Book Review : 1000 BLOCKS by Quilter Marker Magazines

1000a-BLOCKS -2090

1000 BLOCKS by Quilt Maker Magazine  is a collection of the first 10 issues of their block collection.  It is organized similar to the way the magazines had been organized from the beginning:  Applique, Foundation Pieced, Mixed Techniques ( fused, raw edge, hand sewn applique on pieced blocks, partial seaming, stitch and flip, pieced then slash and sew back together, foundation and standard piecing in the same block) and Pieced blocks.  What I really like about this book is the patterns are on a cD for the templates and many of the patterns. 

 

This book was great for me because I missed several of the issues that were sold out at my LQS when I went to buy them.  Since I now have this book I can give the magazines away to friends without guilt. 

 

The blocks in this book was sent in by both nationally known quilt divas and regular quilters who wanted to design blocks and quilts.  What I did notice when you looked at all the blocks the quality of the block designs greatly improved.  They were true designs and not rehashes of traditional blocks.  When a traditional block was submitted I disliked they did not use the original names but renamed the block.  I feel that dishonored previous designers and quilters.

 

One thing I did not like was how some of the blocks were dependent on the use of specific fabrics often no longer available.  These blocks can be made using other focus fabrics of the same scale, but I usually do not have suitable fabric.

 

I liked expansion of the block idea as there are magazines depicting  quilts made from the blocks.  (Only some of these quilts are in this book as illustrations.)  I always liked seeing the quilts made with the blocks as many of the quilts have secondary patterns.  I wanted to see more illustrations of the quilt blocks but that would make for a very fat book costing a lot more.  I have a feeling I will be re- drafting some of these blocks in EQ7 to see what the quilts look like.   I am hoping Quiltmaker and EQ7 (or another drafting software company) will publish these patterns similar to BLOCK BASE.  It would make it so much easier to make quilts.

 

The links to blogs and websites are noted when available this allowed me to add a lot of new blogs to my Feedly blog reader.  I see fun and quilts in my future when insomnia strikes.  I liked the designer index that is included in the book as it showed which designers submitted blocks over and over again.

 

I would like QUILTMAKER magazine should sponsor a challenge to quilters across the country to make quilts (crib, baby, child size)  with the block designs in this book.  These quilts could be exhibited in the AQS shows then donated the quilts to LINUS or various children hospitals and charities.  QUILTMAKER of course could publish an issue of the challenge entrants.

 

One thing that had me concerned as many of the pictures looked like an EQ7 rendering rather than a picture of an actual block.  This might be due to the fact many of the blocks were made in solid fabrics.  Pictures of the blocks proves someone actually made the block.  EQ7 renderings is great for designing but can the block be sewn as designed?  I know in the past when I tried my hand at designing I found there were times the block could not be sewn.

 

  The blocks in the book are all sized to 12 inch finished blocks so a sampler quilt can be made.  Or the blocks can be made in multiples and placed in a quilt top of your choice.  Examples of settings and yardages is included in the book.   

 

  I will still recommend this book to my friends.  I think it offers a lot for the cost and I love my encyclopedia of quilt block books since they provide inspiration and potential. 

 
HAPPY QUILTING,
NONNIE

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CABIN FEVER by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting … the book I had to have

CABIN FEVER  ….  Another got to have book – –

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CABIN FEVER
CABIN FEVER

CABIN FEVER — Modern Log Quilts

I just got CABIN FEVER by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting. First reason to like the book is the great eye candy in it. Lots of pictures of pretty quilts with great layouts and beautiful free motion quilting. And no I have not made any of the quilts in the book…. YET. After all I have only had the book in my position a couple of days. I am once again drooling over the patterns in the book. I have a number of young nieces and nephews who all show preferences for graphic, modern art designs in the furniture and homes they have. The quilts in CABIN FEVER have a definite modern flair, most of them using the traditional log cabin technique to make the blocks. There are several quilts that use more innovative piecing techniques. I like how the book takes a small block and then by twisting and turning it turns it into different position to make a lovely layout.

