Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Review - Fresh from the Prairies

Hi everyone:

I'm really excited about Fresh from the Prairies 12 Quilts That Capture the Spirit of the West as I've been waiting for its release since I met the authors, Devon Lavigne and Sharon Smith at a quilt show a year ago. I finally managed to get a copy of their first book from Sharon and Devon at the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts. It was definitely worth the wait!

Fresh from the Prairies by Devon Lavigne and Sharon Smith
Photo courtesy of
Inspired by the Alberta prairies (yup, these are Alberta gals), Devon and Sharon have created 12 quilts using traditional blocks with fresh colours. While the samples might use reproduction prints and florals - fairly traditional fabrics - Devon and Sharon throw in unexpected bursts of colour to give their designs a fresh, modern look. 
Wagons West from Fresh from the Prairies
Photo courtesy of
The patterns in the book are mostly pieced, with a few foundation pieced designs and range from beginner to intermediate in difficulty. They are scrappy in nature, but a controlled scrappy so that the block designs are evident. What makes these designs "work" is the use of variety, value and rest that Devon and Sharon use in each project and that they explain at the beginning of the book. Each project also has helpful tips and information pertinent to constructing that particular quilt. 
Detail from Fresh from the Prairies
Photo courtesy of

I appreciated the diagrams and detailed instructions included in the book and enjoyed the quilt names, such as "Cowboy Up" and "Showdown". I also liked that the table of contents included the quilt photos with the names, along with the difficulty level, so I could see all the projects at a glance. Detailed photos of each of the quilts are included in the pattern instructions, which allowed me to see the fabrics as well as the quilting details. Of course the wonderful prairie photographs added the final touch to the book. 

If you enjoy scrappy quilts with a modern twist, you'll enjoy Fresh from the Prairies. For more of Devon and Sharon's work, "like" their Facebook page.

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