What We’re Reading Now: Earth Day Edition | AllPeopleQuilt.com Staff Blog

What We’re Reading Now: Earth Day Edition

Go green with these books that help you use your fabric scraps.

SimplyCharmingCoverSimply Charming: Small Scrap Quilts of Yesteryear ($26.95; Kansas City Star Quilts, 2011)
Tara Lynn Darr

I prefer making small quilts, and the scrappier the better. I cut 1-1/4”, 1-1/2”, and 2-1/2” squares and strips of all fabrics I buy and then store them in resealable plastic bags. This book, from designer Tara Lynn Darr, shows how to use those tiny bits and pieces of fabric that many people throw away! It showcases 20 small, scrappy quilts–the largest quilt is only 24×27-1/2”–and most are made with squares, rectangles, and triangle-squares using basic quilting tools (rotary cutter, mat, and ruler). Although quilts in the 112-page, full-color book are made with Civil War-era reproduction fabrics, they can be sewn using any small- to medium-scale fabrics. Traditional not your thing? Try using solids for a contemporary look. Not sure of a particular color palette? These little quilts allow you to experiment with various color combos without committing the time or yardage required for bigger quilts. Sprinkled throughout the book, Tara’s 18 helpful hints will benefit both new and experienced sewers. Making small quilts is addictive, and once you start sewing them I bet you will stitch more than one!

On my “to-make” list: Mountain Pathways (page 43), Juliana’s Jewels (page 67), and Living off the Scrap Basket (page 84)
—Jody Sanders, assistant editor

Scrap-Basket SensationsScrap-Basket Sensations: More Great Quilts from 2-1/2″ Strips ($24.99; Martingale & Co., 2011)
Kim Brackett

Author Kim Brackett encourages readers to think twice about leftover fabric. She cuts all her scraps into more manageable 2-1/2″ strips that she can easily store and eventually use to make fabulous quilts. This book, a follow-up to her popular Scrap-Basket Surprises (Martingale & Co., 2008), offers 18 quilts that you can make using 2-1/2″ strips. If you’re not convinced how versatile these strips can be, you will be after seeing Kim’s takes. From stunning stars to floral motifs to interlocking designs, ideas abound. Although my stash of fabric strips is fairly, I plan to try out some of the patterns in this book using precut strips.

On my “to-make” list: Flowers for Nana Girl (page 21), Over and Under (page 30), Picnic (page 69 and on the cover)
—Maria Charbonneaux, staff writer

Trash to TreasureTrash to Treasure Pineapple Quilts ($23; FPI Publishing, 2010)
Gyleen X. Fitzgerald

Create something from nothing–that’s what author Gyleen X. Fitzgerald challenged an online community of quilters–and now readers–to do. This book contains seven pineapple quilts made using 1-1/2″ strips (which she calls “noodles”) cut from fabric scraps. The author’s quilt, Ends with Love, contains a hodgepodge of scraps with no precise color placement plan in mind, and that’s something I find really liberating. She says, “The whole point is to have fun as you sew with rapid abandon. Let’s just keep sewing noodles into pineapple blocks and then into a one-of-a-kind pineapple quilt until they’re all gone. The plan is to live free of scrap clutter forever.” The book also outlines how to use the Pineapple Tool (sold separately) rather than paper piecing the blocks.

On my “to-make” list: Ends with Love (page 11)
—Maria Charbonneaux, staff writer

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