Early last month I was contacted by Search Press and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a new quilting book they were publishing soon. As many of you know, I’m a complete bibliophile, so I jumped at the chance to take a sneak peek. The book, written by long-time Instagram friend and author of Quilting On The Go Jessica Alexandrakis, arrived just in time for me to take on a recent trip and so my 8 hour train journey was well-spent.
As is clearly states on the cover, The Complete Quilter (with a US title of Get Started Quilting) is full of ‘essential techniques, tricks and tested methods’ and is perfect for anyone looking to get into quilting but isn’t quite sure where to start. The book is divided into three clear and concise chapters, Quilting Essentials, Quilting Techniques and Quilting Projects, each containing a vast amount of information that allow you to build skills before moving on to something new. The opening chapter takes you through everything you’ll need to know before you embark on making your first quilt. I was happy to see detailed information on selecting and storing fabrics, something which can sometimes overwhelm beginner quilters thanks to the vast array of fabric available. Jessica talks about all the tools and notions, about rotary cutting and sewing machine basics before moving on to some of the many techniques used in our craft.
As well as the usual half square triangles, flying geese and nine patch blocks, I was pleased to see a few improv techniques covered, more than any other beginner quilting book I’ve read to date. Each technique is accompanied by clear instructions and each step photographed in detail, perfect if you’re more of a visual learning. The slice and insert technique really appealed to me and it was refreshing to see a beginner quilting book offering an alternative to the more traditional patchwork blocks. There’s also a wealth of information on foundation piecing, EPP and using templates.
Even as a competent quilter, I found myself learning things from Jessica’s thorough explanations. I particularly liked that she took the time to explain what to do with the quilt after you’ve made it, with 4 pages dedicated to washing, storing and repairing. The book also acknowledges the importance of social media in the modern quilting movement and cites Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr as great places for inspiration and feedback.
Whether your just getting started or have been quilting for years, The Complete Quilter is a great addition to your sewing library and is available in the UK now and in the US later this month. Luckily for you, the nice people at Search Press sent me an extra copy. Fancy winning it? Just become a follower if you aren’t already and leave a comment on this post telling me which quilting skill you’d like to brush up on. I’ll even throw in a Lecien charm pack of Quilter’s Basics to get you started on a project (perfect for the super cute doll quilt and pillow). Follow me on Instagram and leave a second comment here telling me you have for an extra entry.
I’ll leave the giveaway open for a week before randomly drawing a winner. Good luck and thanks for visiting!
Edit: Congratulations Pat.T. The random number generator chose you. I’ll be in touch via e-mail very soon to ask for your address.