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Posts Tagged ‘Projects’

Let’s take 15!

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018


Do you ever look at what others have accomplished and think you can’t possibly do that? We all have that comparison gremlin to contend with. Do you then fall back on your standard excuse? I just don’t have time!

I’m going to challenge you on that.

I wrote about “you management” as opposed to “time management” a few weeks back. Today I want to share a simple concept that might make a difference in your day.

Let’s call it Take 15.

Read more…

Book Review: When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

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.



Book Review: The Quilter’s Color Club

Sunday, September 18th, 2011







The Quilter’s Color Club

Christine E. Barnes
C&T Publishing; $27.95

Most quilters at some point need help with color and Christine Barnes offers the perfect way for you to gain color confidence. She found that when students took her workshops they wanted more color help, particularly in a group setting. That led to her creating a “color club,” where you can work with friends to explore color concepts and get feedback. She even offers tips if you want to work as a “color club of one.” The club works by following 12 hands-on exercises titled “Give It a Try!” In addition to the 12 exercises, Christine offers eight projects that build on what you’ve learned about color, including value, intensity, visual temperature, luminosity and more. The gallery section of the book features 35 examples of quilts and vests that demonstrate the color qualities. Christine also answers questions that she frequently gets from quilters about color. I loved Christine’s practical, easy-to-follow approach to understanding color concepts, and anyone who “joins the club” will see positive results in the color in her quilts.

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: Little Quilts for Big Occastions

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Little Quilts for Big Occasions
Sandi Colwell
Leisure Arts, $9.95

With Memorial Day just passed and Independence Day around the corner, I enjoy using my red, white and blue wall hanging to add the right touch to the holidays. I also have a Christmas quilt and a Thanksgiving table runner. If you are looking for a cute wall hanging to celebrate holidays in your home, this collection of seven small wall hangings from Sandi Cowell will fit the bill. Sandi offers patterns with valentine’s, Easter, patriotic, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday themes. Since I have a big birthday coming up next month, I have my eye on the sampler of six cupcakes.

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: Flip Flop Block Quilts

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Flip Flop Quilt Book

By Kathie Alyce
American Quilter’s Society; $22.95

In 2004 IAPQ member Kathie Alyce introduced her Flip Flop Block template at International Quilt Market and sold out. She knew she was onto something when a few years earlier she created a four-sided curved template that would serve as a basic shape from which to create many designs. What seemed like a simple idea has endless possibilities: Imagine a log cabin fitting in a block with curved edges or even a New York Beauty block. Kathie also produces an acrylic template for the blocks, and the book includes a paper shape that you can trace onto your own template plastic to create a template to use. The book includes 18 projects that range from placemats  to queen-size bed quilts. This is a great creativity stretcher for designing outside the square block.

Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.>

Book Review: Hand Appliqué With Embroidery

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Hand Appliqué With  Embroidery
Hand Appliqué With Embroidery
Sandra Leichner
AQS Publishing; $26.95

As a fan of Sandra Leichner’s quilts, I was looking forward to the release of her first book, Hand Appliqué With Embroidery. In the introduction she mentions that she’s always been fascinated by the details and how important they are to the finished product. I think if you’ve studied her work, that’s what impresses you: her attention to detail. The detail is most often done with embroidery embellishment techniques. In this book she teaches you her needleturn appliqué process and then shows you how to add texture and dimension through embellishment. To learn and build on your skills, she includes three small projects. With new skills and confidence, you are ready to create your own variation of Sandra’s award-winning “Tea With Miss D” quilt. I think you’ll be thrilled with adding these techniques to your tool box.

Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: A Notion to Celebrate

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

A Notion to Celebrate

A Notion to Celebrate
Melissa Bickle
Leisure Arts; $14,95

If you’re like me, you don’t need any more cookies, chocolate, muffins or other treats right now. The holidays seem to offer plenty in that area. When A Notion to Celebrate arrived this week with its candy boxed array of ribboned cupcakes, I was thrilled to find instructions to create fabric treats. Melissa Burke offers instructions to make 18 types of truffles for your candy box using a foam ball, ribbons, buttons, pins, sequins, pom poms and other assorted embellishments. You can create cupcakes, a Valentine’s wreath, a cake, Halloween treats and lots more. I’m waiting for next Winter when I can try the gingerbread house. Enjoy and don’t count the calories!

Look for this book at your local shop.

Book Review: Creative Embellishments

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Creative Embellishments

By Sherrill Kahn
Martingale & Co.; $27.95

Sherrill Kahn has focused her career in the arts, first as an art educator for 30 years and now in retirement as the owner of Impress Me, a rubber stamp company. In this her sixth book, she shares her journey of discovery as she experimented with everyday objects to create art. Some of what she shares is how to use your electric griddle for a melted-crayon technique, how to create fabric cord, how to batik with glue, and how to use cosmetic cotton pads to create small embellishments. The 16 techniques ideas are imaginative and can be used on fabric, paper, jewelry and more. The book also includes chapters on composing good designs and making backgrounds. If you want to try some new techniques in the new year, this would be a good reference. You just need to ask, “What if?”

Here’s a link to Amazon to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Quilting for Peace

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Quilting for Peace

By Katherine Bell
Abrams; $19.95

Like many people, Katherine Bell felt overwhelmed by the events of September 11. “Hope is the antidote to fear,î” she decided, and hope led her to write this helpful book, which will guide many quilters to take constructive action themselves. In 25 essays, Bell surveys various charitable groups, featuring everyday people who saw others in need and acted with positive (and sometimes very far-reaching) consequences. Each essay ends with a “How You Can Help” sidebar and tips for the reader.

The book’s fifteen projects tend to be quick and simple, to encourage quantity where quality is not a primary concern. Some of the featured organizations, with the assistance of small armies of volunteers, have donated more than 10,000 quilts. In addition to quilts or comforters, you’ll find directions for a ìgreenî shopping bag, baby items and an ingenious sleeping bag for the homeless. The author does encourage quality over quantity when making quilts for military personnel to honor their service.

For most quilters, this book will probably be most useful as a resource about charitable organizations, ranging from those who support the homeless to animal adoption groups. Some groups need donations of materials and supplies, others ask for finished items. You’ll also find information about starting your own charitable project.

Bell’s ultimate message is that, by donating quilts or other items, we send the recipient a message of love and respect. A donated quilt may have a profound effect on the mental and/or physical health of the recipient. It also helps the maker feel useful, whether her individual contribution is small or vast.

I strongly recommend this book for every quilt guild’s library:

Reviewed by Eileen Doughty,

Book Review: Simplify With Camille Roskelley

Sunday, November 14th, 2010


Simplify With Camille Roskelley

Camille Roskelley
Stash Books; $21.95

Celebrating fabric arts for a handmade lifestyle, Stash Books, an imprint of C&T Publishing, released this book of eight quilt projects and 4 pillow patterns. The author, Camille Roskelley is a young pattern designer, who has designed three fabric lines for Moda with her mom, Bonnie Olaveson. Simplify is designed to build quiltmaking skills with easy-to-make and fun projects that feature pre-cut strips or fat quarters. The text is friendly and fun to read, the projects are cheerful and bright, and the book is sprinkled with Camille’s practical “Keeping it Simple” tips.

Here’s a link, if you’d like to add it to your library.

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