Published by: Sterling
Year Released: 2005
Construction: hard cover
Rating: 8 out of 10
I am a huge fan of sampler quilts and traditional blocks. When we were creating SeamedUP, we dreamed of a database of quilt blocks with videos and tutorials on how to make each one. So, since that isn’t in our future, I got this book. When I Googled quilt block books there were several with hundreds of designs – this one had the most!
The book is laid out perfectly. There is a key in the front that tells you what all the acronyms mean. If Maggie could find out where the block originated, she tells you by denoting one of these acronyms. Next, all the blocks are sorts by grid pattern (9-patch, 4-patch, 12-patch, etc..). There are even sections for alphabet blocks, circles, stars, and more. Plus the international signal flags patch patterns.
Now, there are no directions or instructions – but I wasn’t expecting any. How could you fit 5,500 blocks in 448 pages with directions. But, the blocks can be drafted onto graph paper easily; from there you could make templates or figure out the cutting and piecing. Because of this, I would say this book is for the intermediate to advanced quilter – a beginner would enjoy the inspirations, but would have trouble knowing what to do with it.
So when you get past the key and table of contents you have the rest of the book that is nothing but blocks. Every quilt block imaginable. With so many, I don’t know how designers ever come up with new ones. There are 15 blocks per page, in a little 1 1/2″ thumbnail image. Each block is numbered, has a name and tells you the origin (via the key). It sucks you in and is hard to close. I would say, it is total eye candy for the quilting enthusiast.
Know where to start and what to do with the book is a bit difficult. How do you even choose which one to make? How do you know which ones compliment each other? Do you make a quilt with just one patter repeated or do a sampler? As much as I like this book, I could easily see it not being useful. I could see it ending up on shelf without a single pattern made. Sometimes to many choices is just too much. It is for this reason that I gave this book an 8 out of 10.
Maggie Malone did an incredible job on this book. I can’t even imagine how difficult it was gathering all this information. It is mind boggling. And then to think she had to create the graphics of each one too?! Wow.