Book Review: Scrap Basket Beauties

Scrap-Basket Beauties: Quilting with Scraps, Strips, and Jelly RollsScrap-Basket Beauties: Quilting with Scraps, Strips, and Jelly Rolls by Kim Brackett

There are a number of things about this book that do not fit into my definition of a perfect book, but I like it anyway.

I like the colors on the cover. They are cheerful and drew me in. The colors of the projects pictured in the book are fresh and also cheerful. I also like the fact that Kim Brackett admits that “not all fabrics work well together in a scrap quilt.” Hallelujah. Some authors insist a maker can put anything into a project and end up with a beautiful quilt. I simply do not agree. I find that seeing the words in print make me feel validated.

This book talks about using 2.5″ strips and pre-cuts. I don’t, usually, buy pre-cuts, but I have a ruler and a rotary cutter and have the ability to cut as many 2.5″ strips and squares as I want to make these quilts.

After a short introduction, the author provides into a lot of information about 2.5″ strips. The bottom line is that the reader does not have to buy pre-cuts; s/he has to have fabric and scraps. From those s/he can make the quilts in this book.

The section also includes information on strip swaps and ‘strip clubs.’

Hard on the heels of the 2.5″ strip section is the ubiquitous ‘Basic Quiltmaking Instructions (pg. 11).’ The information found in this section is basic and, mostly, a review. Still, it is always useful to be reminded how to avoid cutting a V in a fabric strip. Aside from the normal “how to sew a quilt together’, this section also includes a little about chain piecing and Folded-Corner Units (like Flying Geese). There are charts to fill in on creating Side-Border Strips and Top- and Bottom-Border Strips.

Quilt patterns start on pg. 20 with a peach confection called Sanctuary. This is primarily made with four patches within four patches. The patterns could do with alternate color ways on the last page of the pattern to spread the wealth of the information. Scrap-Basket Trail is one of those quilts that would appeal to many more people if the brown and reproduction backgrounds were removed and the quilt was shown in, say, pinks.

Cross My Heart (pg.30) looks really great in various Bonnie & Camille fabrics. Hourglass (pg.36) is bright and cheerful and pretty interesting in the piecing department. Almost all of the patterns have something intriguing about them.

One of my favorite patterns is Beachside Bungalow. I love the rings and the colors. I also like the grey used in the background. My absolute favorite pattern, which I intend to make…sometime, is the Triple Star. some of its charm comes from the scrappiness, but it is also an interesting block with a lot of pieces. I also really like the blue background.

No index and a brief table of contents.

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Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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