Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Daily Review - City Quilts

I was really excited to discover that the book "City Quilts" by Cherri House is now available in my local library.  When I first heard about the book, I had a suspicion that it would appeal to me and, WOW, was I right!  Prior to this, I've never opened a pattern book of any kind before and actually wanted to make every single one of the designs inside.  City Quilts for the win.

While I'm still very much a beginning quilter, I've already concluded that simple blocks with bold colors appeal the most to me right now.  Not that I don't admire more country-style quilting, but I'm an urban girl at heart.  City Quilts ties together traditional blocks with a modern twist, also adding a fabulous sense of color.  I particularly liked how she uses solid colors to highlight the designs - perfect for someone like me who gets easily confused about whether patterned fabrics look too busy together.  I very much enjoyed looking over the section within the book discussing color, including examples of various color schemes, shades and tones.  While I love the color schemes that she uses for the designs in this book, I can visualize how switching the color scheme would produce a completely different (but equally striking) effect.

The patterns themselves are very easy to follow, with clear directions and diagrams to help with block assembly and construction.  I'm sure that some of the information is probably unnecessary for more experienced quilters, but I know that I appreciate the reminders on how to do things, which way to press seams and so on.  There is actually a wealth of technique discussed in the book, which allows it to be a stand-alone guide for this particular quilting journey.  I appreciated Cherri's discussion on how she designs and gathers her inspiration.  It makes me feel like I can do the same (although I'm also sure I'm not there just yet myself!) 

So, in summary....

- I would make all of these quilts!
- This holds a lot of appeal for a beginner like me who has somewhat mastered the rotary cutter and can sew in straight lines
- Makes me think about traditional quilt blocks in a new light
- Really highlights how fancy patterned fabrics aren't necessary for a truly striking end result
- Easy to follow with nice discussion of various techniques along the way

Having gone through this book, I'm also happy to say that I've now decided how I want to quilt the top, which has been hibernating in a plastic bag since I finished piecing it together late last year.  I couldn't decide on which would be the best color thread to quilt with, or if the design I had in my head made any sense.  This book has given me the confidence to go with my instinct - let's hope it works out!

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