Home Competitions A World of Quilts – book review and competition
world of quilts, modern quilt, contemporary quilt, cassandra ellis

A World of Quilts – book review and competition

by Camilla

For Cassandra Ellis quilts are “the absolute summation of homes, families, communities and individuals”. In the introduction to her new book, A World of Quilts, she talks eloquently about the magic imbued in quilts through their making. She explains that what she finds most compelling about quilts is that their existence is about need (to give shelter, warmth and comfort), but they offer this while also giving a voice to their maker (to tell the story of their maker’s creativity and their family’s history). It’s this – the history and creativity of the people who make them rather than the technical skills they possess – that really interests her.

I have seen quilts of aching beauty made from little more than scraps, and many more ‘wonky’ quilts that are truly moving

It’s fitting then that this book strips the process of quilt-making back to its basics, guides you through the fundamental processes of quilt-making in a ‘masterclass’ and gives you the secrets to 25 different quilt patterns that you can adjust and adapt. It gives you the tools and techniques; the magic is yours to add. As Cassandra writes on the book’s inner sleeve: “Quilts are just fabric that has been cut up and sewn back together again in a way that makes the maker happy.”

indigo quilt, contemporary quilting

The instructions are clear and easy to follow, but this book is so much more than that. It is a book to covet, inspire and learn from. Each quilt has an introduction that sets out the origins of the design, cutting and piecing instructions, a simple diagram and photographs to swoon over (if you have ever made a quilt and struggled to photograph it, look no further than this book).

The quilts Cassandra makes (and shows you how to make) in A World of Quilts are contemporary while being steeped in history and tradition. They are glorious – and this book makes you feel that you really could make something glorious too.

A World of Quilts by Cassandra Ellis is out now in hardback
Published by Jacqui Small, £25. Photographs by Catherine Gratwicke


quilt book review

Win a copy of A World of Quilts

We have three copies of A World of Quilts by Cassandra Ellis to give away. To be in with a chance of winning one, just leave a comment at the end of this blog post or email us at competitions@folksy.co.uk with the subject line “Teach me to quilt”. The competition closes at midnight on Sunday 5 October and winners will be chosen at random after this date.

Please note that because this book is full of big quilts it weighs a lot and costs a lot to send, so this competition is sadly only open to UK residents.

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Alison September 30, 2014 - 1:19 pm

perfect for a dreamy winter’s day by the fire (and sewing machine)

Hilary September 30, 2014 - 1:23 pm

Beautiful ethos ~ beautiful quilts ~ I would love to win this book! :)

Chrissy September 30, 2014 - 1:43 pm

How gorgeous these quilts are! I’d love a copy of the book – it might motivate me to make use of the mountain of fabric scraps I have, and save a bit on heating this winter!

Maralyn Smith September 30, 2014 - 1:47 pm

My grandmother and mother made some beautiful quilts, but I’m afraid to say that my efforts aren’t very good! I love some of the old ‘American’ quilts and would love to learn how to quilt properly. Hopefully this book would provide me with the know how to perfect the craft and then maybe I could show off my handy work instead of hiding it in the cupboard!!

Ali jenkins September 30, 2014 - 3:37 pm

Wow! Love the contemporary aproach to a traditional craft.x

Philippa Lundberg September 30, 2014 - 3:41 pm

Hi Cassandra,
It’s the Maker that always interests me too .
What’s gone into the dicission to make.
Inspiration , when they make , even music listen to whilst making .
Quilting has recently entered my life and the history is fascinating
I’m intrigued now to read your book. it looks absolutely amazing.

Claire Brown September 30, 2014 - 4:08 pm

This book looks gorgeous, I would love to win it! Having a quilt still unfinished, that I started over 8yrs ago, I could do with just this sort of inspiration.

Susan Duguid September 30, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Looks gorgeous. Would love to see more!

Amanda Bloomfield October 1, 2014 - 7:41 am

What a fabulous book! Bringing the ‘how to’ to those of us who may normally be too flummoxed to have a go at such an historically necessary, intricate, and beautiful craft. My scrap box is at the ready. :-)

Heather and Gary October 1, 2014 - 9:40 am

Such beautiful work.
I’ve hauled around an unfinished quilt for years and hope that winning such an inspirational book would nudge me into finally finishing my sadly incomplete quilt.

Wilde Works October 1, 2014 - 12:33 pm

There are few things that transform a room more spectacularly and instantaneously into a ‘feel-good place to be” than a beautifully-crafted handmade quilt. A World of Quilts promises to take you to that same place!

Kim Styles October 2, 2014 - 12:39 am

What a beautiful art Quilting is- I remember making my first quilt at the tender age of 12 just using hexagons and Laura Ashley squares. I used to save my pocket money and loved rummaging through the baskets of squares they used to sell .Then using them and old cut up summers dresses I made my quilt!

