Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book Review: Quilts Made with Love.


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Book: Quilts Made with Love. To Celebrate, Comfort, and to Show You Care.
Author: Rachel Griffith
Publishing House: Martingale

Sigh. I really do not know where to begin on this one. Well, okay, I will start out with this...

I have been a follower of  Rachel Griffith's work for a while and when I had heard that Rachel was writing a book, I was truly happy for her. I was looking forward to seeing something new and innovative from her since she pretty much dropped off the face of the planet to write her book in 2012 and through out 2013. When I received a copy of her book, I started looking though it for the first time I could not help but to feel like I have seen all these quilts before. To tell ya the truth, I have seen these quilts before. Out of the entire book there are about seven new designs that I have not seen her do or other people do. Five quilts I have seen other people in the same similar/familiar designs, and the last seven out of the 19 quilts in her book are nothing more than rehashed designs from 2010 and 2011 that are still available for sale, archived in magazines or for free. I hate to say it but Rachel is knowingly pulling the wool over people's eyes. I could not help but to be completely disappointed in this book and completely disappointed in Rachel as a designer.  

What do I mean by "rehashing"? Rehashing is when a designer takes an existing published quilt they have all ready done and made it over with new updated fabrics and also giving the quilt a new name. And yes, Rachel did do this in her book. What Rachel has also failed to do is to retire any of those old quilt pattern so that you the consumer are forced to buy the book because you can no longer buy the individual patterns. So what patterns in this book had a rehashed makeover? You'll have to keep reading to find out! 

*Note: All photos that were not in the book were found through Google search.  

These are the patterns you can still buy from Rachel instead of buying the book. 

Smitten  is now called All Together Now
Photos have been removed at Rachel's request

Flip Side is now called Turnaround
Photos have been removed at Rachel's request

Melly is now called Second Wind
Photos have been removed at Rachel's request

Escapade is now called Pathways.
Photos have been removed at Rachel's request

 Autumn Shoofly or Around the Block can still be found at Quick Quilts Magazine under their archives. The issue is still available for $5.99 click *HERE* for your own copy.

Photos have been removed at Rachel's request

Coin Collecting or Epilogue can also be found in Quiltmaker Magazine's archives. The issue is still available for $5.99. Click *HERE* for your very own copy.

Photos have been removed at Rachel's request

Cascade or Embrace was an online class Rachel conducted. Although it was not free or all ready published. Its still a rehashed quilt! Photo credit Stephanie M. Williams www.totalcraftaddic.blogspot.com

RG-Cascade

This Vintage Ribbons table runner is a FREE Moda Bake shop pattern. All the measurements are the same at the bake shop as they are in the book. Click *HERE* for the free pattern! All you have to do is to keep adding on to the table runner to make the same quilt in the book.

Photos have been removed at Rachel's request

Why, oh why do designers do this? 
PLEASE BY ALL MEANS MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!

Seriously! 

I am fed up with designers doing this! 

I know Rachel has a ton of fans who love and adore her and they may think I am picking on her. Just to set things straight... I AM NOT!!! The reason for such a stink is because I believe Rachel can do better than this! Trust me when I say not everyone is going to worship the ground she walks on and to have a book like this only proves her limitations of her creativeness and her abilities of having it all.  

"But she is a mom of four kids you say."

There are plenty of other women who have four plus kids and they seem to manage to bring something more to the table. They do this by taking their time and planning out what they envision will be a great book. They don't write a book because their best friend has a best seller and they feel that they have the need to keep up with the best friend. Rachel is in a business where you are expected to be amazing the moment you turn your hobby into a business. You are also supposed to be better at your craft and improve greatly over time. I did not see that from her in this book. To me this book feels slapped together and rushed in order to keep up with the Jones'. What gets me is that out of the 19 quilts in this book she only pieced together six of them. She had other people piecing and quilting them for her, which I absolutely do not have a problem with. The problem I have, is that with all the free time she had while others were doing her bidding for her, she could have taken the time to push her limits and be more creative. I am sure there are moments when her kids and husband are off doing their own thing and she is sitting her butt down in front of a television, typing away on social media or what not. -Just say'n!

Teaching and Techniques

 Again for someone who goes around the country teaching. I was disappointed that she did not go the extra mile with teaching in her book. If you are going to teach, teach! Don't go around preaching how you are a good teacher. Show it! Show it by going the extra mile!  There was nothing beyond the standard instructions of how to care for your quilt, how to quilt your quilt, bind your quilt, and what basic tools you will need to complete any of the quilts in her book. 

As far as all the quilt projects go there are no techniques that require anything ground breaking or earth shattering. Its all just straight forward and simple piecing. Rachel's instructions are also straight forward and easy to follow.

Who is this book more geared for? 

The projects in this book are easy enough to accomplish that a beginner and the overly busy person who likes to sew but has very little time to do so can get them done. 

Were there any projects in this book that tickled my fancy?

There was only one that caught my eye, and that was "It Take Two." Although I probably will not ever make it, I found it to be one of the few that actually were new (I hope) coming from Rachel. Even though I do not agree with the title and the given purpose behind this quilt. Meaning, I would call it "Open Doors" and gift it as a housewarming quilt. The over all design reminds me of a barn door or a screen door. Since its not my quilt, no worries.

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Over all objective of the book.

I do not think that the title and intended subject matter does not coincide what the book should really be about. What Rachel is trying to bank on is love, which the reason why she is a popular blogger. This angle she works from works great for hopeless romantics, and lonely hearts clubbers. Quilts Made with Love just does not suit this book justice because it should be geared for beginners and busy quilter who love the quilt but have very little time to do so. Also Rachel does not tell the reason of the love behind the quilt, she just simply throws around an airy childlike notion of what love should be. When you make a quilt from love it should be about the person you are gifting it to and what they like. Not making a standard quilt and then tell everyone; "If you are having a baby, this is the quilt you are going to get!" What if the recipient hates that standard baby quilt you keep gifting. I guarantee it would not be used, so you just went and wasted your time making that quilt for the recipient doesn't like it. That is just plain thoughtless on your part! 

I don't know about any of you out there but I really do not need a book to tell me when to gift a quilt and what type of quilt I should gift. That is part of the reason why I became a quilter. Its part of a quilter's instinct to have that passion and love to make quilts for the folks that you love and care about, and to make them the way that reflects recipient tastes and not your own. If any thing this book should be titled: The Rachel Griffith Collection, Nineteen Easy to Piece Quilts for the Beginner and the Busy Quilter. With a title like that I would not have blinked an eye at all the rehashed quilts because they are apart of her collection. In addition to being apart of her collection she should retire the existing rehashed patterns in her book so that her book will have a better shelf life.  

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After the reviewing this book and being utterly disappointed in it, I would have to rate it with a D+. A "D+" for a utterly epic disappointment. Sorry Rachel but you can do better than writing just another pretty book and living via carelessly on a romantic notion!  

Thank you for stopping by!

Jen 



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Jen

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