Books on Monday – Allie Aller’s Crazy Quilting

I seem to be on a crazy quilting kick, so this week we are looking at Allie Aller’s Crazy Quilting: Modern Piecing & Embellishing Techniques for Joyful Stitching by Allie Aller. (Weird how that works, isn’t it?) Below is the link for the book from Amazon, the Kindle version from Amazon, and following those a link for her Craftsy class, which I have purchased but have not yet completed.

Crazy Quilting with Allie Aller (There is no cool banner for the Craftsy class. Sorry!)

Let me just say from the beginning that this is a book that (as long as you can see Kindle books in color) is just as good on a Kindle as in paper version. I am always somewhat concerned that if I purchase a quilting book in Kindle version the templates won’t come out right or something. I tend to limit my Kindle quilting book purchases.

After writing last week’s review, I went to Amazon to purchase the 3rd edition of that book, and Amazon, in its ever so helpful way, suggested this book. Apparently I had no self-control (and I’ve wanted this one for a long time), and also purchased this.

I was originally going to review The Crazy Quilt Handbook, Revised: 12 Updated Step-by-Step Projects Illustrated Stitch Guide, Including Silk Ribbon Stitches (3rd Edition), but after looking at it, I decided that would be a very short review. Let me just mention here that if you are considering purchasing that book, make sure you purchase the third edition. Now, on to the review at hand.

Even if I never make a crazy quilt (which is a distinct possibility given how much I don’t like embroidery), I would want to own this book. It is beautiful. Stunning! Thorough! It makes crazy quilting a more modern endeavor than a Victorian project. If I were an art quilter or crazy about embellishments, this book would throw me over the edge into crazy quilting. (As it is, I still may get there!) The illustrations are gorgeous. Collecting the materials and tools looks like fun. Yeah, if only there weren’t any embroidery.

Let me just tell you what is inside since I’m already running late with this. (I got to involved in reading and looking at the pictures to get this done on time.

  • Dedication and Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Collecting Your Materials and Tools    –   (a very inspiring section!)
  • Creating Your Own “Fabrics”    –  (or what to do with all your old clothes and scraps!)
  • Four Ways to Build a Crazy Block
  • Eye Candy: Embellishment!
  • Gallery of Inspiration   –   (Yes, it is!)
  • Projects   –   (There are six of these.)
  • Work in Progress: A Crazy Quilt from Start to Finish
  • In Conclusion
  • Suppliers
  • About the Author

As I browsed this book, it occurred to me that a crazy quilt round robin could be fun. Yeah, I know. Sounds weird. Maybe I’d better go shower and get dressed for the day.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – The Crazy Quilt Handbook

Today we are looking at The Crazy Quilt Handbook, Revised 2nd Edition by Judith Baker Montano, a book I purchased for an amazing price during a C & T Publishing sale. (Yes, the link below is an Amazon Associate link.)

I think it is only fair to tell you that since I purchased this last fall, there is a newer edition (probably why the sale was so awesome in the first place) with new stitches and stuff. The link below is to the newer addition.

Somewhere deep down inside, I want to make a crazy quilt someday. What I don’t really want to do is hand embroidery. Yeah, I know, that sounds crazy coming from a person who likes hand piecing and hand quilting, but for some reason embroidery and I don’t click. Never have. May never.

Anyway, I purchased this book hoping to get inspired and actually get started on some kind of crazy quilt, even if it were only a table runner or mug rug. Or a Christmas tree skirt. Anyway, let’s move on to looking at this book instead of me dithering on about what I am or am not going to do in my future.

The book begins with a Preface (including a brief about the author type of description) and Acknowledgments. These are followed by Crazy Quilt Definitions and Recollections (of the author’s own crazy quilt past). Next comes Historical Perspective: The Crazy Quilt Legacy and a section called Revival, which describes a bit about the crazy quilt revival.

Then we come to the how-to part of the book with the Getting Started section. This section includes the following sub-sections: Color, Repetition and Balance, Texture, Pattern and Solids, and Selecting Fabric. Then we move on to Crazy Quilts How-To: Laying the Foundation. This describes using Plastic Window Templates, the Antique Method, and The Montano Methods (which are called Montano Centerpiece Method and Montano Fan Method). A section on Problem Solving follows.