I also like how the books present alternate color-ways for each block. It gives you the idea of what the quilt would look in different colors. If the quilt is done as a neutral in the book then the other blocks are cool and warm. This is continued in all the patterns.

All of the quilts have a picture of a flat lying quilt hung on a wall. I love these kind of pictures as this gives me the best idea of how my quilt will look. I also like being able to draft the patterns of the blocks in EQ7 when I make a quilt because this allows me to see what my fabrics would look like in a quilt. And yes sometimes I make modifications to blocks/ quilts as I adjust the patterns to my own needs. I liked how the book also included directions for multiple size quilts, usually baby ( 36 in square) throw ( approximately 60 x70 inch) and coverlet / bed quilts ( queen and king size.) Natalia and Kathleen also threw in some patterns for pillows that were really cute.

The beginning of the book gives several lessons in basic techniques i.e. strip piecing, half square triangles, snowball corners. I always find that reviewing basic techniques is helpful to me. I also have never used a strip piecing technique to make a quilt, so this will be a great adventure for me.

The one thing I do not like about the book is the lack of sizes for the finished patches. I personally find this lack annoying in many block patterns. I like to know what size each step of making a block should finish so that I can check my sewing as I go along. I hate finding out the blocks I have made came out the wrong size because I made the base patches the wrong. Please authors put the sizes of the patches in the pattern as they are sewn together. Yes I can figure it out for myself but I paid for the book / pattern and think this should be in the pattern. I am very lazy and do not want to figure it out for myself.

All in all I think the book is worth the money I paid for it and I have found I liked all the quilts and did not find one I would not want to try in the future. For Gretchen who always asks which is my favorite quilt I will say I am currently leaning toward … TYPHOON, DILATION, and DAPPLED but I can honestly say I did not find a quilt I did not like but it depends upon the material used.

I do think the fabric available in my stash might be the biggest set back to this quilt as I do not have similar fabrics in my stash to make these patterns. I have older fabrics (mostly 5-10 years of age) in my stash and not of the same styling. I also think I might have problems doing strip piecing of an entire quilt as I do not have a lot of yardage. I have fat quarters and half yard cuts, most of these quilts require yard to 2 yards ( or more) for an entire bed quilt. My stash does not lend itself to that kind of sewing. I can probably make the more scrappy quilts but not any of the all -over colored / two quilts. If I do make the quilts I need to buy new fabrics.

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Come to think of it … the challenge of quilting is to take a pattern and make it YOURS . . . . .

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TYPHOON
TYPHOON

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DILATATION
DILATATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAPPLED
DAPPLED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think you can see why I love these quilt patterns.


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HAPPY QUILTING,
NONNIE

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BOOK REVIEW: PICTURE PIECING > TRADITIONAL QUILTS …. By Cynthia England

PICTURE PIECING > TRADITIONAL QUILTS …. By Cynthia England

http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Piecing-Traditional-Cynthia-England/dp/0972096310 . . . PICTURE PIECING ON AMAZON

pic piecing

 

I bought this book after seeing it highlighted on THE QUILT SHOW. I was looking for a MAPLE LEAF block to make first for a post card then later for an entire quilt. I will show you a picture of the block I made after several attempts at the bottom of the post. In part I can not blame the book and it instructions they are straight forward and detailed but I just could not wrap my brain around this technique. I think I set myself up for failure because I thought the technique simple after what I had seen on THE QUILT SHOW videos. ( By then I owned the TQS dvd.) I have been doing foundation / paper piecing for years this technique was suggested as a replacement for that technique. I will say after several attempts at making the block from the book I gave up trying and used a different technique. I had been enticed to try this technique by the pretty little block in several different quilts. I was terribly discouraged because I could not get good results. I may try this technique again in the future but for now I am putting it aside to go to something else.

