Published by Collins & Brown, Jan 2014
Author, Jane Brocket looks beyond shop bought, purpose-made quilting cotton and has come up with 20 quilt making projects which allows the use of the kinds of fabric that are ‘to hand’, giving inspiring ideas that can bring new life to second hand – vintage material
Brocket reveals her life long love for fabrics, and her interest in the different looks and textures of various textiles. While describing her own fabric hunting exploits she provides buying tips, and tells of the kind of thing that will make her ‘fingers itch’ and what will spur her to get on and quilt. Brocket stresses that the aim of the book is to take lessons and inspiration from previous generations. Brocket also urges that the craft work should always be approached with an open mind and that ones personal taste for fabric should shine through. In her final paragraph she says that the idea behind Quilt Me is that a new quilt can be made for the modern day home and it will be preserving something from our textile heritage at the same time
Range of information
A guide to combining, cutting/handling, choosing and buying fabric is covered in a just a few paragraphs (with bullet points) over 4 pages. This is supported by a FABRIC DIRECTORY detailing all of the different fabrics which feature in the book and all the qualities pertaining to each one. Each project comes under a heading with an introduction which follows Brocket’s thought processes from the conception and pre planning of each design, followed by the material suggestions and directions to make. This format follows through for all of the projects pretty much, with each one having just 6 to 8 pages devoted to it from start to finish and this includes the photography. From page 134 onwards the projects are over, but the quilt theme continues in the form of Brocket passing on her own tips and techniques for making machine pieced and hand-quilted quilts generally. One single page talks of adopting various surfaces as work spaces and the work of other designers is mentioned with intention for you to go away and gather up further inspiration elsewhere. Books and websites, and suggested places to visit to see heritage collections, and shops and websites of suppliers of fabric and quilting too, are listed.
Quality of information
The inclusion of the FABRIC DIRECTORY is a real plus point for this book. Brocket bases the whole book theme on ‘inspirational fabrics’. As for the directions, we cannot verify in this review how workable they actually are. There is definitely enough all round information for a real beginner to pick at, but you would probably need something more comprehensive to work to as well. Information, on the whole, is geared for a person with some degree of skill for sewing, and who can use a sewing machine fully, as well as having capability to right your own wrongs. On the other hand the experienced quilt maker should find this a useful guide nonetheless, and the fabric combining suggestions inspiring
Hardback book is 250 mm Long x 200 mm Wide. Fonts are fine, bold in places, and the print of text and headings is black. At least one full paged image of the finished quilt is included, many in room based settings.
Full colour photography. Photographic images is of the identifiable high quality and style of the publisher Collins & Brown. A Picture Directory of the 20 quilts made are illustrated across 5 pages at the book’s end.
Fabrics detailed in the FABRIC DIRECTORY mentioned are traditional including: other cotton fabrics (not just those synonymous to quilting), Bark cloth, vintage and hand-embroidered textiles; Metis, Woven Wool; Wool Checks; Tweed, Harris Tweed; Suiting, Tartan, Velvet, Velveteen, Corduroy, Canvas, Ticking, Needlepoint, Flannel and Silks.
You know those kind of vintage hand embroidered items i.e. tablecloths; chair backs; armchair savers; tray cloths, or dressing table sets etc that mothers and grandmothers have held on to for years? See our own pics below to see what we mean. Rather coincidentally we had heard recently of the idea to cut up and re stitch these kinds of things into quilted items; and this was before we were sent a copy of Quilt Me to review. So we were pleased that this book provides the background of how to handle the viscose fabric that many of these things are made of and to be shown how to make these items into new table coverings such as the the projects Crinoline Lady (page 64) and Granny Takes A Trip (P71) in the book. These are just two worthwhile projects, and there is so much more in this book. It is a teaching aid with a personal touch. Brocket is very generous with her skill sharing and she wants anyone undertaking her projects to do a good job. She is, for all the time, striving to strike up interest and engage the craft maker in the sharing of her own passion for vintage/traditional fabric and for quilt making