Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Book Review: More William Morris Applique


Michele Hill and Country Bumpkin have teamed up again to produce a sequel to Michele’s first William Morris appliqué book: More William Morris Appliqué. Though I’m not a quilter (more from lack of time rather than lack of desire!), I’m a huge Appreciator of Quilts. I love them! And this book has a few things to it that really recommends it to my liking: 1. It’s William Morris-related, with whom I tend to border on obsessed; 2. The subject leans towards a very heavy embroidery influence, and there’s definitely scope for embroidery here; and 3. Wow. There are some Really Beautiful quilting projects in here.

I know that many needleworkers are quilters, too, so I’m going to review More William Morris in Appliqué for those of you who are quilters and might be interested in adding the book to your library, and also for those of you who, like me, like Morris.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

Right off, the cover grabbed me. I like the rich colors. I always feel a bit creepy when I see William Morris interpretations that are dull and dead-looking in the color area. It could just be me, but I think Morris probably was an appreciator and lover of color, and so I like to see Morris-influenced design that makes use of rich color.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

There’s a nice little introduction about Morris and his aesthetics. Notice, too, that there are some photos of gorgeous Morris pieces in the books – highly inspirational stuff!

More William Morris Applique Book Review

The projects in the book are presented as various rooms in a house – the hall, the dining room, the nursery, etc. I thought this organization was an interesting twist – not just your typical list of project chapters.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

I love the close-up photos of the hand appliqué on the quilts that are scattered throughout the book. I always enjoy seeing close-ups!

More William Morris Applique Book Review

There are ten projects in the book. This is the layout of one of the wall hangings.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

And this beauty is the quilt on the cover. While there are several quilts featured in the book, I’d say this one is the highlight, or the Main Event. The central design would translate well into a wall hanging, too. And you know, miniaturized (reduced in scale), it’d make a great hand-made card… or a much smaller embroidered piece… If you buy the book, I don’t think you’re relegated to using the patterns in it just for making quilts, you know! My mind was working right away on “translations” into other types of projects!

More William Morris Applique Book Review

Each project lists all the materials required, the cutting and layout information, the method of working for making the quilt.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

This is the center of that quilt, by the way. Love the bunnies!

More William Morris Applique Book Review

You can see here how the layout (and stitching order) for each quilt in the book is presented, with a color key underneath for choosing fabrics.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

Interpreting Morris into nursery-themed quilts was gutsy – but the two nursery quilts in the book work, in my opinion. They are Morris-esque in a sense – fabric choice and some design elements – and bright and fresh and suited for the child. And I love the applique designs for this quilt. It’s definitely a combination of today and yesterday, but bright and fresh and sunny, and I like it!

More William Morris Applique Book Review

How about a beautiful appliquéd table cloth? I like this project especially because it has a continuous design all around the edge with the matching medallion in the center. I like the fact that the design doesn’t rely on blocks, but that it flows all around the outer edge of the cloth.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

For smaller projects, you’ll find a bell-pull….

More William Morris Applique Book Review

… and even some journal covers!

More William Morris Applique Book Review

The back of the book is full of all the how-to information. The book does not focus so much on basic appliqué techniques. It assumes that the reader knows something about the basics. Still, the author covers lots of very good tips on both machine and hand appliqué.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

I think the section on hand appliqué is really well done.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

There’s even a handy section on embroidery stitches, with step-by-step photos.

More William Morris Applique Book Review

And the back of the book is full of all the pull-out patterns – six huge pages of them! Again… I find myself thinking beyond quilting. So many possibilities here!

More William Morris Appliqué is a beautiful book, typical of Country Bumpkin Publications. If you’re eager to add it to your library, you can find the book through their website, or you can check your favorite local quilt shop!

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(7) Comments

  1. thank you for this book review! I have to have this book!! It is beautiful and I would love to do at least one of the projects. I am a quilter and applique is my thing! I am at the stage where I am eager to embellish with embroidery so I think this book will be a great addition to my library. I can’t wait to check out the lovely projects.

    love your site Mary!!

    hugs, Barbara

  2. Wonderful book review 🙂

    I’ve never been well inclined toward William Morris prints, mostly because, as you said, the colours tend to be very drab and dreary. However, seeing the bright colours used in these projects – particularly in the lovely cover quilt and the nursery quilt adaptation – has caused me to revise my opinion. I am completely in love with the bell-pull, despite myself 🙂 Although I do not quilt, I can definitely see the potential for embroidery and cross-stitch designs in these patterns.

  3. I have the first book she did on William Morris patterns. I’m at work, so I don’t have it with me, but I think it’s called William Morris in Applique. It’s set up similarly to the book you’ve just reviewed. I got it at Christmas time and plan on making a quilt with those over the top patterns. My, that is my favorite part about the book, next to the pictures.

    I do applique, but I thought the same thing about other uses for the patterns. I’m going to order this book, as I love the tree of life patterns. Thanks for sharing it, Mary.

  4. My advice is definately shop around. I got the first one for $20 less from bookdepository.co.uk and while this one is out of stock I’m sure you could make a saving on it.
    They brought the first one out just when I started looking for source books of Morris’ work to design my own applique patterns. Another case of “great minds…” but I was beaten to my idea in this case.

  5. I’m with you Mary, I love Morris’s designs and the beautiful rich colours he created using natural dyes which may explain why the original colours seem a little subdued to our eyes. Personally I love them. This is undoubtedly a book that will find its way into my library too.

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