MY FAILURES WITH THE BLOCK:

1.> I pre-selected fabric scraps ( from another quilt , more about that in a following blog ) that turned out to be poor choice for this block / technique. I would have a more successful block if I had selected similar color fabrics. The scrappy look did not work with this block.

2.> I had chosen black KONA as the background fabric but it was too dark, too close to the colors of scraps used in the block. I did not have enough contrast in the selections of fabrics to get the look I was trying to achieve.

REVIEW of the book, PICTURE PIECING > TRADITIONAL QUILTS …. Cynthia England

1.> There are 8-10 basic patterns that are then used in several projects. She has patterns for Maple Leafs, Roses, Violets, and several star blocks. She took the motifs she designs and used them in different ways with different effects in multiple projects. If you like her projects you might like this book they were very nice, very traditional in style.

2.> The instructions for the picture piecing process are detailed and inclusive with many tips and tricks that can be applied to any quilt. For that reason I enjoyed the book and came away some new ideas to be my quilting endeavors in the future.

3.> I will say this technique wasted a lot of fabric. I was only using scraps but I notice the waste when I watched the video on TQS and when I actually used my scraps. This technique wasted more fabric then the standard paper piecing . This is my opinion and others are free to disagree with it.

Rating:

At this time I rate this book 3 out of 5 ( GOODREADS) Frankly if I knew then what I know now I would not have bought the book. ( FYI: My library system does not carry this book … as a matter of fact they have very few quilting books of any kind. Which is odd as Mid MI is a quilt guild heavy area. ) That said, as of now I am keeping this book on my technique book shelf.


WHAT the leaf is suppose to look like… then what my block looked like. YOU can see why I threw in the towel.

book- maple leaf-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My poor mis-shaped block
My poor mis-shaped block

HAPPY QUILTING,
NONNIE

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VINTAGE QUILT REVIVAL : 22 Modern Quilts from Classic Blocks

VINTAGE QUILT REVIVAL

By Katie Blakesley, Lee Heinrich and Faith Jones
Published: 2013

This was another book I was given, but I really enjoyed it. The blocks in this book are traditional vintage blocks. Most of the blocks are identified by BARBARA BRACKMAN’s book ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS. I really appreciated the identification of the blocks used. One of my biggest complaints about the recent quilt books and magazines I have read is that traditional blocks are used and the names are changed. I personally think this is disrespectful to the quilters who came before us. I think we should all be encouraging the book and magazine editors to insist on identification of traditional vintage blocks in their quilts. If a quilter wants to rename a quilt that is one thing but to rename blocks is an entirely different matter.

This book included historical mini lessons for each quilt / block presented. I found the factoids interesting and informative, I really enjoyed reading them. In some ways this made the book for me.

The book includes a cD of templates for the quilt blocks which I found very helpful. There are 22 project in the book using the blocks. The blocks are 12.5 inches and one of the quilts is a sampler. For each block a quilt just using the block is presented. Other projects are presented using different size blocks.  I am not into making purses, pouches or pillows but I thought most of the projects were cute. ( I have too many beds right now that need full size quilts… maybe after I retire I will make cutsie stuff.)

Another section in the book discusses colorways and even though they are not my colors I found the way they used colors was interesting. Many of the quilts had different setting not seen or used in traditional quilts. I also like the fact that most of the blocks are not run of the mill blocks so over published OHIO STARS, MONKEY WRENCHES or Drunkards Path. I have EQ7s BLOCK BASE, Barbara Brackman’s and Jenny Beyer’s block books and all of these blocks are in there. What I liked best was these required increasing skill. The blocks start out simple and become more advanced as the book progresses. Most of the quilts had interesting modern settings and colorways. I have taken many sampler quilts and found them a good learning experience that improves your quilting skills.

I also found a lot of FREE MOTION QUILTING exhibited in the quilts. The FMQ went from simplistic to very intricate, giving me a lot of ideas for the quilts I am currently working on.

