The Quilter's Companion: The Complete Guide to Machine and Hand Quilting
by Katharine Guerrier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Quilter's Companion / 1-58923-243-7
I have so many quilting books that I almost didn't buy this one when I first passed it in the store, but I'm very glad that I did buy it - what a treasure! This isn't just another quilting book; this book has a beautiful "modern" look and feel throughout, and all the classic quilt blocks featured here have had their look and feel gently updated. New quilt blocks and quilting techniques are also introduced in the most lovely ways - this isn't post-modern Picasso quilting and it isn't your grandmother's country quilting; it walks a careful middle road between tradition and modern tastes and it does so effortlessly.
This book is huge, and every page is informative and useful. The emphasis between machine techniques and hand techniques is split fairly equally, and it's wonderful to finally find a resource which shows how to properly machine quilt a lot of traditional blocks that don't lend themselves easily to machine quilting. All the pictures are in color, with careful detail, and you can actually understand what you are being told to accomplish, step-by-step. I'm also thrilled to say that this is the first quilting book I've ever owned which actually presented an understandable, practical approach to machine applique.
There's a wealth of variety here. There are plenty of beginner's blocks and quilting styles, but the author also provides suggested "projects" to practice techniques - including a gorgeous wall hanging of a basket of flowers and a butterfly, all appliqued carefully so that the butterfly wings are not attached to the picture and can "flap" gently. Definitely, this book teaches but is also gently challenges the reader to take steps in a new direction if they want to expand their repertoire.
I can't recommend this quilting book highly enough. At one point, I seriously considered selling the rest of my books and only keeping this one - it's that helpful and comprehensive. I finally decided to keep the others for inspiration and because I'm a pack-rat, but this one is definitely the one I go to for instructions and technique refinement.
~ Ana Mardoll
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