Book Review: New Patchwork And Quilting Basics

I have known Jo Avery for a bunch of years and I’ve been inspired by her patterns, and her use of colour, of course! :-) So I was excited when I heard she had a book coming out and when she asked if I would review it, of course I jumped at the chance!

The book is called “New Patchwork & Quilting basics – A Handbook for Beginners • 12 Projects to Get You Started“. {Amazon UK affiliate link}

The book has a section at the start where Jo goes through all the tools and techniques and lingo that you need to know as a beginner quilter. Rulers, nested seams, basting, binding all the basics are explained before she starts on the quilts.

The premise of the book is that you learn a technique or skill making a ‘simple’ project and then in later projects in the book you will use those skills to make something more complicated.

I think that is an excellent way to build up your confidence. Some beginner quilting books keep all the quilts ‘simple’ so they can feel a bit boring. Not that there’s anything wrong with simple, but it’s nice to feel that you learn more than cutting strips and squares. :-)

These are the project groups in the book: Strips and Squares; Triangles; Skill Building; Mix and Match*.

*Skill building covers appliqué, curved piecing and foundation paper piecing.

** The projects in Mix and Match are combinations of various techniques from the other groups.

The projects all use Jo’s signature lovely, bright colours but obviously you can change that to suit your own colour tastes.

I am not a beginner quilter now but I wish this book had been around when I first started getting into quilting. Everything is clearly explained with lots of tips and the projects are all really lovely. I could see myself making several of them (but who has the time?! And Tony has informed me that he thinks we have too many quilts! What?!!)

Since I didn’t have time to make a quilt I decided I’d use the quilt blocks to make some other projects. Because obviously you can make other things with quilt blocks!

Pinball Wizard quilt and Bedding Plant quilt

My first project was using one of the blocks from the Pinball Wizard quilt to make new covers for our garden chair seat pads.

I had several pairs of our old jeans lying around so I decided to use those, together with some worn out pillow cases. I messed up a bit (I guess?) when making the cuved sections because they don’t line up properly with the non-curvy blocks. But whatever. Atleast the wonkiness is consistent so I can pretend it was on purpose! :-D

I like how the seat pads turned out with the contrasts between the different denims and the pops of the flowers from the pillow cases.

My second make is a project bag, using one of the blocks from the Bedding Plants quilt. I really like all the different flowers in this quilt (definitely the one I’m most tempted to make in its entirety!) but I decided on the tulip block.

In the pattern Jo suggests using ‘vintage-style prints’ but she didn’t specify what kind of vintage exactly so I went with ‘vintage 70s inspired prints’! :-D or rather 70s inspired colours, oranges and purple mainly. It was a fun pattern to make, and I like how graphic it looks.

I’m chuffed with my projects, especially because I only used fabric from my stash! I feel like I learnt something too, so I think this book would also appeal to quilters who aren’t complete beginners. But if you are a beginner you could do a lot worse than starting with this book!

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1 Comment

  1. August 19, 2020 / 9:13 am

    Thanks so much for your wonderful review Carina! I love that you used the blocks so creatively and especially upcycling old fabric like jeans and pillowcases (we had that Ikea beddign too!). All your projects look fabulous and I really appreciate you trying out 2 different patterns. Thank you!!

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