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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Packed full of colour, 24 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Scrap Republic: 8 Quilt Projects for Those Who Love Color (Paperback)
This is a fabulous short book containing 8 projects (55 pages) published by C&T publishers who are excellent US publishers, producing excellent craft books.
The first thing I must say, this book is NOT for beginners!!! As soon as you look at the patterns you are bombarded with reams of fiddly measurements which I found rang alarm bells in my head straight off, specially as the other first reviewer confidently said it was for beginners and experienced quilters!!!
The diagrams are clearly laid out, but look complicated before you start looking at the measurements.
Project 1. Freckles
Beautiful project, light background with colourful circles on top.
The first thing I noticed is the picture doesn't match the pattern layout!!!! I am sure the finished item matches the final size, but to me this re enforces the fact, this is NOT FOR BEGINNERS!!! Personally, I think the author should have provided 2 patterns, one, to show what has been made in the photograph, and the second, the alternative pattern shown in the book!!!!
Project 2. Plumb
Fabulous quilt, easier to get your head around this one plus it helps that the picture relates more to the pattern, plus she shows it in two colour ways which is excellent. The diagram is bigger, and you are not bombarded with measurements on this project. This project I am more likely to enjoy having a go with, plus it's a great way to use if you have been given a jelly roll for Christmas or birthday and you are not sure what to do with it??
Project 3, Beeline
Again, the photo of the project does not match the pattern given, luckily, this is an easy project to manage, specially if you have a jelly roll to use. This is just lines of strips of fabric. There is a second pattern with this project for those not using scraps and have long enough strips of fabric in your fabric stash to use, which is a good touch to this project.
Project 4. Slices
This is where it gets complicated!! You need to be very confident with a rotary cutter and ruler, plus you are not cutting neat thin fabric, you are cutting through double seams and a lot of them, and it says to fold the fabric in half and cut, so you will be cutting through 4 lumpy seams. (Not great if you have dexterity problems, or confident issues cutting lumpy uneven fabric) What rings alarm bells in my head head is the word "discard" as in discard left over fabric, which appears to be aprox 50% on part 3, and aprox 40% in section 4 !!!!! (This is the pattern on the front cover!!)
There is a second pattern here for those not using scraps and whole pieces, better for those who have dexterity problems, not lumpy fabric issues, plus the pattern appears less complex.
Project 5. Volume
Ummmmm
This project looks straightforward, and is a basic looking Bargello design from the coloured pattern. Again, the pattern doesn't match the pattern design.
What niggles me, is when the instructions say "find (or cut) scraps of various lengths approximately 3" wide. Sew these pieces into units slightly larger than the dimensions listed in step 3. It shows 2 diagrams with the minimum sizes being 6.5 " x 2.5" and the second being 3.5" x 2.5", but it says 3", min of 1/2 " + per strip, the amount of total wastage (20 strips wide x 30 strips aprox. = a lot of chucked out fabric advised by the author!!!)
Ok, you can decide to change that amount recalculating a better sizing amount to use, BUT if you have paid for a book, in my eyes, you should not have to sit there and re evaluate sizes!!!!!
Again there is a pattern for jelly rolls/scrapless project.
Project 6. Hover
This looks a fab easy pattern, you turn the page to be bombarded with cutting measurements varying from 1.5" x 1.5" up to 4.5" x 12.5". In total there are 23 different size blocks to cut into aprox 214 pieces (my eyes became 'bogeyed' trying to keep up with calculating these measurements before even attempting to cut out all these pieces with a rotary cutter and ruler!!!! I would be there cutting what would feel like forever, before putting in a single stitch!!! And the previous lady still claims its excellent for beginners???? Not for the light hearted wanting an easy project!!!) Putting the project together is like a log cabin patchwork style, which is nice. There are 4 different size blocks, which you use to make a total of 16 blocks. The description of which colour with which measurement for each segment of each block with additional letters after the names of each colour which refers to something different doesn't make this pattern user friendly!!!! Again I love the design, I would end up saying "ok love this, lets see how to remake this idea into a useable simpler method!!! Again, why should I feel that I have to do this, for a design which looks simplistic from the photograph and turns out to be 'the cripton factor'????
There is a design for those not using scraps, but it appears to be the same calculations, equally daunting with first and second cuts of the same fabric!!!
Project 7. Whirl
This project is stitching on the curve, which is only easy when you have mastered the skill, you have 16 blocks x 16 block = 256 individual curved blocks to sew!!!! (All set at different angles to give it a funky look) If sewing curves is not your forte, I would serious think twice with this project!!! Again the quantity of potential waisted fabric shown for this pattern in the diagram rings alarm bells in my head!!!!
There is a scrapless pattern with this project, which looks less complicated size wise of fabric used ie. 5 fat quarters (need 49 squares) for colour way (F)
Project 8. Pivot
(Not for the light hearted looking for an easy project)
This projects screams MAX wastage of fabric from the diagrams shown!!!
You need to make up oblongs, then cut out 1/4 segment of a circle called a 'pivot'.
The quarter segments are made up with strips of oblong fabrics 72 pivots need to be made.
Again, you need to be confident stitching on the curve, specially as there are so many seems to negotiate which will make stitching your 1/4 circle more bulky than stitching a single piece of fabric.
There is a scrapless version which looks easier to try.

My other major irritant, is the use of abbreviated language without stating at the very beginning of the book what it means???? In different countries different words have different means!!! Never assume EVERYONE knows the same abbreviations!!!! The use of "WOF" is used countless times throughout this book, and it was not till I got 3/4 through the book did it say as a side note, width of fabric, which is great if you know that to begin with!!!

Details aside, I do love this book as it just bursts with colour, excitement, it's very modern, I love her ideas but most of all I love a book I can use up my stash of fat quarters which I have FAR too many of (which I would never admit to my family, just joking!!!) Plus I love a book which will use up left over fabric!!! With today's economy fabric (specially in the UK, where I am) is 3-4 times the price than it is in the US!!! Throwing away fabrics doesn't enter my vocabulary, it's like throwing away handfuls of money, which is expensive!!! It does alarm me the amount of potential fabric wastage in these patterns too, which I have flagged up a number of times, which with careful planning can easily be avoided.
I do love this book, I do like most of the patterns, but don't think I would make several of the patterns, but it has opened my eyes to the excellent ways of using and recycling fabrics. Having studied textiles, embroidery and art quits I can use my skills in developing other projects to my advantage to use up my favourite fabrics, leftover fabrics with possible potential and recycled fabrics too. Books like this one can set the imagination wild, the sky is the limit!!!

My detailed synopsis is to show this book is not for beginners
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Dec 2012, 13:13:50 GMT
wizenedcrone says:
Thank you for your very helpful and detailed review. It hasn't put me off buying this book, but I will put it further down my wish list. I have made up one of Emily Cier's patterns before and it was perfect, but made up of hundreds of 2" strips and squares. I was thrilled with the end result, but such quilts do take weeks and weeks and weeks.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2013, 12:49:18 GMT
Thank you so very much for your lovely reply.
I'm so glad you like this textile artists works and projects.
I hope you will enjoy this book very much and are able to make some stunning adventurous projects!
Very best regards always
Nicky

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2015, 13:41:19 GMT
thank you so much for your very kind comments. My comments are just how I feel about a book, and I would not want to put people off from buying a book at all, as I appreciate how much hard work has gone into making craft books.
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Location: Oxford, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,336