Continuing on our journey through the books of appliqué, we are looking at The Ultimate Applique Guidebook: 150 Patterns, Hand & Machine Techniques, History, Step-by-step Instructions, Keys to Design & Inspiration by Annie Smith.
And, yes, that is an Amazon affiliate link.
I purchased this book about three years ago, which is about when it first came out. This may be my favorite appliqué book because Annie Smith isn’t just showing you how to appliqué in this book – she’s getting you prepared to design your own appliqué and helping you do so by giving you some basic patterns that you can put together into appliqué blocks of your own design. But I get ahead of myself here.
This book starts with an introduction, a section on how to use the book, and then some chapters to teach you what fine appliqué is, and how to record your ideas and foster your creativity. These are followed by the real teaching chapters related to appliqué – choosing fabrics, needed tools and supplies for both machine and hand appliqué, and appliqué methods. Chapters six and seven cover designing skills and are followed by a gallery of quilts in chapter eight. Chapter nine includes the three projects designed by Annie Smith. Chapter ten is a one-page chapter describing how to use templates in appliqué, and chapter eleven is a one-page chapter on embellishments.
Chapter twelve is my favorite chapter. It is titled “Catalog of Appliqué Design Elements” and contains pages of design elements that can be used to design your own appliqué blocks. There are a great many! It looks like fun!
There is a note at the bottom of the table of contents mentioning that if you are using any of the designs or design templates in projects that are going to be published in any way (for example, in pictures on your blog), you should credit Annie Smith. She also has a full page of information on copyright as it affects quilters, which I appreciated greatly having been the copyright police in another lifetime.
I also appreciated the fact that not every quilt pictured int this book was designed and made by the author. I like seeing a greater variety of quilts in a book.
All of this to say, this book is an amazing resource for appliqué of any kind (although Annie Smith makes it clear she herself is mainly a machine appliquér and only describes one method of hand appliqué. She also adds a list of some of her favorite books in the Resources section (one of which is Harriet Hargrave’s book which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.
And, yes, there will probably be a couple more appliqué books in the next weeks. And, yes, I have a reason which I’ll describe in more detail later.