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Posts Tagged ‘quilting’

Book Review: Tile Quilt Revival

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Tile Quilt Revival

Tile Quilt Revival: Reinventing a Forgotten Form
Carol Gilham Jones & Bobbi Finley
C&T Publishing; $23.95

Tile quilts are a rather obscure form of appliqué quilts, according to Carol Gilham Jones and Bobbi Finley, who are reintroducing the art form. This type of quilt is constructed by appliquéing small cotton pieces in a random fashion onto a white background. The pieces are sewn leaving a narrow space between them creating a “grout,” as between tiles. Very little documentation on the limited number of known tile quilts is available. Many seem to be done in blocks and are reminiscent of crazy quilts. The book includes instructions for designing and creating a tile quilt, six projects and a gallery of contemporary tile quilts. I found the history fascinating, and I like the bright look of the light background.

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

Book Review: Fast, Flirty, and Fun

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Fast, Flirty, and Fun

By Sarah M. Bisel
Martingale & Co; $24.99

Subtitled “Easy Quilts From Fabulous Fabrics,” this is a collection of 11 simple, fun quilts done in contemporary fabrics and colors. The patterns take advantage of charm packs, jelly rolls and layer cakes, though you can always cut your own pieces. This is a great book for the younger, novice quilter searching for a newer look. It still offers ideas for more experienced quilters. I loved the use of rickrack and the “Birthday Bash” quilt with its stack of wonky layered cakes.

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

Book Review: Cozy Modern Quilts

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Cozy Modern Quilts

By Kim Schaefer
C&T Publishing; $19.95

This collection of 23 easy, pieced contemporary quilts, table runners and placemats is designed to make a dent in your stash. The blocks, all squares and strips, feature quick rotary cutting and straight-line piecing, perfect for the beginning quilter. While the blocks are really simple, the results do look more complicated and have a wonderful visual impact. The color palettes used also would be great if you are looking for a project for a man. I plan to hit my stash and piece a couple of tops.

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

Tips for Working With Your Quilter

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

We are lucky today to have so many wonderful longarm quilters at the ready to turn our tops into masterpieces. Of course, our tops have to be “ready to quilt,” too. And, from talking with longarmers, the tops don’t always arrive in that condition. They might have wavy borders, threads or open seams. How can you expect your longarmer to create a masterpiece when she starts with something less than perfect?

In the Spring issue of The Professional Quilter, Mindy Caspersen discussed the problems that the longarmer must address when the quilt top needs work. And to guide the piecer, she included tips for preparing the top, back and batting.

Here are Mindy’s tips for preparing your top:

  • Piece accurately.
  • Choose a neutral thread color for piecing.
  • Remove any stray threads, especially those that might show through light-colored fabrics.
  • Secure seams, especially on pieced outside borders. These may pull apart on the machine frame.
  • Press carefully. Make sure your seam allowances are pressed well and do not flip back and forth. (This is extremely important for stitch in the ditch work.)
  • Attach borders properly so they are not wavy.

To read the rest of Mindy’s article and her tips for preparing your batting and backing, see the Spring issue of The Professional Quilter. If your membership is not current, you can join or renew here.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

Book Review: Greetings from Tuscadelphia

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Greetings from Tuscadelphia

Greetings from Tucsadelphia:
Travel-Inspired Projects from Lizzie B Cre8ive

Liz and Beth Hawkins
Kansas City Star Quilts; $26.95

Liz and Beth Hawkins, the duo behind the design team Lizzie B Cre8ive, have put together a fun collection of whimsical travel-inspired projects. (For those not familiar with Liz and Beth, they are sisters-in-law and share the same name, Elizabeth Hawkins, as well as a passion for quilting.) The books title plays homage to Tuscadelphia, a special place they they created for themselves; in reality Liz lives outside Philadelphia and Beth lives in Tucson. The book features stories of travel adventures of Liz and Beth along with 10 quilts and projects, ranging from luggage tags and a travel pillow to a backpack and a quilt inspired by travel postcards. The book is filled with personality, and fans of Lizzie B Cre8ive won’t be disappointed.

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

Meet “Manquilter” Matt Sparrow

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

The Winter issue of The Professional Quilter includes a profile with Matt Sparrow by Mindy Caspersen. Mindy originally met Matt on Facebook and when her attempts to connect at MQX (Machine Quilters Exposition) didn’t work out, she took the opportunity to learn more about Matt. Here’s an excerpt from the profile.

How did you get involved with longarm quilting?
Shortly after I basted and quilted my first quilt on a domestic sewing machine (DSM), I realized that it wasn’t something I wanted to be doing over and over again. I loved piecing but hated the quilting part of the process. After researching the price of longarms, the only way to justify the purchase was to take in customer quilts to recoup the investment. I had no idea it would explode into a full-time career in a short few months.

What is ManQuilter and how is it separate from the rest of your quilting business?
ManQuilter is the essence of my quilting business. I created to market myself as a longarm quilter. It is my “brand” that I continue to grow every day. I am very committed to building my brand to a point that it is familiar with a large portion of the quilting world. Read the rest of the article nd share your thoughts here.

Tell us about your studio and machine.
I converted my front living room into my studio and run my longarm quilting business out of my home. I am the proud owner of a 2009 APQS Millennium and am one of the newest sales reps for APQS. I have had my hands on every major brand of longarm quilting machine and can tell you without blinking an eye that nothing comes close to the feeling I get when I start stitching on my Millennium Falcon (my pet name for my machine). The horizontal wheels and electronic stitch regulator allow me the joy of precision quilting that my customers demand.

