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Sep 23

Books on Monday – Utility Quilting

This week I have gone down to the quilting room and chosen a book I purchased a couple of years ago – Utility Quilting: Simple Solutions for Quick Hand Quilting by Carolyn Forster.

When I first purchased this book and read the introduction, I began to doubt that I would ever use this book. (I may have even mentioned that in an earlier post, but I can’t find it if I did.) The author describes utility quilting as big stitch hand quilting that is used to finish quilts quickly so they are available for use. Now, I love hand quilting. I would rather hand quilt than machine quilt any day. But I can’t picture myself hand quilting something with big stitches just to get it finished. If it were that important to get it finished quickly, I would machine quilt it or hire someone to machine quilt it. These days, (for me at least) hand quilting is an art form and I couldn’t picture myself using anything in this book. But I did keep it. And this weekend I looked at it again.

And I’m still keeping it. Why? Because there is a lot of useful information in this book, even if I want to use little stitches instead of big ones. (For the record, Sashiko counts as utility quilting, although it is also decorative.) Let me list the chapters so you know what I’m talking about. I may make a few comments about some of the chapters to give you a better idea of what is in the chapter and why I like it.

  1. Getting Started – Supplies (This is a longer chapter than you might imagine and contains several different categories of supplies.)
  2. Preparing to Quilt (Various ways of layering and basting your quilt are covered here.)
  3. Utility Quilting Designs (This covers designs that can be used with many quilting methods and how to make your own templates for them.)
  4. The Stitches (This covers stitches other than the basic quilting stitch that can be used to hold the quilt layers together. Big stitches, but fancy.)
  5. Binding and Other Edge Finish Techniques (This is exactly what it sounds like.)
  6. Projects (These are all fairly quick looking projects, and we all know that I prefer complicated looking quilt projects, but that’s just me. The Stretched Hexagon pattern does look interesting.)
  7. Resources and References (This is also exactly what it sounds like.)

So, to sum this up, this is a book that is a great resource so I plan to keep it. Those stitches look very interesting, even for a hand quilter who spends lots of time trying to make her stitches as tiny as possible, and the directions for making some quilting templates are very interesting to me.

Quilt on!

2 comments

  1. Diane Rincon

    This book I have, Gretchen. Frequently I use a combo of machine and big stitch, or big stitch alone to quilt a quilt. I started because of problems with my right hand. Quickly I grew to love the color and texture perle cotton can add, and the rhythm of the stitching. For me it is not about speed, but about a look and a process I love. I’m glad you’ve found something of value in this book. Ps: no one I know does big stitch, so it gives a unique look to my quilts. Of course, some of my friends don’t get it, which is fine with me too. 😎

  2. Jaye

    Was there something that you particularly liked about it? A certain project?

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