Today’s post is a bit of an advertisement, but the only thing I’m earning by posting it is sister points, so I hope you will bear with me on this.
My sister and brother-in-law recently began a new venture, turning their home in the San Francisco Bay area into a bed and breakfast. Their home is a stunning place to stay with views of the ocean from nearly every room (including 2 of the 3 bathrooms – but one of those is the master bath). They are also fun people to visit (way more extroverted than I am). Just know that one of those rooms (most likely the first) is mine if I’m in town!
If you are headed to the San Francisco Bay area, you may want to check out these links.
Harbor View from Asia – Queen Bed in Half Moon Bay
Cozy Africa Theme – 2 Twin Beds
Southwest Harbor View – Queen Bed
HMB Harbor Views – Two BR – Sleeps 4
If there were just a few more sleeping rooms, I’d suggest a Bay Area Twilter retreat! Also, in speaking with my sister, she says any friend of mine gets a discount (not sure how much), so make sure you tell her you read about it here for your discount!
Before I start today’s review, I want to mention something about my reviews. No one sends me books to review. I purchase each and every book that I review myself (or I have purchased them in the past). If it turns out that you buy a used copy of a book that I reviewed on Amazon.com and it happens to be my copy, I’m not making money on something that was given to me to review. I don’t know why I felt like I needed to say this, but I did. Now on to today’s review!
Today we are looking at The Loyal Union Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts: 121 Traditional Blocks Quilt Along with the Women of the Civil War by Jennifer Chiaverini. Like a previously reviewed book (Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler), this is a quilt inspired by one of Chiaverini’s novels. This time the novel is The Union Quilters: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel. (The second link here is, like the following link, an Amazon Associate link – usual disclaimer here. The first link is a link to my review of previously reviewed book.)
Like the previous book, this one is a sampler quilt, so it is patterns for 121 blocks that measure 6 inches, finished. The vast majority of these blocks are pieced blocks, but there are a couple (actually 3, I think) appliqué blocks. There are some truly awesome blocks in this book that I intend to use in a quilt sometime. Seriously.
The bulk of this book is the block patterns. There is a section discussing the novel and its relationship to this sampler, but that is about it for written material. The block patterns appear to be well written and easy to follow but I have not yet tried to make one. They appear in the book in alphabetical order by name.
I am not going to list the entire table of contents here because it lists each block by name, but here is the condensed version.
- A paragraph under the title of the table of contents that describes how to find each block in the quilt.
- The Union Quilters and the Loyal Union Sampler – tells about the novel and its relationship to this sampler.
- The block patterns listed individually.
- General Instructions – discusses sashing, borders, and quilt assembly.
- The Gallery – photos of various versions of this sampler
- Template and Foundation Patterns – the ones you need for these blocks are all here.
- About the Author – you know what this means!
This week we are looking at another book I purchased from C&T during their fall sale – Color Essentials: Crisp & Vibrant Quilts by Amanda Murphy. Below is a lovely Amazon Associate link, which, as you know, gives you the opportunity to purchase a book and support this blog with no extra cost to you.
This book is beautifully done. The pictures are gorgeous and colorful. The quilt designs are modern and colorful. The production value of the book itself is high quality.
But I kind of felt a bit like this book was a Kona solids commercial, which is not necessarily awful but if I had known that, I would not have paid big bucks for it. (Okay, I didn’t, because I bought it on sale, but maybe you get my drift.) I don’t like to pay for advertising. I still resent it that there are commercials at the movies. I don’t have a problem with a book on using solids and color theory as long as you don’t mention a fabric line by name.
That being said, if that aspect doesn’t bother you and you want to use solids to make modern quilts, this book has several lovely patterns. Alternate colorways are shown for each quilt, to help you picture how they would look in other colors.
So, on to the Table of Contents!
- A Rainbow of Possibilities (This is the section on color. It is illustrated heavily with pictures of Kona swatches. Even the color wheel has Kona palette notations.)
- Try It! (These are the small projects, pillows, table runners, and place mats.)
- The Heart of the Matter (the quilt projects)
- Quilting Solids (a note from the longarmer who quilted the quilts)
- Quiltmaking Basics (a VERY brief discussion of the basics)
- Supplies/Source List
- About the Author (On the same page as the supplies list and to the left of it, so I would have expected it to come before the list in the table of contents, but it didn’t and I’m probably being too picky.)
