Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Big Book of Pretty and Playful Appliqué
150+ Designs, 4 Quilt Projects Cats & Dogs at Play, Gardens in Bloom, Feathered Friends & More
BY Carol Armstrong

C&T Publishing (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
28 September 2018/ ISBN 9781617457258
How-To Books/Needlecraft

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Bring your quilting to life with a hundred and sixty appliqué motifs featuring cats, dogs, birds, insects and flowers. Even if you are fairly new to this type of needlecraft the instructions are simple and the author even has a new, simple way of doing appliqué.

You will need a lightbox if you want to use Ms Armstrong’s method, or at least a glass topped table with a lamp under it or a sunny window. Before the patterns there is a section on what you need to buy and some useful techniques and tips. This type of appliqué is done by hand and there are a few embroidery stitches to learn plus some helpful advice about getting features such as eyes right. Find out how best to capture the look of feathers, fur, bird beaks and legs and whiskers. Discover how to adapt your own favorite flora and fauna for this type of work and also how to do quilting basics such as borders, layering, binding and assembly. These brief pages are ideal for anybody who needs to brush up, but a total beginner would be advised to purchase a book that gives more detailed instructions.

There are five sections of patterns comprising all the topics as mentioned earlier. The contents are listed at the front (no thumbnails but there are a lot of patterns) and most take up one or two pages depending on size and detail. Some of the one page motifs (mostly flowers and birds) have very small photographs of stitched examples, and I would have loved to have seen larger pictures for the peony project. The insects are mostly tiny and intended as details to add to other designs and so are several to a page; the cat and dog projects all take up two pages and unlike the flowers, birds and insects are actual pictures. The dogs pose alone, but the cats are all busy interacting with their world; I think the author must be a cat lover! At the back is a gallery to inspire on how to combine the motifs plus a few projects including tote bags, squares for a quilt, a panel and an idea for using up odd buttons. Any quilter of improver level upwards will find these projects doable, and beautiful. A lovely book that will appeal to a wide range of needleworkers due to its accessibility.

If you cannot find a good range of textile art materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2018