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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The first thing that troubled me about this book was the fact that the block designs are all shown only as single blocks. There is no indication of how the blocks look when put together into a quilt. Unless you have much more skill at visualization than I do, you will have to draw out multiples of the blocks in order to see the patterns that will appear when the blocks are set together for a quilt. Still, with such an enormous number of block designs, it might have been difficult to fit in this additional information.
The big problem is the oft-repeated claim that the "patterns are easily drafted..." Well, no they aren't. The designs do not even necessarily show the edges of the patches that need to be cut -- for example, Odd Fellow's Cross is shown with patches normally pieced from three triangles displayed as though they were a single odd-shaped patch. This is true of many blocks, where there is no indication of seams. There is no hint that some parts of the blocks may be appliqued rather than pieced. Nor is there any suggestion about grain lines for the pieces, the best order in which to combine them, the traditional set of the blocks, or any construction details or suggestions whatsoever. Although I have made a dozen quilts, and generally drafted them from drawings in books, I don't think I will be able to make any quilts just from the drawings in this book.
One of the neat things about this book is that each pattern has numerous traditional names listed. If you have a quilt and would like to identify it, you will probably be able to -- if you are willing to browse through 5500 blocks in order to do so. Now, if you just know the name of the quilt and are hoping to get an idea of what it might look like, you are in luck, because there is an index allowing you to do just that.
The other neat thing about the book is of course the very large number of blocks pictured. I cannot say that you will find every single block you might want, however, because -- ironically enough -- this book does not contain the rare block I am searching for! Still, this book would have given me no more information than the photograph in which I first saw the elusive block.
This is a book for the quilt scholar, and for the mathematically-skilled quilter who doesn't really need a pattern. Reasonably-skilled quilters would do better with Better Homes and Gardens 505 Quilt Blocks or Ruby McKim's 101 Patchwork Patterns.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book because I am making a queen-size sampler quilt for my mom and wanted to find block patterns that would pay homage to the many wonderful aspects of her personality and life - and in three different sizes! This book has given me many ideas and options.

The book has a small preface, and a great index, but otherwise is all blocks! It is broken up by unit format (four-patch, nine-patch, picture blocks, etc.) It is a terrific service that Ms. Malone has done by gathering all these patterns into one place.

Unfortunately, there are a number of things that could have made this book fantastic that were overlooked. First, besides the format (there are over 1100 nine-patch blocks), there is no apparent order to the blocks. They could have been organized alphabetically, by complexity, number of pieces, similiar blocks together... Also, there are many blocks that are repeated, (some with the same name!) but just in different colors. Example, pg. 132, the first two blocks are identical except for the colors used, although the color *pattern* is the same. In my opinion, they are the same block and it is up to the quilter to put in the colors s/he wants. If all such repetitions had been eliminated, there might be many less blocks, making this book less mind-boggling to flip through, and also would be easier to find ALL names for the same block in one list. Many of these identical blocks are NOT on the same page so it is hard to say how many there are, but I've come across several.

Even more troubling, I have seen blocks that are colored incorrectly, traditionally speaking. It makes me wonder whenever I see a symmetrical pattern with asymmetrical coloring, whether is accurate or a simple error. My guess is that this is due to the drafting program used; many of these spaces were probably simply not clicked on with the correct color.

As the previous reviewer mentioned, it would be nice to have a little more background on individual blocks, and many of the blocks are hard to draft. I also was disappointed that there are no layouts and it is hard to imagine how a block will look as a completed quilt.

Of course, there is no way to include every pattern in a single book, since more are being created every day. However, this book makes a good attempt and is a great resource for quilters who are looking for something new to try. I have used several blocks from this book and will continue to flip through it for new ideas and inspirations.

Hopefully there will be a second edition with more comprehensive editing!!!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This hardbacked volume contains a huge collection of patchwork blocks each of which is carefully drawn and appropriately coloured on the computer. The author's source and a pattern name is given in each case and the blocks are sorted into the usual patchwork categories of four patch, nine patch etc.

There is a very wide range of different styles and the blocks are fully indexed at the back of the book.

This book is absolutely superb and once it is in your collection you will probably not need any other collection of patchwork block drawings.

