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Book Review: When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters

When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters


When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters
Joan Ford
Taunton Press; $24.95


Do you have a UFO? Or maybe two? I have a few in various stages of completion. Why have I not finished them? Joan Ford’s theory is that something went wrong, and that is why the quilt is in the UFO pile. If that is your excuse, and even if it is not, you will find a wealth of tips to help you get past what is holding you back. Joan shares her knowledge as an experienced quilter, teacher and pattern designer. Additionally, she interviewed both experts in our industry as well as everyday quilters to share their frustrations and successes. The book starts with a look at the hardware, aka your tools; then moves onto your software, aka your fabric; then to making your blocks; sewing the quilt; quilting the quilt; and caring for it. You can read the book cover to cover and enjoy the tips, plus Joan’s wonderful sense of humor, or you can start with where you are stuck. Some of the tips I liked were Joan’s friend Beth and her idea of filling a pincushion with a pin to represent each UFO. She moved the pins to a second pincushion when each quilt was completed, and only when she had moved all the pins did she allow herself to purchase fabric for a new project.  Another fun tip is from Amy, who always writes her name in permanent ink on one of the seam allowances. This way the name of the maker of the quilt top survives.  You will also learn how to make the knots disappear and how to test your marking tools. And, if you look hard enough, you will find my “bad” experience that turned “good.” If you are looking for a good troubleshooting guide with a sense of humor, this book is your answer.


You can look for the book at your favorite quilt shop or book retailer. Here is the link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.



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