Traditions from Elm Creek Quilts: 13 Quilts Projects to Piece and Applique
By: Jennifer Chiaverini
Publisher: C&T Publishing
Publication Date: November 2011
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 6, 2012
One need not have read any of the books in the "Elm Creek Quilts" novel series to appreciate the beauty of the quilts in this book. In fact, I've never read one at all, but when I picked up a copy of this book I was entranced by the patterns. They instantly reminded me of some of the Gee's Bend quilt patterns I've seen illustrated in books here and there. In the preface Jennifer Chiaverini briefly discusses the varying inspiration behind the quilts and the stories. She claims that regardless of why her characters want to sew, they "always use their talents to make their world a warmer, more comforting, more beautiful place."
The tales that preface the actual instructions for the quilts are fun to read and definitely will encourage many to delve into the realm of the Elm Creek series provided they aren't already fans. A full-color, full-page photograph of the completed quilt illustrates its beauty. They are machine quilted and beneath the quilt we can find out the size of the finished block and quilt, and the number of blocks. There are templates that can be copied and in the back are detachable ones for the more complicated Pineapple Patch and Anna's Kitchen quilts.
Instructions for each quilt includ what you need for materials (specific colors), cutting instructions, and step-by-step block assembly. There are hints for the less experienced quilters that say things such as: "Consult a general quiltmaking book if you are unfamiliar with Y-seam construction." In the back of the book are some quiltmaking basics on "How to Finish Your Quilt," including general guidelines on seam allowances, pressing, borders (mitered cornered and butted), you'll read hints on backing, layering, basting, quilting, binding (double-fold straight-grain, continuous bias, and finishing), and half-square triangles.)
* Winding Ways
* Springtime in Waterford
* Welcome, Baby Emily!
* Anna's Kitchen
* Joanna's Freedom
* Mr. Lincoln's Spy
* Cornucopia of Thanks
* Remembering Victoria
* Holiday Blessings
* Pineapple Patch
* The Aloha Quilt
* Dorothea's Dove in the Window
* Caroline's Wedding
Usually when I purchase any craft books, there are only one or two projects that are worth doing, but all of the "Elm Creek Quilts" in this book would be heirlooms. In the past I've purchased knitting books with one little pattern I like, but this book is spectacular and well worth the money. No, this is not a book for beginners, but perhaps one that can be a dream book or one you can choose a pattern from to have someone make a quilt for you.
Quill says: This is not an instructional book nor was it intended to be, but it will inspire you to improve your work. Lovely, just lovely!