Beginners will need another book to complement this one because no actual finished quilt patterns are provided nor are there any instructions on how to make a quilt; Lynne Edwards's "Sampler Quilt" series would be an excellent partner as her books cover many different techniques.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is exactly what I was looking for! It's not a How-To book - it's just the blocks. The author summed it up perfectly, "As I became more proficient at quilting, I realized I didn't need the entire pattern, just a sketch of it." I was doing the same thing Maggie Malone was doing, collecting and filing patterns, and now she has put together this terrific book of just that - the patterns. Each pattern falls into a grid (3x3, 6x6, etc), and with drafting experiencing, can determine how to cut the pieces/templates. So this book is not for the novice, but with experience of making quilts from instruction books, you'll get the hang of how to make your blocks from just the patterns, too!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book and it is one of the best buys I have ever made. When I did the math, each quilt block design cost me .0036 cents in USD. This may not be the book for a beginner but for those of us looking for inspiration, this is a must have book. With color designs, the possibilies are endless of what a person can imagine creating.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
For me, the sheer number of blocks in this book are well worth the price. Just flipping through the book always gets me thinking about my next project or ten. If anything, I get too many ideas from looking through it.

Echoing what the others have said, this book really needs better editing. In addition to the mistakes other reviewers have pointed out, the chapter titled "Octagons, Diamonds, and Eight Point Stars Patch Patterns" also includes basket blocks, trees, flowers, animals, houses, "apple core," miscellaneous borders... huh? I also don't get why there are separate chapters featuring only a few eight patch patterns and twelve patch patterns when the chapter on four patch patterns is HUGE and includes a bunch of 4x4, 8x8, 12x12 and 16x16 patch blocks. The book is well-indexed, though, so if you are looking for something specific, it's easy to find. One feature I like is that, where possible, she has indexed the patterns that came from particular publications. If you are looking for Kansas City Star patterns, for example, you'll find a long list of them back there.

Overall, it's a really fun resource. In a book this mammoth, I'm willing to overlook the goofy editing mistakes. (Especially considering that my quilting projects are pretty much a series of goofy mistakes!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I love this book. I wanted a book that had lots of block designs that would be easy to copy and make and this book does not disappoint. I love the way the blocks are so simply drawn and very brightly coloured, this is what makes it so easy to use. I also love that it is a paperback and very sturdy, the pages are a good thickness - a real workbook one that could be easily handled a lot, it sits in my studio and it is constantly in use. It is exactly as it is described and has fully met my expectations. My only wish is that each and every block had rotary cutting instructions (in six different sizes) - maybe next edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
So many quilt blocks. So little time. I love this as a reference book for quilt blocks, but if you want instructions on how to put blocks together, this is NOT the book for you. Sometimes I get this out and just look through it, and I always find something new.

Maggie Malone has done a fabulous job putting this together. She has included information about where most of these blocks "originated" (that is to say, where they were first published). She has grouped them by type of block (nine-patch, octagons, etc), and has also grouped similar blocks together in many instances (churn dash, shoo fly, Greek Cross). Both are particularly helpful if you know a block by one name and it has other names that it also goes by. The index is a great tool, as well.

If you love drafting your own blocks for foundation paper-piecing, or if you can't find a block you want via the internet, this is the perfect place to start. I would LOVE to see this as an iPhone app so I could have it with me wherever I go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2015
Format: Paperback
More of an encyclopedia than a quilting manual, this kitchen sink book of quilt blocks contains not only 5500 distinct blocks but all the different names they have been called over the years and in different parts of the country in different magazines. This is interesting from a historical perspective, but hopelessly confusing from a practical one. Most block names have been standardized at this point. In a bold nod to modern piecing techniques, the author has drawn all the blocks on a grid and organized them accordingly: nine patch, four patch, five patch, eleven patch, eighteen patch, etc. plus circles, octagons, diamonds and stars. All blocks are in color, often garishly so. I confess that although I am an avid quilter and have perused this book for years, I have never actually used it to make a quilt. But it's still a fun armchair book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Barbara Brackman has gathered quilt block designs in a concise useable format for both scholars and the casual quilter. The organization of the book is easy to use and follow. However, I would like to see the designs colored using the colors of the era.
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