Y’all do know that I love red, right? Specifically, red and white quilts.
When I came in yesterday afternoon, there was a copy of Linda Pumphrey’s new book, Red & White Quilting, An Iconic Tradition in 40 Blocks, in the mail. Talk about happy mail! Yeah, it really was. I plunked myself down right then and there to take a look, and sat with it until well after dark. So, do you want to know what I think? Of course you do, and I want to tell you.
First off, what a pretty book! As I said, I love red, so any book with that much color on the cover has to draw me in. But there’s so much more!
From the very start, Linda combines all the things I love: a little bit of history (about how we got those red dyes in the first place, for example), forewords by Deb Roberts and Caroline Ducey (both colleagues I respect immensely), lots of photos of quilts both old and new, clearly-written patterns, and updated techniques on how to reproduce some of our old favorites. She even talks about cutting pieces with a die-cutter. That seems pretty darned updated, don’t you think?
I remember learning, way back when, how collectible red and white quilts are. I was not at all surprised. The vividness of red and white is just so perfect to me. It’s warm, it’s crisp, it’s graphic, it’s…ah, yeah. Perfect. Not partial to red? Trust me, all of the quilts in this book would be just (okay, almost) as gorgeous in blue and white, or green and white, or any other wonderfully contrasting pair of colors. But red and white are still the best for showing off the patterns Linda includes.
So let’s see what’s inside, shall we? Linda starts us out right with a solid chapter on tools and techniques. She covers a lot of ground, including thoughts on pre-washing, hints on die-cutting, even ways to perfect your y-seams. (Do y’all remember that I showed you some ways to work on your y-seams a while back? After you’re finished reading, I’ll put the link in so you can go check it out!)
There are forty different block patterns (yes, forty!) in the book, both pieced and appliqued. (There’s an enclosed DVD that contains all the applique patterns so you can just print those right out at home.) There are a total of fourteen projects for using the blocks. I think my favorite is the “Simply Touching Stars” quilt on page 138. I think. It’s really hard to pick just one. Fortunately, I don’t have to. I suspect I’ll make several of these pieces.
Many of the patterns are sized so they’re interchangeable with others within a project. Linda has done all the hard work of figuring out how you can create variations in the projects too. For example, on page 94, in the middle of the instructions on making the “Balancing Act” bed runner, there is a sidebar showing how to make two variations. Don’t like one block? Swap it with another of the same size. Fun, huh?
Sadly, I still haven’t gotten a chance to get more white fabric (see what happened to it here), but I’m hoping to tomorrow. If I had it on hand, I’d definitely be cutting into it tonight. Pretty soon you’ll be seeing projects that come out of Linda’s book right here on the blog. Stay tuned for those!
Do you need this book? Yes, yes, you absolutely do. Really. It covers so many of the bases. Gorgeous photos, concise patterns, interesting history, and lots of helpful tips. But even if, after all that, you need another reason to buy it, here you go: Some of the proceeds from Linda’s book will benefit The International Quilt Study Center & Museum, in Lincoln, Nebraska. This is one of my favorite places to visit with ever-changing exhibits and an incredible wealth of quilt knowledge. IQSC’s mission is, “to build a global collection and audience that celebrate the cultural and artistic significance of quilts.” What quilt-lover wouldn’t want to support that?
And you know, Christmas is coming. So is Hanukkah. (As of today, there are 58 days until Christmas, and 46 until Hanukkah. You’re welcome.) Do you know someone who might need a quilt? Or a fresh new book? Bingo. Here’s your answer. You may thank me later. (Send fabric. Or chocolate.)
Go. Buy the book. I mean it. And check back with me soon to see what I’m making from it!
Have a great weekend!
p.s. Those y-seams? Here‘s the link. You can learn to do them!)
Oh! Those links to buy?…not affiliates. I did receive a review copy, but truly, I love the book!