Book Review: Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls & Charm Packs

Jelly Roll, Layer Cake & Charm QuiltsJelly Roll, Layer Cake & Charm Quilts by Pam Lintott

This is almost a pure project book and I wouldn’t have picked it up if Frances and Sandy hadn’t talked about it over and over. Frances has definitely made my favorites from the quilt projects in this book.

There is a lot to like about this book. There are a variety of patterns for every skill level. The authors clearly state how many precuts are needed to make the quilt. A lot of the quilts have colors that really appeal to me, but there are also reproduction and more muted fabrics used, so that the book covers a lot of bases in terms of tastes in fabric. Almost every quilt is made twice with the second quilt using very different fabrics. I like this aspect, because it is hard for me not to be influenced by the fabric choices in the photos. Seeing a second quilt in different colors reminds me to the design of the quilt rather than the colors.

There are small introductions to each quilt, which are similar, if not as detailed, as the color stories in The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking. They suggest other options, talk about the fabrics chosen and encourage the quiltmaker, as in the description of Little Houses (pg.102-109) where the pieces are on the small side.
One pattern I can’t get out of my mind is Stepping Stones, pg.72-79. It is one of the more complex patterns and it  includes four patches, so what is not to like? 😉 If I made it, I would want to use fabric on hand, so I have spent some, otherwise unpleasant commute time, daydreaming about various color variations, cutting strategies, etc.  Using fabric on hand (I am thinking green. I have lots of green I don’t use much)  would I start cutting 10″ squares and then start the quilt when I was finished cutting them? Would I cut half green 10″ squares and half cream or another light? Three quarters green and a quarter light? There is a lot of piecing in this this pattern and there are some areas in the example quilt that could use a bit more contrast.

I liked the border on the Raspberry Ripple quilt (pg.14-17) because it has the ‘self-bordering’ effect that I like so much. It fits well into the design of the quilt and finishes some of the motifs, which really completes the overall design. High Flying Geese (pg.30-35) is very similar to Serendipity Puzzle, a classic Dutchman’s Puzzle pattern. The colors are so fresh and appealing in the Lintott version that I would consider making another version just because I am inspired by that freshness.

Some of the blocks in the book are so easy and so large that you could do a quilt really quickly. Those quilts don’t appeal to me, but I know they might appeal to others. Some of the photos aren’t very crisp. I was disappointed in the photo of Damask Rose (pg.48-53), because the piecing is very hard to see with the fabrics the authors chose. This is one of the more complicated quilts and I would want to show off the piecing. It may be that the authors wanted a soft chintz feel to the quilt. This is also one of the few quilts in the book that does not have a second colorway.

Hexagon Hip Hop (pg.64-71) is version of a hexagon quilt, like the Attack of the Hexies quilts, but using half hexagons. It has a really interesting and well thought out border that fits the overall design. I also like that the second colorway shows how nice a gift a hexagon quilt would make for that special guy (dad, brother, etc) in your life.

If you want a wide variety of patterns to use with Jelly Rolls and other precuts, then you might enjoy this book.

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