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.
I was recently sent Stuart Hillard‘s book Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts and I am in love!
I do not often buy quilt books but am often tempted. My experience has been that while a quilt book may appear to be very helpful and informative, when I buy it I find that it is over complicated and ultimately not very helpful. Stuart’s book is anything but complicated and it is profoundly helpful and inspiring. I am in the midst of sewing for a show I am doing next month but this book makes me want to just take all my scraps and quilt!
First and foremost, one thing I love about Simple Shapes, Stunning Quilts is a very simple section on color selection. I am never really overly concerned with my color choices but I know a lot of people are. Stuart describes, very simply, how to go about choosing colors that work together. It is not overly detailed but clearly and precisely described, thus helping the novice and the advanced quilter. I love that.
Next, in his section Techniques, Tools and Materials, I truly appreciate how Stuart is very concise on the elements involved. He does not go on and on about the variety of tools available, and does not spend a great number of pages on detailed descriptions.
Rather he shows ways to cut from simple template use to rotary cutting and die machines. He details curved piecing and applique. He offers up the invaluable design wall and quickly, with great pictures everywhere, shows how to sew on a binding. It is a very useful crash course that lays out the options. This also plays well into the variety of quilts he offers up in the instructions as there are quilts that use each one of the techniques described. Again, perfect for the novice and the advanced quilter.
Then come the quilts! 100 quilts!
I really appreciate how the instructions are incredibly concise and to the point. I am amazed he was able to cut down what other books would take pages to describe into one page, complete with pictures!
Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts does what the title says; it is packed with beautiful quilts that are very simple and easy for beginners. He also has quilts with applique. He offers up beautiful traditional quilts in traditional colors and modern colors, and then quilts that are a bit edgier and modern. In this he appeals to many quilters.
Rotation is a perfect example of a very simple layout for a quilt. But you can also see how changing colors and combinations could make for a myriad of options.
This section on triangles spoke to me as I love the simplicity of triangles and how you can get so many different designs from simple triangles.
Lollipop Flowers #1 is a whimsical and beautiful example of an applique design.
With the picture description of piecing for the Flowering Snowball quilt you can see how simply explained a curved quilt block construction can be. Easy to read and comprehend.
If you love traditional quilts (like me) or are leaning towards trying an Art quilt, Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts is a book that will give you everything you need to make many beautiful quilts. I cannot wait till I can sit down and start my next quilt, with many triangles, inspired by Stuart Hillard’s book! Enjoy Stuart’s website here and follow him on Instagram @stuarthillardmakes!