BLOCKS INCLUDED IN THIS BOOK:

  • Double Z
  • Dakota Star
  • Riviera
  • Rolling Squares
  • Red Cross
  • Mayflower
  • Tea Leaf
  • CrossPatch
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Tilted Star
  • Cross and Crown
  • Geometric Star
  • Exploding Star
  • Double Windmill
  • Dove in the Window
  • Art Square
  • Mosaic No 8

All and all I am giving this a 4 out of 5 ratings ( GOOD READS) as I think a lot of quilters will find this a good book to use, regardless if you are a modern or a traditional quilter. I think you will love the blocks in this book. I also rated this high because of the historical factoids in the book. I will review the book again after I have made some of the blocks…. I feel another sampler quilt coming my way.

Happy Quilting to all,

Nonnie

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QUILTING WITH A MODERN SLANT by RACHEL MAY

QUILTING WITH A MODERN SLANT by RACHEL MAY
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quilting with modern slant
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http://www.amazon.com/Quilting-Modern-Slant-Techniques-Inspiring/dp/1612120636 . . . RACHEL MAY: Quilting with a Modern Slant . . .

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1612120636/ref=tmm_pap_new_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=new&sr=&qid= . . . QUILTING WITH A MODERN SLANT by Rachel May …

This book is by Rachel May is a founding member of the MODERN QUILT GUILD and a PhD candidate in English and cultural studies with a focus on quilts and narratives. She started this book as her graduate thesis then turned it into a book. She features interviews with many of the new personalities ( as I call them QUILT DIVAS) discusses the on line quilting communities and blogs. In the 224 pages, in this book, Ms May explores many aspects of the modern quilt movement. I have many quilt books exploring the history of traditional, folk quilting and art quilting but this is one of the first books that I have read delving into how the modern quilt movement started. I do appreciate how Ms. May pays homage to earlier quilt movements.

This book includes some technique tutorials and a pattern or two from contributors to the book but this is not the main focus of the book. Ms May main focus is the on-line communication and blogs and the Modern Quilt community. As I read thru the book I google each of the bloggers listed and added them to my FEEDLY BLOG READER. I look forward to following them in the future.

To peak your interest I am listing the chapters and just a few of the quilt personalities listed in this book:

1./ A SENSE of PLAY …. Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr and Kathy Mack
2./ IMPROV( ISATIONAL) …. Nancy Crow and Denyse Schmidt
3./ The Personal is Political …. Betz White and Lee Heinrich
4./ Quilting from Tradition …. Pepper Cory and Katy Jones
5./ For the Love of Color …. Amy Butler, Elizabeth Hartman, Malka Dubrawsky
6./ Practicing Scales ….. Jane Sasserman, Valori Wells, Heather Grant
7./ Coming Full Circle …. Geta Grama, Sarah Fielke, Melony Miller

In GOODREADS I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars review. I always revisit the rating after I have had the book several month to update my review. I do think that if you want to understand the MODERN QUILT MOVEMENT this is a good book to start with. I will also update this blog post when I update the review on GOODREADS.
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Happy Quilting,
NONNIE
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Nickel Quilts and More Nickle Quilts by Pat Speth

Nickel Quilts: Great Designs from 5 Inch ScrapsNickel Quilts: Great Designs from 5 Inch Scraps by Pat Speth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2002

I have a fondness for this book because my husband actually went into my LQS and bought this and the sister book MORE NICKEL QUILTS by Pat Speth, all by himself. It was a birthday gift the year after I started making quilts. Of course I am sure he had the help of my quilt teacher and friends in the shop and they KNOW me so well.

I can recommend this book for making lovely scrap quilts using 5-INCH NICKELS, now called charms. Pat and Charlene give a brief instruction on how to make the quilts using other size blocks. But they give just a brief explanation and concentrate on explaining how to use NICKELS/ CHARMS. Using pre-cut charms make the scrap quilts easier and varied.

