I had been meaning to buy this book for ages, having somewhere seen a picture of the finished quilt. But I must say the formula put me off a bit. It is available either as a download or a CD rom. I like a paper book to be totally honest, if I am spending money. I have too many virtual books and I never look at them, and a CD rom would only get lost in my huge pile of (real) craft books. So I never bought it. I did however try my hand at making a block for this quilt, which looked fab and it inspired me to try and have a go at making a whole quilt based around houses and trees. But frankly I never would have done as I have never made flying geese blocks or pinwheel blocks and to gather all the info from all my different books meant I would have had this on my to do lost until I retired. At least.
So when I was offered the chance to review one of Vivebooks I jumped at it. They have just released a gorgeous looking modern smocking book, in fact there are two, and I think they hoped I would review that but I was way too drawn to the Scrap house quilt book to not go for that.
It was a right faff (for me, being impatient as I am) to download this ebook. I didn’t read the instructions, of course not, I just pressed the button and when it appeared not to do anything I pressed it again. And again until I had used up all my downloads. I emailed the editor who urged me to wait. The ebook has videos embedded in it and it is a big file. It just takes time. I grumbled and left the computer to it. I don’t like waiting! Anyway eventually it did download, but then I found I could not watch the videos. I tried everything, downloaded Adobe reader again, restarted the computer, still nothing. Poor Vivienne from Vivebooks got another, well more than one, email from me. She was trying to have a holiday too, bad me. Eventually we figured my macbook was automatically opening it as a straight up PDF in its own reader, which wouldn’t display the links. I have never before had to open anything in the actual reader application before, but once I did it worked fine. If I had read the download instructions I am sure it would have been easier although I doubt I would have worked out to open the actual app. Luckily Vivienne was very helpful. She explained that having videos embedded in the ebook is really pushing the boundaries and of course Apple are not great at co-operating with third party software hence my macbooks refusal to read the file properly.
Anyway. Long winded I know but I hope that means when you buy some books from their website (https://www.vivebooks.com/shop/scrap-house-quilt/) you will not have the same issues.
I am super glad I persevered though as the book is amazing and so much more than just any old quilting book. It teaches you lots of different techniques and having someone show you in a video how to make up a flying geese block is invaluable. A lot of people learn by being shown rather than reading it in words so this would really help all those people. Katharine, the writer/ teacher is amazing, I love the blocks and the freedom she gives you to just experiment and have a go, exactly the way I like teaching people. The only thing I did not like was the fabrics used but that is just me, and I am making mine in fun, bright, modern prints. I like that you don’t set out with a plan, you just add blocks as you go, I love working like that.
All in all a giant thumbs up to this book, this format and this wonderful little publisher for bringing this innovative format to the world. Check em out, they don’t just have books about sewing but all kinds of (mostly) crafty books.