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Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Book Review: Quilt Revival

Quilt Revival: Updated Patterns from the '30s, by Nancy Mahoney

Martingale Press, 2006
Paperbound, 80 pages
Suggested retail: $24.95

In describing what she calls "the softer side of hard times," Nancy Mahoney recounts the consolations of people suffering from the economic disasters of the 1930s, including the comfort they got from the beauty and warmth of quilts. Mahoney describes how the quilting revival around this time, connected to the nation's 150th birthday, led to demands for publication of more quilt patterns, which were fulfilled by the publication of quilt patterns in 400 newspapers across the country. The newspaper patterns were collected by many women and saved in scrapbooks, and this book is based on the patterns in two of those scrapbooks by women in different parts of the country, acquired by Mahoney.

Mahoney features her favorite blocks from these scrapbooks, enhanced using '30s reproduction fabrics from modern manufacturers. The result is a cheerful, scrappy, traditional collection with a fresh new face. My favorite of these is "Garden Steps," made from the Jacob's Ladder block. It looks very complex and syncopated but is actually very easy to make. Another favorite is "Peppermint Twist."

The book contains the usual basic instructions on making a quilt, along with a total of 11 patterns. A great way to raise the sashes and let in the sweet breezes of spring a little bit early this year. Click on the title to learn more about this book.

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