The section called Design Elements for Successful Crazy Quilting includes information about Adapting Crazy Quilting to Garment Patterns, Begin with a Bigger Base, and Design Elements.

Of course, then comes the really good part – Embellishments. (After all, isn’t that what crazy quilting is all about?) Subsections here are Embroidery and Calligraphy although ribbons, beads, and lace also show up in this main section. And yes, this section looks like lots of fun.

Next come the projects. Most of these are smaller projects using crazy quilting, like bags and needlecases. (Maybe I could actually make a crazy quilt needlecase without a huge time commitment!) The largest project is a wall hanging.

And the final section (unless you are counting the Bibliography and Index) is the Stitch Dictionary. This version of the book includes 21 stitches, including spiderwebs and trees. (I think I need to get out a needle and thread to figure out the difference between a French Knot and a Colonial Knot.)

Usually, I don’t keep a book unless there are four or more projects in it that I would really like to do. Although this book has projects (and maybe I’d do one or two of them, sort of), I look at it as more of a reference book that I will keep.

Unless I decide to get the newer version!

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Fresh Family Traditions

Today we are looking at another pattern book Fresh Family Traditions: 18 Heirloom Quilts for a New Generation by Sherri McConnell. You can find it in paperback by following the link below:

I have followed Sherri’s blog, A Quilting Life, for quite a while. During that time she has written two books (this is the second), contributed to a third book and become (with her daughter) a fabric designer for Moda. She is a busy lady!

I never purchased Sherri’s first book, A Quilting Life: Creating a Handmade Home, because a lot of the projects were things other than quilts. I am most likely going to purchase Scraps, Inc.Vol.1: 15 Block-Based Designs for the Modern Quilter, because I like a lot of the projects I see in the book. I just haven’t done the purchasing yet.

Sherri comes from a long line of quilters, and the designs in this book are inspired by quilts made by her grandmothers. (Some of whom have more than one “great” in front of the name!) Although I do not always “feel” Sherri’s fabric choices (many of which are more subdued than I would choose), her quilts are beautiful.

Scattered throughout the book are tips and short articles about inspiration. The short articles even have their own Table of Contents, which I really appreciate!

So, here are the sections in this book:

  • Introduction
  • Inspired by My Grandmothers (9 patterns in this section)
  • Inspired by Design and Fabric (the other 9 patterns are in this section
  • Quiltmaking Basics
  • About the Author
  • Resources

Here are the short inspiration articles:

  • Finding and Using Inspiration for Quiltmaking
  • Inspired Journaling
  • Inspired Studio Space
  • Inspired by Fabric
  • Inspiration Notebook

And that is this morning’s Books on Monday!

Quilt on!

Dreams Link Up

I see that some other bloggers have started posting their quilting dream lists and I figured we should gather them in one piece so that they are easy to share. So here is that one place!

The two posts that I wrote can be found here and here.

Before I add the link up, let me just say that I think I keep forgetting to mention Tula Pink’s Butterfly quilt whenever I talk about my dream projects! (Normally, I would have linked up to Tula Pink’s own website, but I couldn’t find it there!)

Below is the linky for this link up! If you have already written a dreams or plans post, just link it here. If you haven’t yet written one, go for it! I look forward to seeing all your quilty dreams!


By George, I think I’ve Got It!

Yes, I’m pretty sure that I’ve found the sashing fabric for Scrap-in-a Box! And it is none of the previous speculation fabrics! I think this is what I’m going with:


It occurred to me over the weekend that I really wanted something more in my favorite teal or dark teal. Then I just needed to find it in the jumble that is my sewing area. I found a solid, but it didn’t feel like 100% cotton (it was inherited fabric) so I really didn’t want to use it here. Then I found two pieces of this Stonehenge that I’d gotten in a Fat Quarter Shop grab bag. And the more I look at this, the happier it makes me!

Now to get some sewing time! But first, I’m off to work.

Quilt on!

My Scary Brain Part 2!

A week or so ago, I posted the first My Scary Brain post. Once I had posted it and looked back at it, I figured that it didn’t look so scary and what was I worried about?

Then I started remembering all the quilts and other items that I want to make that I hadn’t included in that list. Like:

The Lizzie Anne bag by Bunny Hills Designs. This is no longer on the Bunny Hill website but I did find it in some shops when I searched for it, so you could find it if you wanted to.

