Today we are looking at Simple Friendships: 14 Quilts from Exchange-Friendly Blocks by Kim Diehl and Jo Morton. It is available in both paperback and Kindle versions so there is a separate Amazon Affiliate link for each of them.
In the Introduction, the authors describe how they chose six favorite blocks (Star Block, King’s Crown Block, Nine Patch Block, Yankee Puzzle Block, Basket Block, and Old Italian Block) and started designing from there. Each of them then designed a quilt using some version of the aforementioned block. They also designed samplers using all of the blocks.
They encourage the use of this book for block exchanges. To that end, cutting directions for one block are given at the beginning of each pattern. There is also a section called Guidelines for Block Exchanges to help the reader facilitate block exchanges to make these quilts.
And, yes, it is basically another project book, but with a twist.
If you’ve looked carefully at the names of the authors and you know anything about their styles, you will know that my taste in colors does not match theirs. I tend to like much brighter colors than they do, but I love their design styles. Maybe if I were to make versions of these quilts in my favorite colors the brightness would be overwhelming, but I do love many of these quilts. (You can look at the pictures of the quilts if you check out the Amazon links.)
The directions for these quilts are very thorough and well illustrated. I like the way that many of the quilts use both appliqué and the pieced blocks. And I like the sampler quilts designed with all of the blocks, even though I’m not a big fan of Basket or Cake Stand blocks.
The Guidelines for Block Exchanges makes some very helpful suggestions for running or planning a block exchange. The section called Kim and Jo’s Quiltmaking Basics does not exactly walk you through how to make a quilt from beginning to end, but it does cover some very good information about some quilt making techniques, like Jo’s No-Waste Flying-Geese Method and Kim’s Invisible Machine Appliqué Technique. It is worth a read even if you are not a beginning quiltmaker.
And, in case you didn’t already get the idea, I do like many of the quilt designs. And I want to try some of the tips in Kim and Jo’s Quiltmaking Basics. (The English teacher in me wants to call it Kim’s and Jo’s Quiltmaking Basics.) If you like either of these designers quilt designs or want to do a block exchange and make something a little out of the ordinary, you would probably enjoy this book.