Hand Quilted With Love by Sarah Fielke — Reviewed by: Danielle is a Canberra-based quilter, crafter, knitter and collector of fabric. She blogs infrequently at mespetitselefants but is more likely to be found on Instagram and twitter @petitselefants.
Sarah Fielke will be a name familiar to many in the quilting community, both on- and offline, having authored three previous books including co-authoring the hugely popular Material Obsession One and Material Obsession Two. Hand Quilted With Love is a sumptuous book filled with colour and vibrancy, perfect for an idle afternoon read as you gather inspiration for your next project. A couple of the quilts may be familiar to those who already follow Sarah’s blog www.thelastpiece.net, including the Made in Cherry pieced lone star quilt which was the subject of a quilt-along online in 2012.
Inspiration is here in spades – Sarah is well-known for her unique mixing of fabrics and colours and brings them together in sixteen quilts, suitable for a range of skill levels from beginner through to more advanced. Although the title suggests the quilts are all about hand-quilting, this is not the case. Hand-quilting is Sarah’s preferred method of finishing her quilts, but she admits she would not get as many finished if she hand-quilted them all! Hand-quilting does lend an extra-special quality to your quilts, but these patterns would be equally gorgeous if they were quilted by machine (a number of quilts in the book were professionally quilted by a long-arm quilter).
One of the things I love to do most is hand-applique, and I tend to flock straight for the appliqué-based patterns. Millefiori grabbed me straight away and I set about the challenge of assembling a colour scheme against a red linen background. Despite what looks to be quite a complicated quilt, the pattern was simple to follow and put together in a relatively short period. Hand-quilting now awaits me!
Included in the book are plenty of tips and tricks, and a feature that is particularly useful is a guideline for making each of the quilts in a different size. Sarah’s instructional style is friendly and helpful, and I love her tips on building a stash – any excuse to acquire more fabric is surely welcome! Most of all, this book is a visual feast of simply stunning quilts, beautifully photographed, and will give confidence and inspiration to anyone hesitant about mixing bold colours and lots of prints in the one project.
Liz Hoyland reviews Sarah Fielke’s previous book: Quilting from little things: Liz loves scrap quilts in saturated colours and is a self-confessed fabricholic. She’s not brave enough to count how many quilts she’s working on right now, but she’s joined a fantastic movement on Instagram encouraging quilters to actually finish their projects in 2013, called #finishit2013. Her website is Scrappy quilts.
I loved the concept of this book, which gives the option of making a doll-sized quilt or a full-sized quilt using each technique. And keeping with the little-big theme, it read delightfully like a big sister taking you by the hand and talking through the journey from beginner to advanced-level quilts. I really welcomed Sarah’s advice about buying fabric. She says to buy fabric if it makes your heart sing, rather than restricting yourself to only buying fabric when you have a specific project in mind. Her thinking – and this makes a lot of sense – is that one day the fabric will be perfect for a project you’re working on.
As luck would have it, one of the women in my quilt circle was working on an applique quilt from a Sarah Fielke pattern last month. She was working with a wonderful range of fabrics inspired by her Sarah Fielke pattern, with colour-dense fabrics appliqued onto gorgeous text fabric. It was a case of love at first sight for me, I couldn’t take my eyes off it! My friend said she had read Quilting from little things and particularly loved a technique, new to both of us, which shows a ‘step down’ way of piecing a quilt, with open and closed seams. Always good to learn something new!