The Tammy Bag by Madame Sam. This one is available on I bought the hardware for it when I first bought the pattern, but this one is still awaiting its turn.

At least five other Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorials. Under the Stars Quilt, Herringbone Quilt, the Quatrefoil Block, Summer in the Park, Summer in the Park with Honey Buns, The Binding Tool Star Quilt, etc. etc.

Some Thimble Blossoms patterns: Tulips, Mini-Tulips, Swoon, Mini-Swoon, Mini-Puddle Jumper

A Catalina Sling purse by Pink Sand Beach Designs

A Mariner’s Compass Quilt

A Lonestar Quilt

A Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Okay, you get the idea. I was less than forthcoming with that first post. Sigh. And the list just goes on and on and on! I sincerely need to finish some quilts so I can get on to the next ones!

Quilt on!



Books on Monday – New English Paper Piecing

Yep, it is another book about EPP. Sigh. Does this look like a trend? Unfortunately, it does. But I still maintain I will NOT BE DOING ANY EPP IN THE NEAR FUTURE! I can promise you that.

So this week’s book is New English Paper Piecing: A Faster Approach to a Traditional Favorite by Sue Daley. And, yes, that is the usual Amazon Affiliate link below:

Note the “faster approach” in the subtitle. I’m always up for a faster approach. As long as it is still precise. I do like to be fairly precise and I do like little fiddly bits. Hmmm. Just not fond of paper.

The author combines EPP and appliqué in her quilts, and they are gorgeous. She does have a couple of tricks to make the EPP go faster, but it would be rude of me to tell you what they are. Just let me say, I think they save time but not enough for my taste. And they still require whip stitching.

She has many different shapes she uses in these quilts. There is one bed runner with double wedding rings made of pentagon shapes. Very attractive! She also has a few shapes I’ve never seen before. And these projects are gorgeous! All of them. If you think of EPP as only hexagons (and you shouldn’t after my last few book reviews), this book will show you many other shapes you can EPP. (Have I gushed enough about the designs in this book yet?)

So what is in this book?

  • Introduction
  • Tools & Equipment (Some of these may surprise you!)
  • English Paper-Piecing Techniques
  • Appliqué Techniques
  • Finishing Your Quilt
  • Projects (Have I mentioned that I love them?)
  • About the Author
  • Resources

If you like EPP and want some interesting and different patterns, this book is for you. I’m working on figuring out how to do some of these without the paper, because that is what I do. This is definitely a book I will keep, because I love these patterns. I’m sure I can figure something out! At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Quilt on!


Stopping by on Sunday

I have a Fourth of July finish! This is exciting to me because life has kept me from doing a lot of sewing. After all, this project was slated to be completed prior to last weekend (June 27) before life (in the form of volunteer subbing several days in a secretarial capacity for our church) stepped in and left me with no time to do it.

Before I show off the great work of art, let me mention my trip to Chicagoland to dogsit for our granddog, Loki. Our eldest adopted Loki a couple of months ago and hoped to not have to kennel him while she was gone on a business trip because it just seemed like too soon. So Loki’s grandparents drove to area to keep him company while she was gone. We were there about 5 days, mostly just hanging out with Loki. I did get to visit with a Twilter friend, Carole and visit an awesome quilt shop, Quilter’s Quest.


Here we are at Quilter’s Quest!


Here is my fabric haul. The bottom fabric is a practice free motion quilting piece.


My Row by Row haul. Quilter’s Quest’s row is a vertical row! So cool.


My book haul. Yes, some paper-piecing geese may be on the horizon here. And a One-Block Wonder.


This fabric came from the trunk of Carole’s car! Yes, she has fabric she is giving away.

IMG_2785And here is the little guy looking for his mama!

Prior to leaving, I had hoped to make a bed for Loki. I had purchased and washed the fabric a couple of weeks ago and assumed that I’d have plenty of time to throw it together and take it with us when we went. Then I was needed elsewhere, so this weekend was the first chance I had to work on the dog bed.

The pattern I used is the Snooze Dog Bed pattern from Pellon’s site. (Yes, I did use the Pellon pet bed insert. I purchased it from JoAnn’s online. ) Yes, I layered the fabrics and quilted them together. Yes, I did some fusible appliqué.


