A short time ago I was offered free books from Leisure Arts in exchange for writing honest reviews of them. The book I chose to review first is 110 Quilted Potholders by Linda Causee and Rita Weiss. There are several reasons why I chose to review this book first. As I first mentioned in my post on what inspired me the week of February 13, 2017, one of the reasons I chose this book was a call for items for the elders on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Since I wanted to make some potholders for the drive this book seemed like a perfect fit and it offered a win-win. I’d get the book free in exchange for the review and I’d be able to pass on the benefits to those on the reservation. I like win-wins. Beyond that though, my favorite quilt books are books which feature patterns. Since I don’t tend to make quilts that are exactly like those already made by someone else, I tend to stay away from books that contain projects and go for those that feature patterns instead. On those occasions when I do buy a book which features projects I tend to borrow from the projects and incorporate parts of the projects in new ways. For example, I may use a border idea on a totally different quilt or might use a single block from a row quilt and make a whole quilt using just that block or I might gather parts from multiple project books and incorporate them in a single quilt.
But back to 110 Quilted Potholders….
110 Quilted Potholders is a 63 page book which offers up the patterns for 110 pretty potholders. The photo above shows the first five that I made using this book. The top pink/purple block is the Coxey’s Army block from page 19 in the book. The top orange block is the Double Pinwheel block from page 47 of the book. The pink and green block is July Fourth from page 20. The pink and yellow block is Sunlight and Shadow from page 33. Last but not least is the Single Irish Chain block from page 45.
There are lots of things I like about this book. Among the things I like the most is that all 110 blocks can be made with a single page of templates. That’s right! All 110 blocks can be made using just 7 templates which can be found on a single page in the book. No more using sheets and sheets of template plastic and scrolling from page to page looking for the proper template to trace.
I also like that these blocks use simple shapes, squares, rectangles, and triangles. There are no complex partial seams. Did I mention that I like simple, easy, sewing? If not, I’m mentioning it now.
I also like that each block in the book features a cutting list which tells you how many of each template of each fabric to cut. For example, for the Granny’s Choice block on page 41, you would cut 4 B triangles from dark fabric, 4 B triangles from light fabric, 4 C squares from dark fabric, 4 C squares from light fabric, 8 G triangles from dark fabric and 8 G triangles from light fabric. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I did mention I like easy, right?
The large number of 8×8 patterns for potholders, the diversity of the patterns, the fact that all 110 blocks can be made using just 7 templates, and the simple cutting list for each block makes this a book that is suitable for less experienced quilters. While it may not be the book for absolute beginners because it doesn’t show the order in which the patches are sewn together, it is suitable for quilters who’ve quilted enough to know how to look at a block and figure out how to create units that form the block.
It bears noting that I added a 1 inch strip around the edges of my blocks and used an envelope technique rather than binding for finishing my potholders. This is not the method recommended in the book, but it works for me and is what I do on most small projects.
I had a great time using this book. I intend to keep it in my quilt library for a long time to come.
Though it’s a great book for making potholders it’s also offers great patterns for other quilt projects. I’m using the Ribbons block on page 18 for a twin sized quilt that I’m working on. I first blogged about that quilt in the What’s Inspiring Me This Week post from February 13, 2017.