After reading/looking at this book, I hesitated to review it because I don’t like doing reviews that are negative, and it feels like I’m being more than a little negative on this one. But then I looked at the quilts again (and again and again) and thought maybe you ought to know that the quilts are gorgeous. I just have a problem with the fact that the title of the book makes it sound like you are going to learn lots and lots about color – and I didn’t feel like you really will. (The second half of the title – Crisp and Vibrant Quilts – is definitely true though!)
And that is all I’m going to say about that!
To my very great surprise, I got the call last Tuesday that the other Christmas tree skirt was now quilted and ready for me to pick up. It was too late in the day for me to do that on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning I rushed over to pick it up. I love the star quilting on it. I’ve made its binding (I did that yesterday) but I still need to figure out how to do the greater than 90º angles in an octagon before I sew it on to the quilt.
I’ve also made some progress on two of the Designer Mystery BOMs I’m working on. Here is Block 6 from the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM. I had thought I had it finished on Tuesday, but when I went to press it I realized that I had rotated a couple of the patches incorrectly so I had to unsew and do over.
Here is Block 3 from this year’s Designer Mystery BOM. Once it was cut out, it went together pretty quickly.
I have started Block 7 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM and should maybe finish it sometime this week. Although I don’t chauffeur my DH to rehearsal because he isn’t leading worship next week and that is when I usually get some hand piecing in. The other time that I do some hand piecing is during University of Michigan football games but this next week is a bye week so I have no idea whether any hand piecing will happen after all.
I am, however, machine piecing this year’s BOM, so I have high hopes that I will get Block 4 completed before Block 5 arrives this week. Once it gets here, I may even whip that out too! Who knows?
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I haven’t been on social media as much as usual lately because I have been working on some projects. The list here is not in the order of completion or dates worked on. It’s just in an order that makes sense to me.
First off, I have finished Janni’s Christmas tree skirt! I wanted a slightly lighter red binding but I didn’t think I had enough of that fabric to make it so I had to go with the darker red. I still like the red binding, though. This binding was my first bias binding and went pleasantly well.
And here’s a close-up of the quilting on the back so you can see it! It looks gorgeous.
The binding was a pain to machine sew around the small hole in the center, so I’m thinking once I finish Lizzi’s and Joe’s tree skirt, I will stay away from Christmas tree skirts forevermore!
Speaking of Lizzi’s and Joe’s Christmas tree skirt, that top is completed and at the longarmer’s for quilting but here is what it looked like before I cut out the center hole”
I also finished block 6 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM. I also thought I’d finished the 2012 block since but when I went to press it, I realized that I had made a major mistake on it and had to take a bunch of it apart. I’ll probably get that one done this week, but in the meantime here is the 2011 block 6:
Up next: hand quilting on the church quilt, finishing 2012 block 6, cutting the two block 7s, and working on the American Beauty BOM. Of course, all that will take a back seat to binding and washing Lizzi’s and Joe’s tree skirt when it comes back.
Today we are looking at the second edition of An Amish Adventure: A Workbook for Color in Quilts by Roberta Horton. Below is an Amazon Associate link (which helps support this blog).
I bought this book during the most recent C&T sale on their website. I think it is definitely a keeper, although I have not yet done more with it than read. (It’s busy season here – with church quilting sessions and my own projects to finish up.) However, I have already learned quite a bit, so that’s always a good thing.
This book is made up of a very educational introduction and eleven lessons. Each lesson contains some exercises to complete.
- Introduction – This covers some history of the Amish and where they came from and a bit about the colors used in their quilts.
- Lesson 1: Nine-Patch – Exercise #1 is “Playing with Background” and Exercise #2 is “Sparkle” (which I so far do not get, but I haven’t actually played with it yet so maybe…
- Lesson 2: Roman Stripes – Exercise #1 is “Standard Roman Stripes,” Exercise #2 is “Roman Stripes on Point,” Exercise #3 is Bull’s-Eye Roman Stripes,” and Exercise #4 is “Chevron Roman Stripes.”
- Lesson 3: Bricks – Exercise #1 is “Bricks” and that is all there is.
- Lesson 4: Sunshine and Shadow- Exercise #1 is “Shading (Method #1),” Exercise #2 is “Shading (Method #2),” and Exercise #3 is “Diamond Grid.”
- Lesson 5: Diamond is all one exercise and is followed by some lovely color pictures of Amish style quilts.
- Lesson 6: Bars – Exercise #1 is “Standard Bars,” Exercise #2 is “Split Bars,” Exercise #3 is “Chinese Coins,” and Exercise #4 is “Roman Coins.”
