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Posts Tagged ‘quilt’

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: Quilting … Just a Little Bit Crazy

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Quilting ... Just a Little Bit Crazy

Quilting … Just a Little Bit Crazy
Allie Aller & Valerie Bothell
C&T Publishing; $29.95

Both harboring a love of Victorian crazy quilts, Allie Aller and Val Bothell joined forces to create this resource for traditional and innovated crazy-quilting skills. The book includes 30 techniques giving you a variety of options. One of their major goals was to show that crazy quilts could be functional, and they succeeded at that. More than half the 10 projects are lap-size or bed-size quilts. I liked looking at two different approaches to the same concept. If you would like to try your hand at a crazy quilt, either using your stash or new fabrics, you will find ideas here.

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

Book Review: Minimal Quiltmaking

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Minimal Quiltmaking 
Gwen Marston
American Quilters Society; $24.95

Minimal quilts have been around for a long time, as Gwen Marston points out noting Amish quilts. In this book, Gwen takes the essence of minimal – stripped down to its essentials – and applies that to quilts. While many books include a variety of patterns to reinforce the techniques, the approach here is to the process. Not that you are totally without some guidance. Regardless that results in your own original design. I loved the diversity of the work included in the book. If you try a “less is more” approach, give Minimal Quiltmaking a try.

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

Book Review: Bargello Quilts in Motion

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Bargello Quilts In Motion

Bargello Quilts in Motion
Ruth Ann Berry
C&T Publishing; $19.95

I love when older techniques are revived and refreshed, and that is the case with the Bargello quilt. I remember making my first one and marveling at how much easier it was than it looked. That quilt hangs in my cousin’s home today. Ruth Ann Berry looked at ways that she could separate the moving parts in the design from the static background. She came up with four different solutions to do this: what she calls a scribble on a solid background; a scribble on a background of busy prints; the scribble and background made from different, contrasting color runs; and a solid-color splash across a series of plaids or a background of stripes. I never would have thought of plaids years past. I loved the energy that the quilts reflect. In addition to the eight patterns she includes, Ruth Ann also teaches you how to draft your own original design on graph paper. Our partners – write my essay for cheap. the best student papers, essays, coursework and diplomas. We are trusted by thousands of students. We are recommended and respected!

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

Book Review: Sweet and Simple Sewing

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Sweet and Simple Sewing Jessi Jung, Carrie Jung, and Lauren Jung
Martingale; $24.99

Jessi Jung and daughters Carrie and Lauren teamed up to present this collection of fresh sewing and quilting patterns. The collection includes 13 projects, perfect for gift giving or keeping. It was nice to see designs I hadn’t seen before, and I appreciated the hand-sewn and hand-bound journal. 

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

Book Review: Longing for a Longarm?

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Longing for a Longarm: Should You Purchase a Longarm Machine?
Sue Allen Clayton
Manorville Press; $4.99 (Kindle)

I work with professional quilters, including many longarmers, as well as a lot of people who would like to have a successful quilt business. In this book, Sue takes a light-hearted and realistic look at owning a longarm, whether that is to start your business or to quilt your own quilts. From her own personal experiences, Sue shares the pleasures and pitfalls of owning a longarm. You will learn about physical and space requirements, the tools of the trade, and money matters – what your longarm costs and how much you will make. A plus is the good introduction to the emotional challenges that go along with running a longarm quilting business. Sue also shares her personal resource list. This should be your first read if you are serious about buying a longarm.

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

Book Review: Fresh Fabric Treats

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Book of Days

Fresh Fabric Treats
Moda Bake Shop Designers
Stash Books; $21.95

If you aren’t familiar with Moda Bake Shop, it’s an online bakery of sorts, filled with jelly rolls, honey buns and layer cakes. Of course, we’re talking about precuts. Moda has taken the reins on this idea with eight types of precuts, five named after baked goods. At the Bake Shop, you’ll encounter a number of chefs. These would be the Moda Fabrics designers. This book showcases a fun mix of 16 projects from those chefs. You’ll find a selection of seven quilts, several bags, a pillow, table runner and accessories. If you are looking for a project to use your precuts, you’ll find a recipe here.

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


Book Review: Your Best Year Yet!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Best Year Get

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’ve been using this little book for years and recommend it widely. 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 let’s you focus on your successes and not get weighed down by what didn’t work. It also lets you get off the treadmill of working on your business to see if you really are on course.

Here’s 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.”

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