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Tuesday 2 March 2010

Book review: Patchwork for Beginners

Although it's been around for centuries - Jane Austen was a fan - patchworking has been coming into the spotlight again recently.

You can see its influence in the gorgeous bespoke furniture from Squint but that might be a little beyond some of our budgets. Other leading lights in the quilting revival include Denyse Schmidt whose trademark is bold contemporary designs, and Amy Karol of Angry Chicken who helped to
popularise the mini-quilt.

Sue Prichard of the V&A has written a book all about the craft for absolute novices, which discusses the history of patchworking as well as giving you ideas for suitable starter

It's filled with illustrations and photographs of beautiful pieces from the museum itself, as well as a useful glossary. It really is aimed at complete beginners, and those who are attracted to the traditional style.

There are templates and simple instructions for projects like a cushion cover and a 'cot coverlet' - or baby quilt. I particularly liked the Ribbon Strip Quilt which they suggest as a novel way of compiling together a fabric diary - by including all those ribbons that come adorning gifts of chocolates or bath products, or indulge yourself in the limited edition fabrics that Liberty Art Prints are creating in conjunction with the V&A for their upcoming quilt exhibition. Alternatively, incorporate strips and squares cut from worn out clothing or sheets - just like Jane Austen used to do.

Patchwork - upcycling before it was trendy!

Patchwork for Beginners by Sue Pritchard, £7.19 on Amazon, RRP £7.99

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