“Collecting fabric and keeping our scraps is a wonderful thing, but at some point it’s important to allow those fabrics to fulfill their destiny and be part of something magical”.  Those words of Stuart’s in his introduction really rang true with me.

This new book is absolutely packed with ideas and inspiration for stash-busting and scrappy quilts, but I am sure you could use these patterns to great effect with coordinated yardage as well. While some of the blocks may appear familiar, Stuart has given them his own original twist, and also interesting layout suggestions for each block.

I decided to try out the Chequerboard Log Cabin, as it was not a variation I had seen before. His introduction suggested being bold with colour and pattern, and that really works. There are useful tips on every page, so the tip for this block was to cut each strip to length before sewing – it definitely made it easy to get my block square and exactly the right size.

The Chequerboard Log Cabin variation using a riot of colours and pattern.

The introduction also suggested at least a quick look at the pages on tips, techniques and tuition, and, I’m glad I did, as I picked up some really useful tips on colour choices, variety and stash organisation, as well as some practical techniques. I also found an easy way to check my seam allowance (which I need to do regularly as I use several different machines), without actually having to measure the test piece.

My test piece for checking my 1/4 inch seam following Stuart’s instructions

This is now my top favourite pattern /quilting inspiration book, packed full of ideas, from an inspirational UK designer, and well worth what I think is a very reasonable cover price. There are patterns a beginner could tackle (Stuart suggests trying ones with just squares and strips first), but it also has more than enough interest to satisfy a fairly confident patchworker like me.

Corinne Curtis

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