Julie and I were together at the Granary when we saw this book. It has appealing projects on the cover and I looked through it. It is a project book with no how-to directions and no index, but with a long introduction.
I was confused as I started to read the introduction (pg.7-10) because the author talks about quilting/sewing retreats and her retreat business. She eventually gets past the bliss of retreats and sewing in those settings and begins describing the projects.
The project are organized into “Getting Equipment There Safely” and “Sew When You Get There.” This is an interesting way of organizing the book, but it feels like something is missing. I always have plenty of projects on which to work on retreat, but I guess it is good to inspire people.
There are some interesting projects in this book, which all seem to be designed by different people. My favorites are: Ultimate Equipment Tote (pg.12-20), the Big Mouth Thread Catcher (pg.21-25) for gifts and the Big and Little Patchwork Totes (pg.32-39). The fabric really makes those interesting, as you can see on the cover.
The Half Moon Needlecase (pg.48-54) appeals to me. It might make my needles more accessible than my current needlecase, however, it wouldn’t in my handwork kit. I also think the fabrics used make the project appealing.
I probably wouldn’t use the Selvage Cutting Mat (pg.60-65) myself, but it would be a good gift.
I like the idea of the woven placemats (pg. 80-85), however I would probably sew squares together and avoid the top stitching. If I had a round table. If I used placemats. They are cheerful and I like the look.
The pattern directions seem to be pretty extensive for a book, judging from the number of pages devoted to each pattern. I haven’t made any of the projects, so I can’t comment on the clarity or accuracy of the patterns.
The quilting on the quilts towards the back of the book is pretty amazing. I like the distinct motifs on the Orange Grove Quilt (pg.92-97), which you can see well on pg. 97. The quilting is thoughtful and not just an all over pattern to get the quilt done.
Throughout the book are tips and tricks. There is much about inspiration for the projects.
One of the appealing aspects of this book is the color and fabric use. There are good projects, as mentioned, but few of them are super unique. The book ends with some resources, short bios of the contributors and a page called About the Author.
I like this book. The pictures are appealing and there are enough interesting projects to make this worth the purchase.
Corrections are available at the Martingale site.