reveals the author as a warm soul who just loves life, fabric, and quilting.
And there are triangles everywhere!
And so many resulting difficult points to match up. "Small Joys", at 17.25 by 21.75 inches, is the only quilt that does not use triangles. The challenge with this one is the block size: 2.25 inches square. It's a simple construction, but it demands perfect and consistent seam allowances.
Hopkins calls for "exact" ¼-inch seams, versus the "scant" that I am used to seeing in instructions.* (I achieve a scant ¼-inch seam by clicking my needle to the right by one position.) The point is, do what you need to in order to make each and every finished block match the instructions.
Fine-weight cotton thread is recommended. (But not specified; I'd love to know exactly what Hopkins uses.) This might be thinner than what you usually use. The idea here is that it adds less bulk along the folds, making for a more accurate block. ( * Ah, I bet THIS is why she directs us to use an exact ¼-inch SA. The finer thread takes up less space in the SA. Thicker thread treads into the extra space allowed by a "scant" ¼-inch SA.)
Many of the quilts require a ruler with eighth-inch marking. If you don't have one, it really is worth investing in. Especially if you're fond of small and miniature quilts. The lovely "Lilies For Connie" and the blend-y "Baskets for Betsy", among others, use 1/8-inch cuttings.
And lest you think that small-scale means faster or easier, consider that each block will still require the same number of cuttings and pressings as its larger counterpart. "Lilies for Connie" is a handy 43.5 by 53.5 inches, yet it contains almost 900 pieces to handle and join.
I waited a long time for Civil War Legacies II to arrive, and it was worth it. (I want a third now, of course.) There are similarities in look and feel to the first volume, but I'd say Volume 1 focused on layouts while this Volume II draws attention to the blocks themselves. Both employ scads of CW repro prints that I look at over and over.
I wonder about the people back then who handled and looked upon the original printed fabrics; were they in awe of each print like we are today? Did they marvel or just make do? And did they have Hopkins' seemingly innate ability to combine them into something worthy of a third volume in this series?
All the quilts in this book are so cute, that I am motivated to make them all.... and I may just be able to finish six small
quilts in place of doing one King!!!! Thank you Carol !!