Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review for 'Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book'

Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book: • 155 Mix & Match Designs • Bring 30 Fabulous Blocks to Life • Plus Plans for Sashing, Borders, Motifs & Allover Designs by Amanda Murphy

The Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book by Amanda Murphy is like an encyclopedia of quilting stitches.  The book contains 155 stitches with indexes in the back that link families of stitches together and which stitches work for an all-over design, sashings, and borders.  The best part of Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book is that it contains 30 familiar blocks and shows 3or more patterns to quilt on each block.  Murphy doesn't just give out patterns in this book.  Every pattern is drawn out on a square step-by-stepk, until the pattern is completed.  Quilting tips are included in the beginning of the book and at the back, a gallery of finished quilts is shown.
I think this is a very good book, offering some easy blocks for beginners and some more difficult ones for advanced quilters.  The arrangement of the indexes and the blocks shown with the different methods of stitching make this a very helpful book to own!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

  1. 'Thread Stories' Book Review

'Thread Stories' by Jennifer Day is a very large and very thorough book.   If it were possible to give more than 5 stars to this book, I feel it could eqrn a 7 or 8!  You won't believe it, but the portraits in her book are not photos, but are painted with threads.  This book is for the serious student in thread sketching and free-motion stitching.
Day uses fabric made for computer printed photos and supports this fabric with a type of burlap, instead of batting, which can still be used in special cases.   She goes through the book, concentrating on various parts of the body and pets.  The eyes are made first, because they are the most difficult to get right and if you're going to have to start over, you might as well do it in the beginning.  She also concentrates on wrinkles, hands, hair and blending.  These paintings take a lot of thread and a lot of time., although they are worth it in the end.
Thread Stories is a lot like a beginning oil painting book that starts you at the very start, step-by-step and keeps training you all the way to the end of your painting.  This is for serious quilt artisits, but check the book out anyway.  You will be amazed at the quality of these thread-painted quilts!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

'Amazingly Simple Triangle Stars' by Barbara Cline- A Book Review

Amazingly Simple Triangle Stars: Deceptively Easy Quilts from One Block by Barbara H. Cline

To make the 'Amazingly Simple Triangle Stars' are truly simply. Barabara Cline's stars are made with templates, and 5 pieces for each section of a star. Detailed instructions are given for easy, basic stars in a quilt.  Step by step, more difficult stars are demonstrated in how to sew.  There are many variations, including kaleidoscope stars, which are my favorite; made by repeating fabric once in each star point; blocks, stars that span the color wheel; circles behind stars; pinwheels, and much more.  At the end of the book, basic quilting instructions are given.  I believe making these stars could be kind of time-consuming, but the results are well worth it and there are so many choices to make.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Foolproof Walking- Foot Quilting Designs Book Review

Foolproof Walking-Foot Quilitng Designs by Mary Mashuta is really an encyclopedia of stitches you can do with your walking foot.  What is a walking foot?  A walking foot is a sewing machine foot that hooks over your sewing machine lever, and its purpose is to keep a stack of fabric all even, with the top area being fed through the sewing machine at the same speed as the bottom level.  It is good for stitching in the ditch, keeping plaids lined up evenly, and quilting.  The only real drawback to using a walking foot is that you need to turn your fabric every time the pattern changes direction.
Foolproof Walking-Foot Quilting Designs first shows pictures of patterns found in nature and man-made architecture.  Next, Mashuta shows how to make your own patterns using clear contact paper, which can adhere to the top of the fabric, for you to sew around.  Patterns advance in difficutly, and the difficulty of each pattern is rated with a number of alarm clocks assigned to the pattern.
The last chapter covers the art of sashiko, done on the sewing machine.  The patterns are very detailed, but they are also detailed if you want to do these patterns by hand.
I reccommend this book for quilters, because I have never seen a book that covers frree-motion patterns to this extent.  Get out that walking foot!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review of "The Modern Medallion Workbook" and an Easy Sample

The Modern Medallion Workbook

The Modern Medallion Workbook by Janice Zeller Ryan and Beth Vassalo is a good book for going your own way and designing your quilt using your imagination and the samples of the quilts in this book.  Ryan and Vassalo have invited 11 designers to make medallion quilts, each different.  In the beginning of the book, The Modern Medallion Workbook teaches some beginning quilting hints, and at the end of each quilt, quilting and finishing instructions are given.
I went ahead and made a simple medallion quilt.  I have never made one before and my living situation is not really acceptable for making a quilt, so I see lots of errors and more blocks that I could have added, but it is a sample of how simple you can make your medallion quilt.  My sample hasn't been quilted yet, it is only the top, but I wanted to show it to you, so you can use it as a springboard for your imagination.

After making this quilt, I appreciate this book even more, and I might be willing to make a more complicated quilt, but I have a lot more understanding of what a medallion quilt is now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review of: Necktie Quilts Reinvented

Product Details

‘Necktie Quilts Reinvented’ by Christine Copenhaver is a new-style book about an old art, making quilts from neckties.  Copenhaver talks about choosing the ties, cleaning them, taking them apart and lining them all with fusible interfacing.  She gives cutting and piecing instructions, and then gives patterns for 16 quilt, wall hanging and table runner projects.  All of the projects are labeled by skill levels.
If you have decided to start a necktie collection or have had one given to you, Necktie Quilts Reinvented will really keep you inspired.  Everything is written step-by-step and is very clear.  It looks like a fun book to work with!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Modern Appliqué Illusions: 12 Quilts Create Perspective & Depth by Casey York

Review of "'Modern Applique Illusions"

Modern Applique Illusions by Casey York is a great educational book for the modern quilter.  York teaches techniques that make your quilt look truly projessionally artisitic.  The nice part is that the techniques are very simple to do.
Modern Applique Illusions shows you how to make tunnels, shadows, receding landscapes, lettering shadowing, and how to make items appear smaller at the back of your quilt art, keeping the proper perspective in your pieture.
York includes 12 teaching projects, all in a simple, do-able manner.  The book makes you think a-ha- so that's how they do that!
After reading this book, I've had a project in my mind for my own art quilt, by making a tunnel, with a landscape through the door.  I'm sure you will think of something you'd like to make, also.


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