Sunday, 12 June 2011

Review: Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks

Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks
Susan Briscoe, 2010
A & C Black Publishers

Reviewed by Coral Jackson

Sumptuary laws in Japan prohibited commoners from wearing brightly coloured clothing, resulting in the widespread use of subdued colours which are still considered to be the epitome of good taste. Using this palette and taking her inspiration from traditional Japanese sources, the author has produced 125 patchwork and applique blocks which have a surprising contemporary feel.

She gives a good description of choice of fabric and appropriate colours. Contrary to my expectations, these were not confined to browns but included shades and tints of all colours. This gives colour palettes that can be warm or cool and give a quiet, restful appearance to the finished article.

Using good, clear instructions and numerous photographs, Susan Briscoe carefully takes us through all the stages from choice of fabric through to finishing techniques. There are numerous tips for sewing and design. The blocks are graded into three skill levels from easy to advanced. However, given the clarity of instructions I feel that even complete beginners would do well. All the necessary templates are in the back of the book to be traced or photocopied.

She has included six small projects– my favourites were the tote bag (great for a present!) and the satchel bag. These alone justify purchasing this book.

This is an excellent companion to her previous book ‘Japanese Quilt Blocks’.

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