At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.
Check out our BookShop affiliate link at the end of this post – buy from BookShop and support independent bookshops!
Here’s what we think of Playful Precut Quilts: 15 Projects with Blocks to Mix and Match by Amanda Niederhauser.
Playful Precut Quilts is a beautifully put together book which walks you through how to make 15 quilting blocks to help you produce fabulous quilts for all seasons.
About the author
Like many of us, Amanada grew up playing with buttons and spools beside her mother’s sewing machine. She began sewing as a child, taught herself how to quilt after graduating, and never looked back. But this book isn’t all about Amanda – as well as an “about the author” page, this book also features an “about the author’s cat” page which I love! Amanda’s “quilt assistant” is her cat Mufasa who is also head of quality control and the keeper of the fabric.
Who is the book aimed at?
This book covers a broad spectrum of quilt makers in my opinion. I am brand new to the craft and have picked up lots of hints and tips and seen lots of things I feel I could confidently make with my newbie knowledge. I also feel the book would be enjoyed by a seasoned quilter just as much as it shows designs created by the author which should be new to many.
The contents page is one of my favourite of any book I’ve seen. It beautifully lays out all of the blocks and all of the projects so you can see them instead of just reading a project title like “rise and shine” and having no idea what type of quilt that would be.
The book goes on to talk you through the basics of fabrics, quilting basics, finishing and binding (thankfully as I really needed that section to help me on my novice quilting way…). Then it moves into the projects, mixing explanations on how to produce the blocks with ways to transform them into quilts. The projects include drawings and photographs, and each quilt has a little introduction as to how it was created, for example “rise and shine” has its origins in the time Amanda spent on her Nana’s farm where you got up early and when the rooster crowed it was time to rise and shine.
I find when I look at photos of quilts they are either really drab or really well thought through and creative. Quilts are big heavy pieces of sewing to find space for. The photography in this book is lovely and creative. The “rise and shine” farm inspired quilt is shown hanging on the wall of a farm barn, the three block table runner is shown on a chunky wooden table with picnic food on it, and this beautiful one block wall hanging is pictured on a lovely green wooden wall.
What makes this book special?
This book has a great summery colourful feel to it, the projects are bright and it is written from the heart in a way that assures you that you can achieve all your quilting goals with its help.
Anything wrong with the book?
No. I mean, how can you fault a book that is colourful, inspiring and has a section about the author’s cat?
No matter what stage of the quilting expertise scale you are on I think this book would brighten your day and give you some lovely block and quilt inspiration. I think you’ll be running to get your sewing machine out after you read it.