You know what they say about design, the simple ideas are the best. This book uses pre-cut fabric to create great quilts for the modern, contemporary home. The ideas are fresh, colourful and stylish. The book is well laid out and easy to use with great photography. In addition, there are tips for simplifying your life. I would make all the projects in this book but my favourites are the pillows and the project I am going to start with 'Sugar Rush'. Templates are given at the back of the book. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book review website.
The quilts in here are fresh, modern and irresistible to make up! The designs really do encourage you to simplify, and gave me the courage to abandon pre-cut fabric and cut from my stash instead, knowing the the result would reflect my fabric choice, rather than 'mix it up' too much. Suitable for beginners looking for starter projects, and more intermediate patchworkers looking for fresh inspiration. Just wish there were more projects to choose from for the price, but maybe that's me being greedy!
FOR WHOM IS THE BOOK? "Simplify" is suitable for beginners. You will be walked through the tools and techniques from square one. Camille Roskelley designs fabrics for Moda and pre-cut collections such as charm packs and layer cakes can be used in several of the projects.
BOOK STRUCTURE: Intro Quiltmaking basics Finish it! Projects: 9 quilts in baby and lap sizes, 4 pillows; the Coming Home pattern is suitable as table topper and baby quilt. Patterns (Templates)
THE PATTERNS: - Most projects are built from basic quilt blocks of a traditional look, but Camille uses fresh-looking fabrics to create cheerful quilts and pillows. - There are many opportunities to practice cutting correctly, sewing good seams, piecing well, making circles, and sewing appliqué. The quilts are bound in a traditional way, with a rough edge, or a scalloped edge even. - If you're an intermediate or advanced quilter, the projects will come together quickly and nicely.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: - "Simplify" is of a particular style and if you know what the Bonnie & Camille fabric lines look like, there you have it. The projects aren't restricted to that look, though, so you can make all of them your own. - The layout is nice and the pages look easy to "deal with" at first glance, but for some the cutesy style might be too much. If you focus on the hardcore bits only, the book creates a solid foundation. - The book is geared toward the beginner and it succeeds in teaching you what to do, if you want to make a quilt. For this reason I can't find anything to give negative feedback on.
I combine "Simplify" with Elizabeth Hartman's "The Practical Guide to Patchwork" and have a winner welcome into the world of quilting.
I bought the Kindle version because it is so much cheaper than the real book, and it's fine if you just want to work out the patterns - although the Kindle layout isn't great. I particularly liked the interlocking crosses (Dream Big) and will definitely be trying that one out. Not so keen on the writing style, but if you concentrate on the designs there are some nice ideas here.
The book content is great but the Kindle layout isn't; headings at the bottom of pages with the accompanying text on the next page, and many of the diagrams are so small it's impossible to see them - unfortunately you can't drag and enlarge them. It's a abandoned thought hasn't been given to the electronic format.