I bought this book on Amazon and the problem with Amazon is you cannot preview the book effectively.  When you buy from a local quilt shop you can flip thru the books and see what type of quilt patterns or technique is being taught.  YOU come away with a better idea of what you are paying for.  On Amazon you are buying a pig in the poke…. It can really get a surprise because you cannot tell what kind of projects are in the book.  To be honest (my bad) I went by the cover as I though those blocks were lovely.  I expected to have more quilts / projects in the same style.  Instead of MODERN STYLE of blocks that are done by applique I found a more FOLK ART style of projects. Motifs that I have seen for years … fish, baskets, hearts, birds, trees. To me the style of these motifs are more folk art then modern.   Are they modern motifs I am not entirely sure.  She does have some abstract quilt motifs of flying scattered triangles, a project with flames and another projects of circles.

What I do love about the book is the FMQ done by Angela Walters there are great close up pictures of the FMQ.  As a matter of fact I think some of the pictures of the FMQ in this book are better than in the books about FREE MOTION QUILTING.  I love the appliques that are quilted in the motifs.  The applique blocks that are not quilted in look kind of baggy to me…. The bigger the applique motif and the less quilting that is in the motif … the baggier it seems to me.  I have had this thought about all applique that does not have some FMQ or thread painting in it to tack it down with the background.  (THIS is my personal opinion it does not mean it is the correct way to do applique.  I think it is a matter of personal preference.)

Take into consideration when you read the review that I have at least 25 applique books that I have collected, read and used in the 8 years since I started learning to quilt.  I have been exposed to every APPLIQUE technique that exist and there is not a lot of new information in this book.  I however do not do a lot of applique.  I have read multiple books by Annie Smith, Mimi Dietich, Beth Ferrier, Elly Sienkiewicz, Sharon Pederson, Jane Townswick, Dilys Fronks, Bea Oglesby, Penny Haren, Janet Pittman  and several other quilt teachers.  (All motifs are pretty much traditional, Baltimore, folk art, and realistic or landscape. None of these are modern but then again they are much older books.)

This book, MODERN APPLIQUE WORKBOOK, is picture heavy, in that there are a lots of pictures and visual explanation of the techniques and instructions. Jenifer does a good explanation of the various supplies you need and how to use them.  She goes into details on how to prepare your background and applique fabrics.  She shows close up pictures of several stitch styles to anchor the applique to the background fabric: blind hem stitch, plain straight stitch, triple straight stitch, zig zag, scribble stitch, blanket stitches and feather stitch.  She laces the pages with helpful hints, my favorite was a design tip on modifying a commercial / published motif to match the level of your skill rather than stressing out over a too hard / intricate motif.  As she said your skill level will improve over time.  For a brand new quilter who wants to learn applique I would recommend some of the older workshop books that have multiple techniques.  I have listed several below.

Of the eleven projects in this book I may make my own version of three projects.  Would I buy the book again… probably NOT.  I had been on the look-out for a book with modern applique motifs.  I cannot decide if it is the motifs in this book or is it me, as I have only found a one or two motifs I would like to replicate.   I have found my best source for modern applique motifs have been the 100 Quilt Blocks Magazine that is published once or twice a year. They also publish a magazine of quilts made from the patterns from the 100 BLOCKS MAGAZINE.

I rate books on a 5 star system, I would give this book a rating of 3 stars.  I will wait a while then review this book again.

Applique Books I  can recommend:

Applique the Basics and Beyond by Jane Pittman (Prepared Applique by Hand and Machine, fusible.  Realistic Floral Motifs)

ULTIMATE APPLIQUE GUIDE BOOK by Annie Smith (Hand, Fusible  and Machine Applique techniques.  Just about every technique known.  Traditional motifs)

Penny Haren’s, PIECED APPLIQUE .. Intricate blocks made easy!  Ms Haren developed her own method of duplicating pieced blocks using applique.  I have made several blocks using this technique.  I do prefer piecing to this style of applique… but I have found it a useful technique when I wanted to hide a mistake… DO NOT ASK.

BETH FERRIER developed HAND APPLIQUE by Machine technique. She has a series of books and pattern that use this technique extensively.  The motifs range from folk art / simple to detailed.  Mostly floral motifs.

Any of Jane Townswick and Bea Oglesby have multiple books mostly floral, nature, realistic motifs.  Earlier books have instruction in how to applique but later books have little or no instruction in applique as they expect you to know how applique.

Machine Applique for the Terrified Quilter by Sharon Pederson… a DVD is also available.  She has a broad range of applique motifs from traditional to more contemporary.

OFF TOPIC > Can anybody tell me what is the difference between Contemporary and Modern Quilts?  I am totally confused on that aspect of quilting and the differences between those style of quilts.

Happy Quilting,






  1. Hi Nonnie. You made me giggle on the podcast when you talked about my accent. I don’t have an accent, you do!!!
    Thanks for reviewing that book. I’ve seen it too and been attracted to the cover because I thought it would be modern style blocks done by appliqué, but I’m not interested in folk art type motifs so you’ve saved me some dollars.

    1. Ms Lottie I am a collector of accents. I came across such a diverse collection of dialects with my patients. I enjoy trying to figure out what their nationality is from their accent. I do so enjoy yours.

  2. I tend to think of “Contemporary” quilts as art quilts and “Modern” quilts as ones that use traditional pattern and methods but from a different perspective. That’s just my take on the subject : ) As a “traditional” quilter, I am really enjoying the fresh use of colors, space, and patterns being used by the Modern quilt movement.

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