Jane Wheble October 2, 2014 - 9:00 am

The sample photos from this book are beautiful and inspirational, and as a fan of the ‘homespun & wonky’ , It would be a treat to see the rest of this book and make another quilt….

chani lewis October 2, 2014 - 10:30 am

This book is fabulous, inspiring and has me reaching for my fabric stash ( and favourite CD ). So fingers crossed x

Tomas October 2, 2014 - 1:51 pm

Such an inspiration!

Julia K Walton October 2, 2014 - 1:53 pm

I definitely agree that the wonky, scrap quilts are so endearing! And every one is a work of art in its own right, with a story to tell. This looks like a wonderful and inspiring book.

Arabella Bond October 2, 2014 - 2:00 pm

Stunning work… I am a huge quilt fan and never fail to spot the really old ones. Usually these go through generations in a family and it is a very real and tactile object of desire! My mum is working her way through the family giving a quilt to each of the children and now it is my turn! I hope this book could be the inspiration for it!

Louise October 2, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Would love this to start me off on making quilts, so beautiful!

Isabelle Steinhauslin October 2, 2014 - 2:26 pm

What a wonderful book, I usually do not like quilts because the patterns are too classical, but these patterns seem modern and ‘different’.

Bekk October 2, 2014 - 2:37 pm

This book looks great. I’ve wanted to get started on my own quilt for a while now. It looks like there is lots of inspiration in this book.

Meg Radley October 2, 2014 - 2:49 pm

Ooh lovely, what tantalising snippets of photos! I’d love to win this to inspire me to finish something larger than a cushion.

Colleen Scott October 2, 2014 - 2:58 pm

You can tell this book was put together with love. It’s a treasure and so inspiring !!! I am off to my scrap bag!!!

Helen October 2, 2014 - 3:05 pm

These are beautiful and calming. Isn’t it great that the rich heritage of quilt-making can be interpreted in such fresh and yet contemplative ways? I would love to read this book!

Michele October 2, 2014 - 3:17 pm

The 2 quilts shown are simple and elegant. I hope to see more. Being a quilt maker myself I am always looking for inspiration.

Steph Thornton October 2, 2014 - 3:31 pm

Teach me to quilt.
I’ve not done any quilting since the evening before my eldest daughter was born – now she’s nearly 16 years old! I still have that particular quilt-in-progress waiting for the inspired day when I will finish it; this book may provide that inspiration. :)

Addy Gerrard October 2, 2014 - 4:18 pm

This looks like a beautiful and inspiring book. I would love to learn how to quilt and this would be the perfect way to get started.

DEBS October 2, 2014 - 4:47 pm

PLEASE PLEASE send me your book, I feel so eager that I can’t wait to take a look, I need to find a perfect quilt before my stagnant brain doth wilt, on winter days to come a cosy fireplace will hum, with stitches all aplenty a quilt to be looked at with envy, and when my final stitch is done, there’s a quilt for my beautiful mum.

Sandra Haimes October 2, 2014 - 4:53 pm

This sounds like my ideal book. I would love to win a copy.

Carmen walton October 2, 2014 - 5:15 pm

It’s great to deconstruct and demystify quilts so that new people join in the craft and the imperfect efforts of existing quilters can see the light of day and be appreciated like people, with their wonderful flaws. A lovely modern approach.

Sarah October 2, 2014 - 6:29 pm

I love the idea of the wonky, scrappy quilts made for warmth and comfort :-)

Emma Ellams October 2, 2014 - 7:38 pm

This looks great and all the quilts look beautiful

LYNNE COLLINS October 2, 2014 - 7:41 pm

This would be the Perfect Gift for a dear friend who loves Quilting but is fighting Cancer!!

Clare Adams October 2, 2014 - 9:22 pm

What a beautiful book – looks full of inspiration for my next quilt.

Liz October 2, 2014 - 9:40 pm

Deliciously inspiring!

Tracey October 3, 2014 - 7:01 am

I’ve been quilting for a very long time and still find it fascinating that a few simple scraps of fabric can make such beautiful objects. This new book looks like it could be very inspirational.

LEE HARDY October 3, 2014 - 10:13 am

These look fab.

Sharon Chambers October 3, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Oh, this book looks gorgeous.

I’ve started so many quilt projects, but I always get stuck at the actual ‘quilting’ part!

Perhaps this will get me over that ‘hump’!

Nana Louise Nielsen October 3, 2014 - 1:22 pm

Beautiful quilts and the pictures are gorgeous too.

Tina Vincent October 3, 2014 - 5:11 pm

A beautiful book from a wonderful quilt artist – looks to be so inspiring and a treasure to visit for many years.

Sue Carter October 3, 2014 - 9:13 pm

One day I will make time to make that special quilt!

