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Book Review: Your Best Year Yet!

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Your Best Year Yet!

Jenny Ditzler

Grand Central Publishing; $13.95

One of my favorite planning resources is Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny S. Ditzler. I have been using this little book for years and recommend it each year. It offers a framework to define your personal values, identify the various roles you play and create goals for those roles. Here are some of Jinny’s questions plus a couple of my own:

  1. What did I accomplish?
  2. What were my biggest disappointments?
  3. What did I learn?
  4. How do I limit myself and how can I stop?
  5. What are my goals for next year?
  6. Where do I need to find education or support to get there?
  7. How can I make sure I achieve my top goals?

I find one of the most empowering aspects of Jinny’s system is the look at the successes of the year. It allows you focus on your successes and not get weighed down by what did not work. It also lets you get off the treadmill of working on your business to see if you really are on course.

Here is a quote from the book I particularly like: “We must prepare our soil before we’re ready to plant the seeds we want to grow in the new year.”

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Fast, Fusible Flower Quilts

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Fast, Fusible Flower Quilts
Nancy Mahoney
Martingale & Co., $24.99

Well-known author, teacher, fabric designer and award-winning quilter, Nancy Mahoney, has released her 11th book with Martingale. Inspired by memories of her own gardening and the vast selection of floral fabrics on the market, Nancy has created 11 easy-to-make, full-size block quilts, which can easily be adapted to a size of your choosing. To simplify the appliqué, all but one quilt features fused floral segments, with fusible and quiltmaking instructions. The last includes folded flowers with patchwork blocks. I liked that the samples were both in bolds and 30’s fabrics offering a wider appeal. And, I particularly liked the bolder quilts, including Orange Marmalade, which included a secondary pattern, as well as the clear-toned Precious Peonies, a favorite flower.


Look for the book at your favorite quilt shop or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Deploy That Fabric

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Jen Eskridge

Stash Books; $22.95


Who could resist this book title in a week with a patriotic holiday? At some point military uniforms become decommissioned, and quilter and military spouse Jen Eskridge takes the position that we should upcycle them to celebrate service members. Jen starts by showing you how to deconstruct uniforms then offers 23 projects for using your pieces, Projects range from the simple tote to quilts. Jen asks early in the book, “What matches a uniform?” She answers with, “Everything.” Yes, uniforms are a neutral and can be your light or dark. It was interesting to see how they just become the background among pinks and blues. The book also includes a techniques section that might be helpful for those who come from a non-sewing background.


Look for the book at your favorite quilt retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon  if you would like to learn more about the book.


Book Review: The AQS Guide to Quilt Care

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

The AQS Guide to Quilt Care
Bobbie A. Aug
American Quilter’s Society; $9.95

Written by AQS certified appriasers Bobbie A. Aug, Carol Butzke, Linda Honsberger and Gerald Roy, this revised edition of The AQS Guide to Quilt Care is designed to offer the reader guidance to protect their quilts, whether heirlooms or new. It covers basic quilt care, restoration or repair, displaying quilts, shipping quilts and insuring quilts. For the textile student, the book includes a glossary of terms and resources. I think this would be a handy reference for longarm quilters to provide their toppers with a completed quilt.

Look for the book at your favorite quilt retailer. Here’s a link to  Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: “Crossroads: Construction, Marketings and Structure”

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Crossroads: Construction, Markings, and Structure
Nancy Crows
Breckling Press; $22.95

Crossroads: Construction, Markings, and StructureFans of Nancy Crow will want to devour this showcase of her recent work created during 2003-2007. The collection of 25 improvisational quilts represents work from three distinct series of quilts and marks a turning point in her work. Constructions began in 1995 and features quilts that are improvised with strong architectural elements. The series now numbers 90 quilts. Markings explores calligraphic mark making applied to quiltmaking. This series grows into Structures, which features silk-screened wholecloth work with little or no piecing. The works in this catalog debuted in a solo exhibit at The Snyderman Gallery in Philadelphia in the fall of 2007, and David Hornung, painter, former quiltmaker and chairman of the department of art and art history at Adelphi University, wrote the forward. The quilts are complimented by copies of Nancy’s sketchbooks and photos of work in progress. Here’s a link to Amazon. if you’re interested in adding this book to your library.

Book Review: “Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth”

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth
Rayna Gillman
C&T Publishing; $27.95

Creat Your Own Hand Printed ClothIf your New Year’s resolution includes expanding your quilting or fiber tool box, then this book will do the trick. Rayna Gillman takes ordinary objects, such as corrugated cardboard, leftover fencing, yesterday’s newspaper or bubble wrap, and shows you how to create your own fabric using eight different techniques. Techniques include stamping, gelatin plate printing, soy wax batik, discharge printing and more. Her directions are easy-to-follow and accompanied by excellent up-close photographs. A wonderful resource for expanding your horizons at surface design.

Here’s an Amazon link if you’d like to add this book to your library.

Book Review: “The Tale of Alice’s Quilt”

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

The Tale of Alice's Quilt
“The Tale of Alice’s Quilt

Jennifer Blomgren
Martingale & Co.

If you are looking for a book for the young person in your life, this is a good choice. It follows the story of Alice June, who receives the blocks made by her aunt Alice Patricia. The blocks, each an appliquéd butterfly, provide the thread for the younger Alice to discover more about her family and how a love of quilting connects generations. The book includes directions to make the butterfly quilt. Here’s a link to Amazon for the book.

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