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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
There are ten projects in the book. This is the layout of one of the wall hangings.
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!
Each project lists all the materials required, the cutting and layout information, the method of working for making the quilt.
This is the center of that quilt, by the way. Love the bunnies!
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.
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!
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.
For smaller projects, you’ll find a bell-pull….
… and even some journal covers!
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.
I think the section on hand appliqué is really well done.
There’s even a handy section on embroidery stitches, with step-by-step photos.
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!
Where to Find It
Update, 2017: Michele’s first book is no longer in print, but it can be found through various used book sources online.
More William Morris in Applique is available through the following book affiliates:
In the US, you can find More William Morris in Applique here, through Amazon.
Worldwide with free shipping, More William Morris is available here, through Book Depository.