How did you get started teaching quilting in general and also longarm quilting?
I went to MQX in April to take several of Karen McTavish’s classes and was fascinated by her teaching style and the energy she brought to the class. I became certified to teach her quilting technique and came home and approached a local shop about teaching a class. Several months, seven classes and two open house presentations later, I am now officially a competent and confident teacher.

Do you have any business tips you can share with us?
The most important tip I can give is that the sooner you realize that this is your business you are running the better. You are not only a longarm quilter but a business owner as well. Quilting often requires loads of emotion. You need to remove that emotion from the business side of it and make decisions based on a profit model not an emotional response to how you (de)value yourself.

You can read more about Matt and how he and his wife, Bradie, support thier family of ten from quilting in the Winter 2010 issue of The Professional Quilter. The Professional Quilter is one of the benefits of membership in the International Association of Professional Quilters. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here

Book Review: The Best of Sew Simple Magazine – Over 50 Quick Projects

Friday, December 4th, 2009

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The Best of Sew Simple Magazine: Over 50 Quick Projects
Leisure Arts; $18.95

I don’t know about you, but I often pick up Sew Simple on the newsstand. It either has a project I want to try or something that I think would be good for my nieces who are relatively new to sewing and quilting. This book includes projects ranging from totes to quilts to home dec with a few fun things included. I think the fabric drink umbrellas will be perfect for next summer’s barbeque, the funky pillowcase will be great for several on my holiday gift list, and the java jacket is bound to find its way into a stocking or two. If you’re looking for some quick and fun projects, this is a good source. And, a bonus for those new to sewing is the supplies and techniques section.

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

Evaluating Surface Design

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

In the current issue of The Professional Quilter, Scott Murkin discussed the need for quilt judges to maintain currency as quilters add new surface techniques to their work. Here is an excerpt from that article:

An increasing number of formally trained artists have moved into quilting and textiles as their primary medium. At the same time a large number of quilters who started in a more traditional vein are exploring new techniques in their work. Because of these trends, quilt show judges are faced with a wide and varied selection of surface design techniques that they must evaluate on the judging floor. Learning the fundamentals of these techniques and how they are assessed has become one of the ever-expanding tools in the quilt show judge’s toolbox.

Surface design refers to anything the artist does to change the fabric either before or after the quilt is constructed, but is also sometimes expanded to include things added onto the surface, such as threadwork, couched fibers and sewn-on objects. Each of these will be addressed in turn.

A variety of paints can be applied to fabric with nearly infinite techniques and widely differing results, depending on decisions made by the artist. There are paints made specifically for textiles, but many traditional artists’ paints, such as acrylics and oil paint sticks, can be successfully adapted for use on fabric. While not technically paints, even the pigments from crayons can be transferred to fabric and made permanent. Paint can be brushed on, splashed on, applied through a stencil, stamped on with commercial or home-made stamps or found objects, or applied by screen-printing, among other techniques. Many artists are also using inks and thickened dyes in many of the same ways that paints are used. Paint can be applied to fabric before any sewing begins; it can be applied to a pieced or appliquéd quilt top; or it can be applied to the finished quilt, often exaggerating the effect of the texture of the quilting stitches.

When judging the painted quilt surface, the judge is primarily considering issues of design, deciding if the artist has used the paint as an effective accent or the primary design element. The formal principles of design, such as unity, variety, balance, contrast, proportion, scale and rhythm are evaluated, as well as the emotional impact of the image.

You can read Scott’s complete article in Issue 108 of The Professional Quilter. If your subscription is not current and you need to renew, or you want to start a new subscription, here’s a link to our order page

Book Review: Quilt Challenge

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Quilt Challenge

Quilt Challenge
Sharyn Craig and Pamela Mostek
Martingale & Co.; $21.95

Everyone loves a challenge, and that’s the premise that started Sharyn Craig and Pam Mostek on this book. Pam made a set of Wonky Log Cabin blocks and challenged Sharyn to see what she could do. And, the magic began. From there they set up eight challenges and each completed a block with specific design and color guidelines. They were joined by other quilters in each challenge. Some of the challenges include Black, White, and Red Allover, which uses black, white and red as the color and the basic Nine Patch as the block; and The Color Purple, which uses the same purple fabric in all the quilts and the Rail Fence block. The variety of quilts is wonderful. Pam and Sharyn also include tips and techniques.

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

Book Review: A New Light on Storm at Sea Quilts

Friday, August 14th, 2009


Storm at Sea Quilts
Wendy Mathson
C&T Publishing; $24.95

I’ve always been drawn to the Storm at Sea block and the optical illusion of waves it creates. While the traditional coloration is most often blue, the block lends itself to endless design possibilities. Wendy Mathson offers her unique piecing technique to produce accurate units for the three pieced units used to create the Storm at Sea block: a diamond-in-a-rectangle unit; a large square-in-a-square unit and a small square-in-a-square unit. Wendy calls the square-in-a-square units Big SIS and Little SIS and has created a set of acrylic tools called Quilters’ TRIMplates (short for trimming templates) to accurately cut the units. While it is possible to cut and sew the units without using the templates, they offer advantages for producing accurate block units. The book includes six Storm at Sea projects, a gallery of inspiring quilts, options for border treatments and design grids to copy to work on your own designs. You’ll have fun creating your own designs.

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

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