A Book Review and a Chat About Patchwork Blocks – Few Shapes and 1,000s of Blocks

tempThere’s a new craze going around, apparently(!), that involves having a minimalist wardrobe. By this I don’t been having a tiny piece of furniture but having a limited amount of clothes inside it. Although the first does sound funnier!

Instead of having 5 work outfits involving separate shoes, shirt, handbag, skirt, pullover, coat, etc, you now have one main item and you mix it up by adding or taking away a small selection of ‘bits’. You could change your shoes, have a different pullover, wear a skirt instead of trousers, add a pretty scarf, etc, etc. All you need to do is…

Accessorize darling!

I don’t tend to wear any jewellery, so when I once tried this approach by adding a huge bright red wooden bauble necklace to my normal boring everyday clothes, elder son greeted me at the bedroom door and declared (with horror I might add):

“Oh no mummy, you look like a lady!”

Thanks son.

The point is that you need very few parts to achieve many different results.


If you have looked at, browsed, or studied the many books filled with patchwork block patterns, you will soon notice that a lot of the patterns use the same pieces but put them together in a different order. Some patterns are even exactly the same shapes in exactly the same order but just have a difference in colors used for each segment. 

Is this really a different pattern?

For me the jury is still out (local phrase meaning I’m still thinking about it!)

There is a rather clever patchwork book with the snappy title of…

“Traditional Patchwork Quilt Patterns with Plastic Templates: Instructions for 27 Easy-to-Make Designs”

and it does exactly what it says on the label.

The cleverness of this book is that the author, Rita Weiss, has recognized that a lot of commonly sewn patchwork blocks are made up of the same pieces. Hence, having templates for 27 patterns may seem like a lot but in reality there are only a handful of templates needed.

It’s great if you are new to patchwork as:-

  • The instructions are fairly easy to follow with lots of sketches that I love;
  • You don’t have to know the terminology for the different shapes and sewing methods as Rita explains everything;
  • Instead of heading out and spending a fortune on straight edges and giant templates with different angled corners, this book has all the basic templates you need; 
  • You don’t need to master your measuring and cutting skills either, or follow some clever short-cut method of getting 22 pieces from one accurately cut square. You just place your template provided anywhere on your fabric, draw round it, and cut it out.

Discover this gem of a guide – which will help the experienced sew-ist as well as the beginner. Rita also has lots of other interesting books of a similar style – such as a star pattern template book. Lots of things to droll over!

To buy this book, read all the awesome reviews or find out more, click on the picture of the book cover below. 

Once you have these templates you can ‘accessorize’ your patchwork with varying colours and layouts. No-one will ever know the few pieces you are actually using.

I’m now off to see if I can find a really vile necklace so that I can annoy elder son in the morning.

Bye for now



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