For this issue of Quilty Pleasures, Julie Rodgers has written us a Book Review special!
Here we have a review of Jennifer Chiaverini’s work Harriet’s Journey from Elm Creek Quilts. This book provides patterns for 100 6 inch quilt blocks inspired by one of the author’s novels.
About The Author
Jennifer Chiaverini is a best-selling author. She specializes in historical novels, many of which have branched off into quilt pattern books that provide the quilter with patterns talked about in her books from the Elm Creek Quilts series. Some of her quilts designs have been published in various magazines and short stories have been published in Quiltmaker and Quilters Newsletter.
I was not aware of Jennifer Chiaverini’s work until being given this book to review. I am completely mesmerized and imagine that anyone who is a quilter and has read any of her novels would surely be interested in every quilting book that she published.
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
That being said, one does not have to be interested in reading her novels to appreciate this book. Any quilter who loves more traditional block designs will find this a very good addition to their library. Personally I love old quilt blocks more than modern ones. In addition, one thing that makes this quilt book unique is the size of the blocks. They are only 6 inches! As such they are perfect for little projects but can also be incorporated into a quilt as detailed in the book.
The book begins with a few pages that describe where these quilt designs originated from. Chiaverini talks about her book Circle of Quilters and how this quilt emerged within the story. Her writing beautifully pulls the reader into that world of history and quilts.
From there the book details the instructions for each of the 100 blocks from Harriet’s Journey. After instructions for each block is provided the author general instructions on binding and quilt assembly using all the blocks.
This is followed by a gallery of photos that provide the reader with inspiration for using all the blocks or just a few in various projects/quilts.
The book finishes off with template and foundation patterns that can be photocopied and used.
The pictures and the drawings in the book are very well done and beautiful. The illustrations for each block are well detailed and if there are any tricky assembly processes she details them.
What Makes This Book Special?
I found many things special about this book. The most obvious is the unique position it possesses as a product of one of her novels. It urges the reader to see quilts as so much more than fabric. There is history, including family history, in the examination and presentation of this particular quilt in Harriet’s Journey.
It is also special because, as mentioned, the blocks are only 6 inches which I find precious and delicate. There are so many things you could do with little blocks.
Anything Wrong With The Book?
I honestly did not find anything wrong with this book. It was very concise in regards to the quilt patterns. It told you enough about Harriet’s Journey to entice you but not bore you. The pictures are beautiful and I always love quilt books that provide the reader with patterns they can copy and print, rather than just giving you measurements.
This is one of those quilting books that I would have bought for myself. I love old quilts and the history of quilts and this book fits perfectly into my love of quilts. It also nudges at my love of genealogy as it relates to novel from which this book sprung. I am rather excited to plan some projects with these beautiful quilt blocks. I highly recommend this quilting book and I plan to check out her novels!