Book Review: Quick Quilts from your Scrapbag

Quick Quilts from Your Scrap Bag (For the Love of Quilting)Quick Quilts from Your Scrap Bag by Patricia Wilens

I picked up this book as I was running out the door to wait for the Young Man while he went to an appointment. The title is fairly modest, but I ended up really liking this book. I received it from Quiltin’ Jenny in a blog giveaway. The book has 35 projects, which might be a compilation from other sources. 35! Since I read it, I have been paying attention to the numbers of projects in other books and none that I have come in contact with lately have anywhere close to that many.

As you well know, I am not much of a book-full-of-projects-girl, but I found that many of the elements and blocks in these projects spurred on my imagination in terms of incorporating them in other projects of my own design. One of these elements that I found really intriguing was in the Dizzy Geese pattern (page 106-109) where a unit of 3 Flying Geese is place in a wreath formation around a Storm at Sea-type block. It doesn’t look very difficult and really adds a look of complexity to the block. I was amazed and surprised to see a quilt using this (or a similar pattern) at PIQF 2011. Holly Casey used this pattern in a blue and gold colorway to great effect.

This 1999 book covers all sorts of techniques from piecing to applique’. A lot of piecing techniques have changed since 1999 and the book includes a lot of templates. One of the things I like about it is that the author includes a little of the story behind each of the quilts.

The book has a variety of inset tip blocks, including an inset tip box called Diagonal-Corners Quick-Piecing Method on page 11. This tip box really explains how to do the diagonal corner piecing method using the Angler or a similar products. Another tip box explains what they call “working with bias edges”, which is really an explanation of how to block a block and this is an excellent, clear one.

The Streak of Lightning pattern (pg.62) is really interesting. I like the combination of prominent lines and smaller squares. The example, however, does show its age in terms of fabrics. I was a little confused by the quick piecing method for the half square triangle with the square and two triangles as half of the block, which I think needs to add a step or two to be clearer.

This is the book that made me realize that books could help improve quiltmakers’ precision and accuracy by including the finished sizes of the units that make up a block. I really liked the Odd Fellows March quilt and block (pg. 72). This pattern does provide the size of the blocks, but not for each unit.

A number of the quilts have Irish Chain type settings (pages 20, 28, 88 and 129). The different quilts provide the reader with different examples that help add this setting to the reader’s bag of tricks. The Irish Chain setting is a good way to set blocks together.

This book has an interesting variety of projects some of which even I would like to try.

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