Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Recommended Book For Quilters: Wollquilts by Edda Gehrmann

I just received a second-hand copy of this wonderful book in the post today.

It is called "Wollquilts: von Glencheck bis Kaschmir" by Edda Gehrmann, published by Herausgeber und Lektorat in 2002. ISBN 3-9806815-4-8 [I use for finding out-of-print books such as this one].

Since it is a German book, I was expecting the text to be only in German, but was pleasantly surprised to find that there is an English translation throughout.

Here were some of my favourite quilts from the book:-

The quilts were mainly made from bags of assorted wool fabric scraps which were passed around the members of a Berlin patchwork group (mixing knitted with woven and felted wools in different weights, and sometimes other fabrics such as cotton, velvet or wool mixes). There is often a commentary by the maker discussing what they thought of the scraps (usually disappointment at the dull assortment!), followed by how inspiration hit them, and how they made such beautiful pieces from the remnants.

Several makers commented on the problems with cutting tiny pieces or trying to iron flat seams. The most successful pieces seemed to use very simple shapes - squares or rectangles, but with thought given to the placing of the different tones and colours of the fabrics.

The book has a section of tips for sewing with wool fabrics at the back, and patterns for six of the quilts found in the book, but it is more of a gallery of inspirational images than a 'how-to' book.

I can tell that this will become one of my favourite books, and it has inspired me to have a go with some of the wool and wool mix fabrics in my collection - maybe just a wall hanging to begin with.

Initial gleanings from the book are that:-
  • anything goes with regard to mixing weights and types of fabric
  • simple shapes will probably be easiest to work with
  • focusing on colour and tone placement is important for a successful design
  • tying is an easier option than trying to quilt very thick fabrics
  • larger seam allowances are best to stop fraying (1 - 1.5 cm)
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