Magazine Review: Quilts And More

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been getting progressively less-inspired by the quilts in Quiltmaker magazine lately. I’m still subscribed, but I’m just getting less out of it than I was a few years ago – maybe I’ve matured as a quilter since then? Who knows.

Cover of Quilts And More magazine
Anyway, I was looking for some light reading in, of all places, the grocery store a few weeks ago, when this magazine jumped out at me from the magazine rack. It’s produced by Better Homes and Gardens, and I’m not sure it’s a “real” magazine – with regularly-published issues and so forth. It might be some kind of irregular one-off, like their “home storage” magazine that comes out twice a year or some such (and which I’ve also gotten sucked into at least once).

It immediately caught my eye because of the eye-popping color on the front cover (and the feature quilt is even cooler than it first appears, see below). And the advertised “T-shirt quilt” drew my attention because I have a huge box of old T-shirts that someday I intend to do something with; the finished quilt they showed wasn’t particularly inspiring, but they included some useful instructions on stabilizing the jersey fabric before you cut and sew it. There are a few additional cool things that I noticed:

  • There are a lot of projects in this issue! They’re not kidding about 32 projects.
  • Very few of the projects are full-sized bed quilts. This is in stark contrast to Quiltmaker, which might feature a few smaller wall quilts, and maybe one not-quilt project per issue. Most of the projects in here are much smaller and more manageable, including things like table runners, and some cute purses.
  • The instructions are fairly comprehensive, including several sections at the end that deal with tricky topics, like binding and applique.
  • Patterns (like for applique pieces) are included on separate fold-out sheets, which can be pulled out and unfolded. This strikes me as a better system than Quiltmaker’s, which prints the patterns on the regular pages, forcing you to make photocopies to avoid cutting up the magazine.

In particular, two projects really leapt out at me: the cover quilt (click for a larger version):
Polka Dots quilt
Because I love bright colors and scrappy quilts. I think the designer made some poor choices in a few places (using a too-colorful print as a “background” fabric in one place) but in general I think it’s really clever and fun.

And this Kaleidoscope pattern:
Kaleidoscope wall quilt
Which I think could be much cooler with different color placements, in order to emphasize some of the secondary patterns. Plus, they included piecing instructions for this block that don’t involve partial seams!

So anyway, I got a lot out of this magazine. I’ll definitely be keeping it on the shelf next to my Quiltmakers, but I don’t think it’ll replace them, nor will I look into subscribing. I’ll also happily loan it to any Crackpots who are curious!

One Response to “Magazine Review: Quilts And More”

  1. Marty says:

    I have subscribed to Quilting Arts Magazine. It has the most gorgeous photos. The quilts (or almost quilts) are quite artsy rather than traditional. Its primary emphasis is articles about techniques and artists instead of patterns. There seems to be quite a bit of information about fabric embellishments (beads, paints, manipulation).

    Another magazine I find interesting is Belle Armoire, which is about various kinds of wearable art. Somewhat far-out clothing and polymer clay seem to be the main features. I’m not sure I’d subscribe, but I have had lots of fun drooling over the ones I got on eBay.

    My favorite quilting magazine is Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine. The featured quilts seem to be a little more complex than those in Quiltmaker (not that I’ve made any…), and it has articles about the history of quilting, types of quilting, and quilters in addition to patterns.

    Our library has an excellent collection of quilting books, and many of those move in and out of our house at regular intervals. If I were quilting instead of reading, I might make a dent in my stash.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.