In process


Finished appliqué.

I also had to put a zipper in. I haven’t done that in years and don’t feel like it went very well, but finished is better than perfect!


Finished bed!


I got to deliver it because my girls have invented a holiday known as Sisters’ Day and my eldest was staying at the youngest’s home with Loki so they could spend the time together. When I put the bed on the floor, he immediately got on and claimed it. Complete with a closed eye smile!IMG_2808

And an imitation of sleep.

What did you make this weekend?

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – All Points Patchwork

Here is another book on English Paper Piecing. This sure makes it look as if I’m thinking of trying my hand at it, doesn’t it. Don’t hold your breath. But I may try something that looks very like EPP. Anyway, back to today’s review.

Today’s book is All Points Patchwork: English Paper Piecing beyond the Hexagon for Quilts & Small Projects by Diane Gilleland. And, yes, that link below is an Amazon Affiliate link. I have to pay for overseas shipping somehow!

This is a beautiful book. It is the most thorough book I have yet read on how to do various shapes of EPP. The uses the author finds for EPP shapes and rosettes or flowers or stars is very inspiring. Which is her point in writing this book. There are no directions for specific projects, but there is lots of inspiration. And lots of information about how to actually do the process of EPP.  I am very happy to own this, even if I do not plan to really do any EPP in the near future.

Here is what you can find in this book, along with many pictures, of course:

  • Hello, EPP! (This is an introduction to both the book and EPP.)
  • Chapter 1: Tools and Materials
  • Chapter 2: Basic Techniques
  • Chapter 3: Building Your Own EPP Patterns (I find this one very exciting!)
  • Chapter 4: Working with Hexagons
  • Chapter 5: Working with Diamonds and Jewels
  • Chapter 6: Working with Triangles and Tumblers
  • Chapter 7: Working with Octagons and Pentagons
  • Chapter 8: Working with Curved Shapes
  • Resources
  • Acknowledgments
  • Sample EPP Templates
  • Index

This is not a short book. (224 pages.) It is not full of projects. Make sure you understand this so that you are not disappointed like the only one star review of this book on But if you want to become an EPP pro, this book will not disappoint you.

Quilt on!

My Scary Brain

No this is not a post about me sliding into Alzheimer’s or having psycho-killer urges, I promise. It is just about…. Well, read on and find out!

Back in May, Jaye (artquiltmaker) wrote a post which she called Dream Projects #5. Now, I suppose that I have read the other 4 Dream Projects posts as well, but apparently when I read this one, I was running with it in my own mind. All I could think with the number of Dream Projects Jaye had listed was, “I’m not the only one whose list is this long (or longer)!” While that reassured me a little, it made me fear for the relatives of all of the rest of the quilters with this problem.

That being said, here is my list of Dream Projects (or at least a few of them).

Two Jen Kingwell patterns – The Gypsy Wife and Green Tea and Sweet Beans. I own both patterns already and have been gathering the leftover scraps from the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM for The Gypsy Wife. It will require other colors also, but that’s the start. Green Tea and Sweet Beans will require being comfortable with appliqué, so that will require learning.

Elizabeth Hartman’s Aviatrix Medallion but not in solids. I’m thinking stunning batiks for this one! I am not a solids girl so much.

Jaybird Quilts’ Gravity quilt, also not in solids. I think I have enough batiks to make this one too! I stocked up on grays at a Hancock’s of Paducah sale.

Then there are the Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorials I want to do!  The Illusion Block Quilt is at the top of the list since I already have everything I need to complete one or two! I don’t think I’ll name other names here. It’s enough to say there are a lot of them.

Then there are the three very special super secret quilts for which I’ve been hunting and gathering fabric for several years now. I really want to get on them, but I haven’t finished designing them yet.

And I want to make a Scrapitude and a Playing with 9-Patches quilt designed by Charlotte Hawkins. I already own both patterns, and I certainly have plenty of scraps!

And then there is almost every quilt that Judy Martin has ever designed.

And La Passacaglia quilt and many others from the Millefiori Designs books.

And I ordered the Full Bloom quilt kit from Hancock’s of Paducah.

See. This is getting out of hand.

Because I still have so much to finish! Aaaaaargh!!!!!

See why my brain is scary. Sigh.

Quilt on!