Whip Up Mini Quilts: Patterns and How-To for More Than 20 Contemporary Small Quilts
By Kathreen Ricketson
Gifted by Chronicle Books
Reviewed by Jessica Nichols, Editor of FaveQuilts.com
Whip Up Mini Quilts is a how-to book of 24 patterns for mini quilts and quilted pillows. These small projects will inspire your quilting, teach you new techniques, and bring a bit of warmth and color to your decor. Whether you are a beginner with no quilting skills or an advanced quilter ready to tackle new techniques, you'll find projects to challenge you and spark your creativity.
The author of Whip Up Mini Quilts, Kathreen Ricketson, is the popular craft blogger behind WhipUp.net. She brings her easy, informative writing style to this book, making it an enjoyable read as well as a useful pattern book. Her introduction and history of quilts kept me reading until the last word! She also includes plenty of tips on tutorials on quilting, piecework, and applique techniques so even sewists who are new to quilting can enjoy the patterns in Whip Up Mini Quilts. Ricketson even covers common embroidery stitches and fabric dyeing methods. A comprehensive list of quilting tools and supplies with descriptions and explanations rounds out her introduction to quilting.
The 24 quilt patterns in Whip Up Mini Quilts are not all Ricketson's creations. She has enlisted 23 other talented designers to contribute their unique sense of color and style to the collection of patterns. Ricketson brings order to the chaos of so many different design approaches by separating the quilts into chapters based on style. This allows quilters to find quilt patterns that fit their aesthetics. The Romantic chapter is full of floral fabrics and soft colors and allows quilters to experiment with English paper piecing, applique, and photo quilting. The Playful chapter lurches to the opposite end of the design spectrum with bright whimsical quilts that will look right at home in a house full of kids. Between pom-poms, treasure maps, prairie point circus banners, and applique cars, you can't get bored with these mini quilts!
Whip Up Mini Quilts moves on to more subdued styles in the Modern Folk section, which calls on nature for its design motifs. Bird appliques grace almost every pattern in this section, while rustic elements like decorative hand quilting and improvisational piecing give these quilts a special handmade charm. The following chapter, Modern Elegance, puts a minimalist spin on mini quilts, using simple, abstract designs to give these quilts a quiet grace well-suited to home decor. Fabric dyeing, pieced appliques, curved piecing, and sashiko embroidery all make appearances in this chapter.
Similar to Modern Elegance, the Geometric chapter uses clean lines and simple shapes, but it draws on bold color contrasts to make a statement in three quilt patterns. Boldness is also an essential quality of the quilts in the Punk, Pop, and Politics chapter, which features quirky designs with interesting concepts behind them -- a must for geeky crafters. More sentimental quilters should turn to the final chapter, Memoirs and Storytelling, which features a baby clothes quilt and a pictorial quilt that embodies the spirit of imagination.
Beyond the beautiful pictures and awesome quilt patterns, Whip Up Mini Quilts has several added perks. It is spiral bound, so it will always lay flat at the correct page when you are quilting. All of the applique patterns you need are included in an envelope attached to the inside cover. At the back of the book, you can find a plethora of online resources for quilters and quilt designers. The book also includes web addresses for two more mini quilt patterns offered free online!