Books reviewed by Megan Enright: Megan is wife to a tolerant and encouraging husband and mother to four children ranging in age from 18 years down to 5 years. She spends her days keeping company with her 5 year old daughter and her evenings cheering on the sidelines as her older sons deal with homework, sport and other teenage issues. In her quieter moments, she likes to knit, embroider, sew and cook. She’d like to have the time and talent to crochet and quilt….maybe one day. She can be found at Notebook from home blog.
Elegant Quilts, Country Charm: Applique Designs in Cotton and Wool
by Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel, That Patchwork Place
Elegant Quilts, Country Charm is a quilting book that stands out from the crowd for several reasons. It focuses predominantly on explaining the appliqué techniques that are needed when using felted wool and the colour combinations used are muted, warm and although “country” in flavour they manage a vibrancy that is not always achieved in this particular style of quilting.
Finally, I love this book because of the two women who wrote it. Leonie and Deidre, own a quilting shop in Tasmania, the southern island of Australia. The shop itself is housed in an old sandstone church, which I feel sure is the perfect place to display Leonie and Deirdre’s designs. It is clear from the way these ladies write that they love their jobs and are thrilled to spend their days dreaming up gorgeous ways to piece wool and cotton together to make beautiful quilts.
Many of the quilt designs in this book are a vehicle for the appliqué of felted wool. Not felt, felted wool. A difference that I am sure is felt distinctly when using felted wool. There are a range of designs given in the book from small projects, a cushion cover featuring bluebirds, to large projects, the complex, yet stunning Jeanette’s Quilt. The latter incorporates traditional block piecing with a lovely appliquéd vine with flowers. All of the quilts outlined require a reasonable amount of patience and time but the general instructions section is clear and each design comes complete with further instructions and really lovely colour choices. A novice quilter may find it all a little daunting but if you were looking for that extra quilting challenge and you wanted to lend a little country flavour to your home then Elegant Quilts, Country Charm has a wealth of ideas.
Leonie and Deirdre have produced a beautiful addition to the quilting library and the essence of their friendship and their love of their craft is very evident on every page. As the southern hemisphere summer starts to move towards autumn it would be a great time to tackle a ‘woolly’ quilt. It would be just the thing to snuggle up to when the days shorten and the temperatures drop.