Book Review — Quilts, Their Story and How to Make Them

March 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Posted in Book Review, Patchwork, Project Gutenberg, quilt | Leave a comment

Today I want to present the newest addition to Project Gutenberg’s Crafts Bookshelf. Quilts, by Marie D. Webster, is subtitled “Their Story and How to Make Them.” The emphasis in this book is very clearly on the story, or history, of quilt making. There’s just one chapter named “How quilts are made,” and that’s a pretty high level overview at that. So if you want to learn how to make a quilt yourself, I’d recommend to look elsewhere. But if you’re interested in the history behind patchwork and quilting, this is a great book to read.

The story starts with the wall-hangings of old Egypt, goes on through the Middle Ages and tells of the traditions in Old England before quilting was imported to America by the colonists. It’s an interesting read, supported by lots of illustrations, which are the real strength of this book. Many traditional quilts are pictured either in black-and-white illustrations or in colour plates. Here’s one of my favourites:

As Butterflies and Pansies

Although there are some very nice pieced quilts in the book, the majority of the pictured quilts are appliqué quilts. I’m not quite sure if that has any significance or just mirrors the preference of the author, since all the quilts that are marked as made by her are appliquéd.

Oh, and apart from using that book as inspiration, which I fully intend to do, there’s one thing in that chapter on “How Quilts are Made” that might be of use: A number of traditional quilt patterns are pictured here, so if you’re not sure what pattern to use for your traditional quilt, a look might be worthwile.

All in all, this is a very nice book, in the original as well as in the electronic version. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

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