The first thing about both books that is noticable is the size. 500 Quilt Blocks is tiny. It is a lovely size to have on hand at the sewing table and to leave out for inspiration but I'm finding it a little too small. The book itself contains a how to section at the beginning which is very informative and concise, different coloured sections containing quilt blocks and variations of same (which is really lovely and helpful) in differing degrees of difficulty and 20 projects to make using these blocks.
The five chapters are:
- blocks for everyone
- simple blocks
- shapes and pictures
The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns has a very different approach. It is huge in comparison. It's a chunky hardcover that breaks the blocks themselves down into grids and number of units needed to make the blocks. There are 2x2, 3x3 etc. and some of the blocks have grids 15x15! The variety of blocks is enormous with over 4000 of them and they are presented with variations, historical context and source. I really love this book.
The blocks are presented in traditional fabrics so it would take only a little imagination to update them with more modern materials and there is a black and white base image provided with each block to help. Already there are two or three blocks that have caught my eye that I think would be fabulous in a giant size. There are no sizes given rather the base pieces required to construct the block are presented and you draft your own size. This may seem daunting but I love it. I like that part of quilt design. The section on curved blocks and some of the more pointy triangles would be challenging and I like that too. There is a section on drafting at the beginning that is mind boggling but I hope to spend some time over the Christmas getting to grips with that.
Even with all the challenges there are lots of straightforward blocks in this book from Log cabins to Stars to crossing designs. This is a comprehensive book and I'm delighted with it.
So two very different quilt block books, approaching the subject from a different angle and both very instructional, sources of inspiration and enjoyable to browse through. I would recommend them both! I bought 500 Quilt blocks for £7.19 and The Quilters Album of Patchwork Patterns for £29.02 both from Amazon.co.uk. Any other book recommendations? I know these will keep me busy for a while but Christmas is not far off afterall!