Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two Thumbs UP!

Christine from Schiffer Publishing was nice enough to send me another book to review and man, it is a doozie!!  It’s called “Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955: A 100-Year Photographic History”.   And I am thoroughly enjoying it!!

It is not your everyday, run of the mill quilting book…not a pattern in sight…but it is chock full of quilts….gorgeous quilts!  The author, Janet Finley, took her love of quilting and quilts and her love of photography and melded the two together!  Genius!

There are over 330 vintage photographs in this book…and Janet’s rule was that each photo had to be taken between 1855-1955  and it HAD to have a quilt in the picture!  My kind of picture!!


Wouldn’t this quilter be shocked to know that her picture would one day (150 years after the fact) grace the cover of this book!  She probably would have SMILED at the mere thought!

Janet Finley starts the book off in 1855 and continues on down to 1955…a hundred years of quilt history.  With each photo, there is a story…or as much of a story as she could piece together.  Most of the time, Janet used the photographic elements, the period dress and hair styles to determine the date of each photo.


Did you know that back then, there was a traveling photographer who would travel to your home to take your picture?  ( I didn’t know that…and frankly I had never thought of it!  Imagine NOT having a digital camera!!  WE are so lucky!!)  Imagine in your lifetime having only ONE or TWO photos of yourself…kind of sad I think… 


So the traveling photographer shows up at your farm house with camera in hand…wanting to take your family’s picture…so what do you do??…(besides run a comb through your hair and wash off the baby’s face!)  Why, you grab your favourite quilt and nail it to the side of the barn as a back drop…(this will ensure that you will get into Janet’s book over 150 years later!)  That’s what happened to this boy…hair still wet from the water from the pump.  Mom’s gorgeous Crazy Patch nailed (yikes!!) to the side of the house…and “DON’T smile!”  yelled the photographer because NO ONE smiled back then…(I added this…I’m just guessing!)

And how could the following woman NOT smile…or giggle or laugh like a hyena!!  Look what she is wearing!!


Yup…that is a Crazy Patch dress…and on her feet, boards with wheels..strapped to her boots!  She is off to roller blade!  Loved this picture!

And LOOK at Grandma…the photographer must have had a fit!!  See the faint smile on her face…she WANTED TO SMILE so badly…after all she IS quilting…probably her one and only passion…besides making lace hats! 


I also loved this photo…surviving twins was a rarity but just LOOK at the CRAZY QUILT being proudly displayed in the centre!!  Obviously the quilter was proud of both her accomplishments!


Yes, I am REALLY enjoying this book!  This has become my break book…you know when you are having your afternoon coffee or want a quiet time…you pick it up…it’s a book to ponder on…really LOOK at the pictures, think about the magnificent quilts and how they were made and then of course…there are the people.  I read what Janet has to say…and then ponder some more! 

Finally it made me think of my own quilts…I rarely EVER have my picture taken in front of my quilts…how about you?  Maybe we should start doing that…just in case someone ever writes a book about quilting 100 years from now!  But in our case we are going to SMILE…because we have got a heck of a lot to smile about!!  (ie sewing machines, computers, TV, phones, cars, airplanes…the list goes on and on and on:o))))) 

SO…if you like quilts…or history….or old photos and their stories…you are going to absolutely LOVE this book! 

Thank you SEW much, Christine and Schiffer Publishing for letting me review this book!  “Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955: A 100-Year Photographic History” is a book that I will enjoy for many years to come!  It gets a two thumbs up (and a BIG smile) from this quilter!

Have a wonderful Wednesday and Happy Quilting!~P


  1. What a wonderful book! Some people are so good at documenting and labeling their, not so much. Might have to change my ways if I want to go down in history! lol

  2. The book sounds great. I love having books like this around the house (coffee table books).
    Now here is the glitch on this book... The cover is horrible. So stereotypical. It really is too bad since the book sounds very interesting. If it's a paper cover, I could remove the cover...
    Thanks for the review. Love the commentary!

  3. That looks and sounds like just my kind of book!
    You are so right that we should have our pictures made in front of our quilts. I rarely do that (only during a shop hop when I'm there with my patterns). Thanks for letting us know about this book!

  4. Wow, I love it! I am going to put this book on my wishlist!
    I take pictures of my cats with my quilts, but not me!

  5. You definitely made me laugh and ponder! Sounds like a very interesting book...and we can never get enough pictures of quilts, so thanks for sharing this book! Sounds like a great one!

  6. It sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. That looks fabulous. I've just pre-ordered it from that well-known online book store.

  8. Sounds like a great read, however l think nobody is smiling because they probably had missing we can be thankful for modern dental care!