Here’s a selection of books that are great for summer reading. I hope you’ll be as excited and inspired as I am to add some new techniques and quilt projects to your ever-growing list. –Lisa Schumacher, interactive editor
Lady Bug & Friends Quilts ($26.95; American Quilter’s Society, 2011)
Sisters Carla Scott and Leanne Smith have created the Easy OutLine Appliqué method that gives appliqué pieces the look of a hand-drawn outline. Create the outline by tracing and fusing appliqué pieces on a black base appliqué shape. Full-size appliqué patterns are included on the CD; the whimsical designs include kids and dogs in cars, lady bugs, and other animals. Many designs have variations so projects can be made for boys or girls. Projects range from pillows, pillowcases, aprons, wall hangings, crib quilts, and even a game board. Visit quiltedfrog.com to watch a video demonstration of the technique.
On my “to-make” list: Lady Bug Apron (page 34) and Ants in the Pants Pillowcase (page 81).
The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker ($24.95; Stash Books, an imprint of C&T Publishing, 2010)
In my opinion, the author Elizabeth Hartman hits the nail on the head when she recommends “…choosing a first project that doesn’t have a deadline attached to it (such as a baby shower or birthday”. The Practical Guide to Patchwork starts out with basics from selecting cotton fabric, elements of a quilt, common fabric cuts, and tips for planning a quilt. The section on choosing fabrics was especially helpful to me. With all the great cotton prints available in quilts shops and my stash of home decor fabrics, sometimes I struggle with selecting the “right” combination of fabrics. You’ll find a breakdown of basic supplies, piecing techniques, machine-quilting tips, as well as tips for making and attaching binding.
The book includes step-by-step instructions and diagrams for 12 modern quilt projects. Each project is made in two alternate colorways to demonstrate the impact that color choices have on each quilt design. As a new member of a modern quilt guild, I’m inspired to dig through my stash of bright fabrics and start sewing!
On my “to-make” list: Valentine (page 71) and Little Leaves (page 89).
Stars! A Study of 19th Century Star Quilts by the American Quilt Study Group ($26.95; Kansas City Star Quilts, 2011)
OK, stick with me now, I’m shifting from modern to traditional (amazing how much one person’s interests can vary). When I saw Stars! A Study of 19th Century Star Quilts by the American Quilt Study Group, I knew I had to add it to my book review list. I don’t know what it is about star quilt blocks, but I love them (in all sizes and variations).
Members of the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG) created quilts with star blocks inspired by 19th century quilts. The book includes photos of 39 new quilts, the 19th century inspiration quilt, as well as an explanation about the new quilt from the AQSG member. You’ll also find instructions for 10 of the study quilts. The star quilts are making their way around the U.S.; visit the American Quilt Study Group website to see if the exhibit schedule.
On my “to-make” list: Petite Bayik Le Moyne (page 88), I Can Only Imagine (page 97), and Silk Stars of the Bluegrass (page 107).