- Lesson 7: Repeat Blocks – Exercise #1 is “Adjacent Blocks,” Exercise #2 is “Lattice,” Exercise #3 is “Alternate Blocks,” and Exercise #4 is “New Directions.”
- Lesson 8: Baskets – Exercise #1 is “Identical Coloration,” Exercise #2 is “Rows of Color,” Exercise #3 is “Variation Within the Block.” and Exercise #4 is “Background Pattern.”
- Lesson 9: Challenge – Exercise #1 is “Checkerboard,” Exercise #2 is “Barn Raising,” Exercise #3 is “Interior Illumination,” and Exercise #4 is “Cross-in-the-Square.”
- Lesson 10: Ocean Waves – Exercise #1 is “Standard Variation,” Exercise #2 is “Variation Two,” and Exercise #3 is “Variation Three.”
- Lesson 11: Quilting – This is all one section.
- Appendix – Covers drafting, quick piecing, construction of the top, and quilting.
- About the Author
And there you have it!
It’s that time again. Time for the Third Quarter Quilty Resolutions Update. I have the Quilty Resolutions that I made for Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us (where I’m linking this) and I have my own Quilty Resolutions in the sidebar to the right. I’ll cover both here.
First, Sandy’s, which are the quilting monkeys we want to get off our backs.
- “The American Beauty block of the month that I started in 2010. The blocks are all done – I just need to add the setting triangles, sashing and border.” Nope, this monkey is still here. The best I’ve done is look at the triangles and pick them up and count to make sure they’re all there. Sigh.
- “My fear of free motion. I need to make some quilt sandwiches with the scraps from the wool batting I used in my daughter’s wedding quilt so I can test them for the best laundering and drying. I might as well play with free motion quilting on them before I wash them up, right?” Well, I did put some sandwiches together, but I haven’t used them at home yet. I took two free motion quilting classes at the AQS show in Grand Rapids and I am definitely less concerned that I won’t be able to do it. I’ve just had other projects I’ve been working on.
- “My laziness and avoidance of learning to applique.” Yeah, that’s still there, sorry to say.
Now on to the resolutions on my sidebar.
- Complete at least 2 of the 4 BOMs I have going.
a. American Beauty BOM See above
b. 2009 Designer Mystery BOM – On the frame for hand quilting
c. 2011 Designer Mystery BOM – Blocks 1-6 completed
d. 2012 Designer Mystery BOM – Blocks 1-5 completed
- Complete the Wedding Quilt for my daughter and her husband before their first anniversary which is July 20. It is finished and delivered!!!!!! You can read about it here.
- Do some free motion quilting on one small project. See above.
- Complete the two Christmas tree skirts for my daughters before Thanksgiving. The first skirt top has been completed and quilted and is just waiting to be bound. The most recent blog post on it is here. The other Christmas tree skirt top is completed and off to be quilted.
- Complete the studio (aka family room) reorganization. Not enough progress to mention
- Complete the Falling Charms Quilt that is currently on the design wall. Finished!!!!! The last post on it is here.
- Try some machine appliqué. See above.
I seem to have done much better at the Quilty Resolutions I made totally on my own that at the ones that I made following Sandy’s suggestions. I’m on track to finish the tree skirts before my eldest daughter’s visit the weekend of October 31. Then I can give them to both girls. The tree skirts are not surprises so I’m not giving anything away.
This week we are looking at Celtic Pieced Illusions by Karen Combs. Yes, that is an Amazon Associate link as usual. (According to Amazon, I purchased this book on September 20, 2011, so you can tell I’ve had it awhile.)
I’m not sure why I purchased this book in the first place. I know that I really am not drawn to Celtic Quilts (although some of the designs make nice quilting patterns). I don’t think I will ever make an entire quilt from this book. What I may well do, however, is use some of the units she introduces in this book to make pieced borders for other quilts. And that is one reason I still own this book. The other reason is that there is quite a bit of good information in it and stuff to play with.
The book starts with an introduction, in which Ms. Combs discusses Celtic art, most especially Celtic Knots. Then it’s on to business.
- Chapter One – Let’s Play (This includes some worksheets to copy, cut out, and use to rotate sections to make different patterns. Sooooo much fun!)
- Chapter Two – Color & Value
- Chapter Three – From Design to Fabric
- Chapter Four – Sewing Hints
- Chapter Five – Patch Patterns (AKA templates)
- Chapter Six – Quilt Patterns (There are 14.)
- For Quilt Teachers
- Meet the Author
And there you have it!