Lisa Schumacher | Staff Blog - Part 2

Lisa Schumacher

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Book Review: Day 2

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)

Quilted Frog: Carla Scott & Leanne Smith

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 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)

Elizabeth Hartman

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).

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APQ Book Review Week

Book-LogoIf you’re looking for great books to add to your summer reading list, join us this week on the Staff Blog as the editors of American Patchwork & Quilting review some of their favorite quilting reads!

Monday: Maria Charbonneaux, staff writer

Tuesday: Lisa Schumacher, interactive editor

Wednesday: Jill Mead, editor

Thursday: Jody Sanders, assistant editor

Friday: Jennifer Keltner, executive editor
Elizabeth Tisinger Beese, senior editor

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You’re Invited to Craft Night: One Million Pillowcase Event!

SAVE THE DATE: Monday, August 23, 5 p.m. ET

Who: You and all your crafty friends!

What: Join American Patchwork & Quilting for Etsy’s Craft Night and sew pillowcases for the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Where: Anywhere and everywhere!

  • In the NYC area: join our editors at the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn.
  • If you’re not in NYC,  check out Meetups Everywhere to join a group in your area.
  • If you’re in front of a computer, watch our editors do a live how-to demo in Etsy’s Virtual Labs at 5 p.m. ET (on August 23)

When: Monday, August 23, 5 p.m. ET

Why: Make and donate pillowcases to make a difference in your community. Learn more about the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.

How: Not sure how to sew a pillowcase? Visit to watch a step-by-step video and download free patterns.

BONUS: American Patchwork & Quilting will send a box of supplies to the 15 groups with the most RSVPs by Tuesday, August 10. Supplies are from the sponsors of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.  So join an existing group, or start your own today!

Tell your friends: Join our Support the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge Facebook group and put a blog button on your blog, website, or email signature.

Get more details about the event and learn about Etsy.

Pillowcase Image

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Join our Pillowcase Challenge

American Patchwork & Quilting is teaming up with Etsy to sew pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. Join editors Jill Mead and Lisa Schumacher in Etsy’s interactive Virtual Lab Monday July 26 at noon (CST). Watch a live webcast of step-by-step instructions for sewing a pillowcase using the roll it up method (also known as hot dog, burrito, sausage, or tube). Create a free username on Etsy, and join the editors in the Virtual Lab! If you have extra time before the lab starts, read the blog on If you can’t join us in the lab today, check out our how-to video and step-by-step instructions and watch our Facebook page for updates on upcoming events!


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Sewing Pillowcases with Visitors

Last week, staff members from American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilts and More, and our sister publication Scrapbooks etc., hosted a visit from Christina and Nizzi of On Thursday, the staff members hosted an early morning sewing session for so we could show our visitors how to sew pillowcases using the tube method. Everyone had so much fun! Check out the video and photos below.

Video: Jennifer and Christina unveiling their pillowcases.

Jill Mead, editor of Quilts and More, shows Nizzi from how to pull the pillowcase body from the tube band.

Nizzi Renaud (left) and Christina Batch-Lee (right) from, show off their pillowcases.

Have you participated in the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge yet? Get free pillowcase patterns and details about the challenge at Our online counter shows that readers have made and donated more than 97,000 pillowcases. Keep up the good work!

PS: If you haven’t seen the tube method, (also know as the burrito, hot dog, or sausage method) check out this step-by-step video for making pillowcases.