Sunday, June 11, 2023

Weekend Review: Word Play Quilts


Word Play Quilts / Tonya Ricucci
Bothell, WA : That Patchwork Place, c2010.
64 p.

If you want to piece text into your quilts but are intimidated by paper piecing, this improv piecing style might be just the thing for you. This is a short book, all focused on how to piece letters with improv techniques in order to create "Word Play Quilts". The author uses a lot of her own projects throughout to provide examples of how the techniques work together and the way they look in a finished quilt. Most of her work is heavily text-centric; there is more text than imagery, and the concept is very important. 

If this is your thing, you'd love this book. There is a chart included at the end to show you the order of piecing for each letter so if you're not comfortable free-styling there is still a way into this technique for you. Also, there is a fair bit of instruction on how to choose and blend fabrics to maintain readability (scale, print, colour tone etc) and discussion of reasons to choose text. There are tons of photos of projects but also clear steps and lots of instructional diagrams. And there's discussion of technicalities like managing curves and deciding on size and spacing to make sure your letters work together as words. 

It's not really an 'inspiration' book as much as a workbook of sorts. I don't think this is one I'd leaf through and expect to retain a lot of the detailed instruction. However, as a guide to actually piecing letters, I think it would be fabulous to follow along with as you are actually making your text. It's a practical guide aimed at how to make fabric text, and as such, it really does what it sets out to do. I'd highly recommend it if you want to learn this style of piecing in order to add text to your projects, whether that's a quilt or the back of a jacket ;) 

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