KATHY D October 3, 2014 - 9:26 pm

Wonderful book – some lovely inspiration

Kerry Lethbridge October 3, 2014 - 10:46 pm

Beautiful I’d love to give this to my mum for Christmas

lynn neal October 4, 2014 - 10:18 am

The wonderful photographs in this book would inspire me to have a go myself!

Saskia de Ruiter October 4, 2014 - 11:35 am

Such beautiful quilts, I can’t wait to start making some of them!
Hope I win.

Ann Williams October 4, 2014 - 11:49 am

I love quilts. They are so much more than practical items as they often tell a story. As a child I had a quilt on my bed made from scraps saved from dresses made for my mother and I and I still have it. A wonderful reminder of those childhood days and now a living museum of the fabrics of the day. So much history is written in quilts and I love seeing them in museums but even more so in family homes still fulfilling their purpose. I would love to win this book to share the wider picture and gain inspriation for creating my own.

Chris Fletcher October 4, 2014 - 12:18 pm

This looks fantastic, count me in!

Lynn Fullarton October 4, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Wow, what a great prize – love quilts.

maggie fawcett October 4, 2014 - 2:02 pm

Love this book – has a nice modern approach-love the photographs too which are a real inspiration!

Clare S October 4, 2014 - 3:37 pm

I would really love to have this book. My grandmother made some beautiful quilts with scraps of material leftover from dressmaking.

Mark Bacon October 4, 2014 - 6:46 pm

My mother in law just finished a quilt for my baby son and i adore them both. She would love this book.

Hannah October 4, 2014 - 9:25 pm

I’d love to win this to teach my eldest daughter how to quilt and to make a keepsake to pass on to them x

Angela Paull October 4, 2014 - 9:44 pm

This looks awesome – would love to be more in touch with my crafty side :)

Kay Ellerby October 5, 2014 - 1:10 am
pauline black October 5, 2014 - 5:16 am

Absolutely beautiful book! yes please!

Pam Francis Gregory October 5, 2014 - 8:10 am

Looks great – Love quilting!

Helen West October 5, 2014 - 7:10 pm

Looks absolutely great! Would love this book, really looks like it would inspire me! Never tried to quilt before but I’m very keen

Jenny Fulton October 5, 2014 - 7:47 pm

Wow – What an interesting and inspirational book, giving a bit of history and explaining the story of quilting. Would love to own it!

Samantha R October 5, 2014 - 8:06 pm

looks like a great book, I would love to win

champaklal lad October 5, 2014 - 8:07 pm

this book looks and sounds great

Chrissie Burley October 5, 2014 - 9:09 pm

What an inspiring book to help us quilters see fabrics in a new dimension.

Marie Ross October 5, 2014 - 9:35 pm

This book looks awesome. I quilt & always on the lookout for more inspiration!

Emily October 5, 2014 - 9:39 pm

I’m currently tucked up under a beautiful lap quilt made by my mum for my 30th birthday. I wish I could sew anywhere near as good to be able to make even a basic quilt. I’d love to win this for my mum so she can be inspire to make even more beautiful quilts

lisa burford October 5, 2014 - 9:45 pm

Awesome book me and my girls would love to have this in our collection! Good luck everyone!

Shamila Amin October 5, 2014 - 9:53 pm


kath barker October 5, 2014 - 10:12 pm

Would love a copy please

Sam October 5, 2014 - 10:22 pm

Quilts are so tactile as well as beautiful to look at, they bring another dimension to textiles

Pam Powell October 5, 2014 - 10:32 pm

It would be fabulous for inspiration for a new project this winter

Kate F October 5, 2014 - 10:33 pm

I love all folk traditions and textiles. This book would be amazing to have!

Kasia October 5, 2014 - 10:39 pm

I love it. Just moved in to the new house and looking for some inspirations!

Agnieszka Kisielewska October 5, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Teach me to quilt! Another way to put my creative quirk into action!

Jan Hillier October 5, 2014 - 11:17 pm

Oh wow . I want to make something glorious too. Choose me!

Jay Ann Knox October 5, 2014 - 11:17 pm

I really need to learn to quilt and add another dimension to my sewing projects. Also, it’s freezing in this house in the winter so I could snuggle under one end whilst sewing the other……. Xx

Eilidh Soe-Paing October 5, 2014 - 11:24 pm

Looks like a wonderful book… a perfect Christmas present for my mum.

Leslie October 5, 2014 - 11:41 pm

Just what I was looking for – I would love to win this book.

Leslie October 5, 2014 - 11:42 pm

I would love to win this book. It is just what I have been looking for!

Finola Grant October 25, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Just came across this while browsing for sewing supplies. I am a quilter and I am in Canada, would love to buy the book . Where can I purchase it? Need a book store or online store connection. Thank you.

Sian October 27, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Hi Finola

If you follow this link to the book on Amazon you should find all the details and ISBN number so you can search for it locally!

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