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"Everyday Folk Art" Book Review posted: 9/12/2005
by Christine Schultz Printable Page
Category: Reviews Method: All
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Title: Everyday Folk Art: Hooked Rugs and Quilts to Make
Author: Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson

Publisher: Martingale & Company: That Patchwork Place
Date Published: 2005
Pages: 144
Suggested Retail Price: $28.95
ISBN #: 1-56477-558-5

Review By: Christine Schultz

This attractive selection of folk art projects comes from two sisters, the authors of “Folk Art Friends”. Polly is a rug hooker and Laurie is a quilter. Thus, projects are offered in pairs and grouped by theme, and all are inspired by a “love of home, family, nature, and country.” All the projects feature the deep, dark rich hues and sandy tones of folk art. The quilts especially make use of many fabrics to represent one color, adding more depth to the pieces and yielding that warm, homespun look. The quilts and rugs are photographed in country settings, complete with baskets, painted toys and rustic furniture.

There are a total of sixteen projects, all with a distinctly masculine feel. Themes include animals, stars, baseball, log cabins, and gameboards. Most patterns are given in a size smaller than needed. Graphed layout sketches make it easy to measure and adapt the designs. “Quiltmaking basics” is complete enough for a beginner, as is the informational section on rug hooking. The latter includes tips on storing and dyeing wool (Polly includes her formula chart), sources, and planning and using color.

A hand quilter, Laurie includes tips that are equally helpful to hand or machine stitchers. For example, she suggests not stitching into seam allowances so they can be pressed in any direction, thereby reducing bulk and making them easier to quilt. Appliqué designs are done in both cotton and wool, and include reverse appliqué and buttonhole stitching.

The “No Pattern Log Cabin” is done in easy appliqué with torn strips: all raw edges are covered and “chinking” is exposed for a more realistic touch. The appliqué blocks are surrounded by a traditional log cabin block border. The coordinating rug features one center Log Cabin and a less elaborate traditional Log Cabin block border in slightly muddier colors than the quilt.

The Gameboard quilt and its duplicate hooked rug have simple lines and clear graphic elements. The five-pointed stars in the quilt are easy to piece but quite classy.

Speaking of stars, the LeMoyne String Star quilt is pieced of assorted indigoes and varied cream to yellow-tan prints, with a simple strip border that frames the center nicely. Eighteen inch star blocks are foundation pieced and set without lattice in this striking quilt. Laurie likes to include vintage fabrics in her quilts and she shares her tips on using these fabrics.

The baseball-themed rug and quilt celebrate this favorite American pastime and evoke an old-time feel with radio and pennant appliqué blocks, and a swag and star border on the quilt. The matching rug’s border features words from “Take Me out to the Ball Game”.

For folk art lovers, this book offers great projects with lots of heart.

Look for this book at your favorite quilt shop.
PS. Also look for the Everyday Folk Art 2006 Calendar

Martingale & Company: That Patchwork Place
20205 144th Avenue NE
Woodinville, WA 98072

©2005 Christine Schultz

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