Thursday, December 06, 2007

Book Review: Paper Quilts

I'm a paper crafter from way back. At one point, I veered away from sewing and quilting into paper arts and book making, eventually teaching book arts and making sculptural artist books. When I found myself cutting small pieces of paper to assemble paper quilts, I realized that I should try fabric again, and that led me back to making quilts with fabric. I haven't looked back since.

So it's no wonder that this book, "Paper Quilts: Turn Traditional Quilt Motifs into Contemporary Cards and Crafts" by Sandra Lounsbury Foose caught my eye recently. It combines two of my passions and provides a way to make graphicly gorgeous paper art.

I'm impressed at how well laid out this book is. It starts with basic "building blocks," showing the tools and techniques you need to work with paper for these projects. And it builds from simple patterns to more complex ones. The initial projects use squares (double irish chain, square in a square), then move to using circles, stars, triangles, diamonds, hexagons and octagons. We quilters know the wonderful patterns that can be made from those simple shapes! And there are all levels of work here -- some are quite simple and would be easy and quick to make, but others have more detail, more pieces, and more complex shapes. Want to make a feathered star but don't want to sew all those points? There's a lovely paper one that would be much quicker! Instructions for projects are very clear, and templates are provided.

I especially love how beautifully the photos show the projects. They're colorful and clear and display multiple variations on the particular theme being taught. It's a very artfully designed book.

All of the projects in this book feature traditional quilt patterns. The graphic elegance of those patterns is beautifully suited to work with bright solid colored paper, for stunning results. But quilters know how easy it is to transform a design with different colors and prints. All of those tricks would work in paper, too.

I'm not sure I'll be making paper quilt greeting cards. But I could see using this as a jumping off point to make art I'd frame and hang in my home or give as a gift. If you're traveling or away from your sewing machine, you could have fun playing with these paper designs to fulfill your quilting passion. This would be a great way to explore shapes and quilt design with kids of all ages, too.


  1. Sounds like an interesting book.

  2. Anonymous8:43 PM

    Now you're speaking my language ;)

  3. Anonymous5:57 AM

    I've looked at this book in the store several times; now I might actually have to get it! Thanks for the review.

    Jean Marie