Tuesday 16 April 2013

... and Patchwork Postcards

Hello everyone! This is an exciting post for us - we have been asked to do our first craft Book Review*! We were contacted by Vivienne Wells, Director at Vivebooks and asked if we would be happy to review one of their ebooks. We wanted to review the book by actually trying out one of the projects so we chose Patchwork Postcards and Pinboard Quilts as it looked fun and was something we hadn't tried before - well there's nothing like throwing yourself in at the deep end is there?!! We only hope we've done it justice!

* DISCLOSURE - we were given a digital copy of Patchwork Postcards and Postcard Quilts for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.

The book is written by Katharine Guerrier who is an acclaimed quilter, teacher and author. She has written many books, and her work has been featured in various magazines both British and American. Her work draws on the traditional motifs of pieced patchwork, developing them to give a contemporary feel.

The first thing to note about the ebook was that the format was very easy to use; as a pdf file you can flick between pages using the sidebar, zoom to your chosen size of font, and help save the environment by flicking through it electronically! We had the laptop next to the sewing machine and it was very easy to glance up at the instructions etc.

The concept behind these Patchwork Postcards is to compile small quilt pieces by using your scraps of fabrics that are too small for other projects, to create unique pieces in their own right, as well as to try out colour schemes and techniques for inspiration -“Postcards, clippings from magazines, small drawings and photographs, scraps of fabric all find their way onto my pinboard. So why not a small quilt?”

And as the author states,"Postcard and Pinboard quilts both have the great advantage of being economical with time and materials. They make an ideal keepsake gift for a friend, or a conversation piece for a quilters’ group." 

The pieces in this book really appealed to us as there are no patterns – just be creative.  Even better, you are advised not to be too precise and cut by eye rather than measuring. There is a real emphasis on ‘playing around’ with ideas and working out as you go along. However, there is a lot of very useful information on techniques to help with composition, balance, colour schemes, and the technical processes.

Having lots of visual examples of finished pieces was really good to inspire us, and in fact we both picked a different one as our source to work from.
Inspiration 1 (image courtesy of Vivebooks)
Our version!
Inspiration 2 (image courtesy of Vivebooks)
Our take on it!
And another one to use up more of the scraps!
Suggested materials to make a Postcard quilt:
5-9 different fabrics that go well together. Bright plain colours work well (don’t have to use them all in one piece
Stich ‘n’ Tear (we used interfacing as its what we had to hand - and we think it worked fine!!)
Handmade paper for the backing

Our pieces in progress....
Choosing our selections of fabrics from our scraps...
Starting to stitch the pieces together - our first time with curved pieces!
Completed stitching before layering, mounting and quilting
Machine quilting - another first!

We have deliberately left out the details of the process as you'll have to buy the book if you want to know more! As the author writes at the beginning, "I hope the ideas presented here will inspire you to create your own small pieces and give those precious little bits of fabric a new lease of life!" - Well it certainly did and we can't wait to try more!! Hope you are inspired too! If so, please support Vivebooks (a small company) and buy the e-book. Or take a look at some of the other craft books they have!

If you have a product you would like us to review, please see our Reviews page for further information and our policies on this.

30th April 2013: Update - this post was featured here on Naptime Creations
nap-time creations


  1. Thanks for this Simi and Sian. Well done - your pieces have their own life and character though they are based on Katharine's. Just what she likes to see! Vivienne, Vivebooks

    1. Thanks Vivienne. We really enjoyed making the pieces as well as reviewing the book!

  2. I love how thick your stitching is... did you use special thread? Thanks so much for taking the time to link up to the Tasteful Tuesday party @Nap-TimeCreations.com. Make sure to follow my blog via bloglovin, GFC or facebook so you don't miss out on my features posts... it could be YOU :o)

    1. Thanks Emily! The thread we used was slightly thicker than standard stitching thread & was described as for top stitching. Following you on bloglovin :)

  3. hi! I'm featuring this at the party that opens tonight!! Come on over and check it out... Would love for you to grab a featured button and put it in this post. :o) Thanks for linking! Emily


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