Review: Quilt Big: Bigger Blocks for Faster Finishes by Jemima Flendt

Title: Quilt Big: Bigger Blocks for Faster Finishes
Author: Jemima Flendt
Pages: 144
Genre: Nonfiction, Instructional, Quilting
Source: Free ARC from The Quilting Company

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from The Quilting Company via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

One of the things that can frustrate some quilters, particularly newbies, is how long it takes to get to an end product, especially if you’re working on a large project. It’s fun, but it can also be a bit daunting. Sometimes you just don’t have a lot of time to get something stitched together, and you need a pattern that is quick AND fabulous. Time is of the essence! And the most time-consuming part of any quilting project is piecing (sewing the top or “flimsy”).

Most patterns are built in blocks, and those blocks are usually between 6 and 12 inches each (but, in my experience, tend to run pretty heavily in the 8-9” range). It takes a LOT of blocks, some very intricately pieced, to make up a queen-sized quilt! But what if you used traditional blocks that were upsized to make the work go faster? That is exactly what you get in Quilt Bigby Jemima Flendt!

There are many topics in this book that are useful to all beginning quilters: information about fabric choice, how to treat fabric before and after sewing, seam allowances, different types of quilting, etc. All the basics are in the 1st chapter.

Chapter 2 is extremely useful if you’ve never grasped the math of quilting (ahem!). If you want to make a pattern, but with bigger blocks – there is math involved! And Flendt breaks it down so you can figure it out for yourself, while providing examples using included blocks and supplying charts! You know what they say about teaching a person to fish, right?

Chapter 3 covers blocks that are already upsized. While there are a few on the lower end (one is 9”), most are 24” (wowzers!), and there is even one that is 30”! If you’re looking to make a king-sized quilt wicked fast, a handful of 30 inchers with some sashing and borders will do the job lickety split!

Then in Chapter 4, she turns those blocks into finished projects. As much as I love all the information and skill-building in the earlier chapters, it is the finished product that makes or breaks for me. After all, that is the end goal, the point in putting in all that work. It is also the chapter that set aside all my concerns about the aesthetic effect of going big. Big IS beautiful! In fact, upsizing takes traditional blocks that can sometimes feel a bit dated and modernizes them. And the right fabric choices can either expound upon that modern feel or soften the edges of it, making it a perfect mix of vintage and modern (my personal favorite).

This is a great book for a beginner because it teaches early skills with simple blocks and the projects finish up quickly. I firmly believe that early successes beget further skill-building and a lifelong passion. It’s also a great book for the seasoned quilter who maybe doesn’t have the ability to cut and piece for long periods of time (arthritis and various other health issues can really dampen a maker’s passions) or simply doesn’t have the time, but still desperately wants to create.

Ok. I guess it’s a great book for everyone.

Which is why it’s the next quilting book I’m going to buy. 😉

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