The beautiful quilt on the cover sold the book to me. Since Amazon.com's listing doesn't have a photo, let me describe it. The cover quilt features a sampler of 12 different heart motifs. The designs are different enough to make this sampler quilt constantly interesting to sew but the heart motif and the fabric selection unify the quilt much more than many samplers I've seen.
Featured in the sampler are the Checkerboard Heart, pieced from small squares; the Log Cabin Heart, with a small heart applique added to this traditional design; Crazy at Heart, a planned crazy patch; Heart Turnaround, which has a simple Amish feel; and Star of My Heart, an Ohio Star variation with hearts. Creating this sampler will require the quilter to practice skills in intricate piecing, learn to make Prairie Points (little trianges that stick out from the quilt surface), work with curved seams on (appropriately) Curved Heart, and do a fair amount of applique.
In addition to the sampler quilt, "Celebration of Hearts" contains scores of other projects, each based on one of the blocks featured in the sampler: a variety of throw pillows, stuffed animals, an apron, slippers, a sewing bag, etc. Don't be deterred by the '80s looking colors of the cover quilt. As the quilts depicted inside prove, hearts are a timeless motif that can be incorporated into many looks. Among the ideas depicted in the book are ways to change the look of the sampler blocks for a southwestern theme, Christmas colors, an Amish look, and many Victorian florals.
One weakness of "Celebration of Hearst" is that it didn't have a lot of basic tips for a beginning quilter. Since this was the first quilt book I ever bought (fortunately not quite the first quilt I made), I was a bit at a loss to figure out the mechanics of putting my quilt together. I found that making my borders turn out the right length, based on the measurements provided and how I cut them, was frustrating. I've since discovered that many more recent quilt books suggest cutting them extra long--something these authors didn't mention.
Overall, however, a "Celebration of Hearts" was an absolute delight to make. (Okay, everything EXCEPT piecing the Ohio Star block was an absolute delight.) I absolutely loved the embellishments that they suggested, including the wandering ribbons and hodge-podge sprinkling of buttons that adorn several of the blocks. Since I was making the sampler from leftover fabric from my bridesmaids' and flower girls' dresses--and was divorced by the time I got around to actually making the quilt--I added one last embellishment that wasn't in the book: I tied my wedding ring to the final block, and was happy to be done with it.