When planning scrappy nickle quilt, Ms Speth drives home the need to consider balance, value and contrast in the selection of your fabrics. Ms Speth further explains the need for variety of fabric scale, size of print, style of fabrics. She further suggests using different background to add interest to the quilts. I like her style and she gives a lot of common sense advise.

This was one of my first quilt books that I owned. I like her explanation of chain piecing, accurate seaming and cutting. She guides you through sewing of many of the basic patches. (HSqTri, Four Patches, sew and flip techniques, hour glass and picket fence.)

Favorite Quilts:

JEWEL BOX —

SUNNY LANES—

FOUR PATCH PLAID — Plays using light and dark patches to obtain a diagonal settings.

LABOR DAY MADNESS—This block uses partial piecing to achieve the block construction.

Criticism: As with most books published early in 2000 the finished patch/unit are not included in the direction. It would have been helpful. Especially as a new quilter I did not know how to figure out the sizes of the patches and blocks.

Because of using the 5 inch patches many of the block sizes are unconventional. I think this fact should have been discussed in the preface of the book. I found I had to read very carefully and make my own notes as to the size of the patches and blocks.

Ms Speth choice of colors are traditional and somewhat dated to my eyes. She uses a lot of browns and creams, my least favorite colors. As a quilter who has been around the block a couple of times I now have a better understanding of my own color choices and how to work with them to get the quilts I like.

Yes, I would like to recommend this book as I find using NICKELS / pre-cut CHARMS a fast and easy way to make quilt tops. The patterns would be exciting made in modern quilt fabrics.

Nonnie,

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More Nickel Quilts: 20 New Designs from 5-Inch SquaresMore Nickel Quilts: 20 New Designs from 5-Inch Squares by Pat Speth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2004

Once again Pat goes through her explanation of collecting 5 inch NICKLES and duplicates but expands the instructions from her first book. In this book she has a larger gallery of scrappy NICKEL QUILTS. What I did note that Ms Speth used more flying geese and hour glass patches in her blocks.

Quilts I liked:

Beach Party —

JACOB ‘s LADDER — I have always loved the black background and the bright fabrics used in this quilt.

Pinwheels on Parade —

Stars over Mitford — I have never seen this block except in this book. I tried looking it up in Encyclopedia of Patch-work and Block Base, despite trying several times. What I like about this block is the masculine flavor/ styling of the block. I made it for a nephew using blues and greens.

BRAVE WORLD — This takes my favorite block BRAVE NEW WORLD and mirrors them putting them with sashing.

I find I like the quilts in this book more than her first book, NICKEL QUILTS.

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Ricky Tims Rhapsody Quilt

Have you ever looked at a quilt and thought to yourself this is the quilt I want to make. This is the quilt that would be my master piece! This is the quilt that NEEDS Ricky to come to my house and draft for me, cause I could never get the top to lie flat! These are the thoughts that race through my head when I see one of the complicated Rhapsody quilts at a show, on line or in a book. I know how hard it can be to make cause when you deal with curves THINGS HAPPEN. The series of Rhapsody books that Ricky has published are the bane of my existence because they make me think that my dream is possible. Then again they might be my salvation as they can show me the way to achieve my dream.

Ricky Tims' Rhapsody QuiltsRicky Tims’ Rhapsody Quilts by Ricky Tims
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Ricky’s books and DVDs and was buying them even before he started THE QUILT SHOW and knew who he was as a quilter. I always fall in love with the pictures on the front cover and then I love the pictures of the gallery pictures. Ricky has detailed the process of how make your own RHAPSODY QUILT. I love his own quilts and the quilts of his students.

YES I AM A QUILT SHOW JUNKY !!!! Ricky showed how to make a Rhapsody quilt on the series.

PIN-LESS PRECISION CURVED PIECING

APPLIQUE

HOW TO DESIGN APPLIQUE

UNDERSTANDING THE DESIGN –

GOOD DESIGN VS DESIGNS THAT WILL FAIL

USING STAY STITCHES

SEWING CIRCLES

ADD this quilt to my dream list!!!

NONNIE

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