Every so often, I thought it would be fun to share a review of a stitching book that I think is just fab. I love books about all kinds of needlework, traditional and modern and I confess, I do have quite a collection. I use all my books all the time for reference, inspiration and patterns and sometimes (as in this case) just to curl up with and drool!
I came across this book in my research about wholecloth quilts. I have long hankered after making one of these, but they seem such intimidating projects. I found a second hand copy of the book on amazon and I can only say, that it is simply a feast for the eyes, if you are interested in quilt history and especially wholecloth quilts and handquilting. The photography is sumptuous and if you love fabrics, you will love this book.
It is amazing to read how these quilts were produced in Marseille, France in the 18th and 19th centuries. Essentially this is collection of wholecloth quilts with corded raised work and 'Broderie de Marseille'. There are also pieces about the amazing quilted clothing of the 1700's which must have been warm as well as beautiful to wear (perhaps I could do with something like this for the swedish winter!) . Many of the beautiful french provencal fabrics of the era are showcased here, along with the traditional whitework quilts and their intricate patterns that take your breath away. The skill and patience required to do this is staggering and if you feel so inspired there are ten projects in the book to have a go at, from small things to what seem to me, to be 'epic' projects. I can tell you that a small one of them is firmly on my 'to do' list and once I get started on it, I'll post my progress.
Unfortunately, I don't think that I can reproduce any of the images from the book due to copywright laws, which is a shame because the photographs are just delicious. Kathryn Berenson's research is impeccable and the story of how these skills and fabrics crossed oceans and continents found themselves in royal courts and rural hideouts is a treat to read.
Anyway, I can only say that this book is simply lovely, Ruby x