Books on Monday – The Quilter’s Paper-Piecing Workbook


elcome to the fourth Friday in November edition of Books on Monday. Today we are looking at Elizabeth Dackson’s book, The Quilter’s Paper-Piecing Workbook: Paper Piece with Confidence to Create 18 Gorgeous Quilted Projects.  The first link below is for the paperback version. The second link is the Kindle version. And, of course, both are Amazon Affiliate link.

Every paper-piecing beginner needs this book. And the Craftsy class is also very helpful if you want to see this in action. They are very closely related in content, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

This is a gorgeous book with lots of illustrations, step-by-step instructions, gorgeous blocks and a CD-ROM. The directions are very clear, and, if I’d had this book when I first started paper-piecing, it would have all gone more smoothly. Yes, there are some things that I do a bit differently after experiencing a Judy Niemeyer pattern, but I learned quite a bit of very useful information here.

Yes, I could continue to rave, but before I move on to the Table of Contents let me just say that if you only buy one paper-piecing book in your entire life – this is the one!

Table of contents:

  • Introduction: A Tawdry Tale of a Girl and Some Paper (Don’t you love the introduction’s title?????)
  • Tools and Techniques
  • 1. The Lowdown on Paper Piecing
  • 2. Getting Started with Paper Piecing
  • 3. Ready for a Paper-Piecing Challenge?
  • 4. Taking Risks with Paper Piecing
  • List of Templates on the CD
  • Resources

Yes, this is an awesome book. Yes, it belongs in my collection. It’s definitely a keeper.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Learn to Paper Piece

Happy Second Monday in August! This week we are looking at a book I wish I’d had when I was first trying to learn to paper piece. I had such a hard time figuring it out, even watching videos and reading countless tutorials had me flustered. I managed to complete that first paper pieced project, but it would be a lot better if I’d had this book.

And what exactly is this book? Nancy Mahoney’s Learn to Paper Piece: A Visual Guide to Piecing with Precision. It is available in both paperback and Kindle versions so the first link below is my Amazon Affiliate link for the paperback version and the second is for the Kindle version.

This book makes paper piecing so straightforward. I especially like that the in the illustrations she uses the pieces for a quilt pattern from the book. A new paper piecer could easily follow along. Everything is clearly explained and well illustrated. And the projects are pretty good looking also!

Here’s the Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Getting Ready to Paper Piece
  • Paper-Foundation Piecing Step-by-Step
  • The Quilts (There are 5.)
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks

Yes, I am just barely making it on Monday here in the Eastern time zone! It’s been a busy day. Plus, I had to look at some of my older books because apparently I have no new quilt books to review. Sigh. Okay, let’s get to it.

Today’s book is 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks by Carol Doak (of course). (Yep, that’s an Amazon Affiliate or Associate or whatever they’re called these days link below.)

If you think you might ever want to design paper-pieced quilts, this book is a necessity. Yes, it is. The book is mostly pages and pages of blocks and their foundations. And so many different kinds of blocks! And a CD so you can print them from your computer. Yes, I am very happy I own this book.

I must confess that I never expected to like paper-piecing. I thought it would be too fussy and irritating for me. But I have become a fan. I like the precision and that it looks so perfect. And, of course, people who plan to do paper-piecing need to own at least one book by Carol Doak. And her Craftsy class.

But on to the book details. Obviously a very large percentage of this book is the blocks and foundations, but there is a bit of other stuff too.

  • Introduction
  • Tools and Supplies
  • Paper Foundations (includes a chart telling with the percentage of enlargement or reduction to print the foundations and enlarge or reduce their size)
  • Fabric
  • Cutting Lists
  • Paper-Piecing Techniques
  • Embellishments
  • About the Blocks
  • Three-Inch Alphabet and Number Blocks (yep, this is where the actual blocks and foundations start)
  • Gallery of Four-Inch Blocks (color pictures of the blocks)
  • Four-Inch Blocks (the actual foundations are here)
  • Resources
  • About the Author

So, whether you are paper-piecing or not

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – A Paper-Pieced Garden

Books on Monday is back! For our first book of the new year, we are looking at A Paper-Pieced Garden: 27 Mix-and-Match Blocks Plus Unique Quilts by Maaike Bakker and Francoise Maarse.

We all know that I have been avoiding appliqué for years! Well, some of the paper-pieced flowers in this book can protect me from having to ever learning to appliqué! (Well, technically some of these designs include some appliqué for the stems and leaves and other details.) But I digress. This isn’t about me.

The book begins with an Introduction with a little bit of information about the authors. Next comes a page long discussion of Color and Fabric, followed by several pages each on Paper Piecing, Constructing the Quilt, Adding Appliqués, and Finishing the Quilt. The Projects section contains seven garden-themed projects. After this comes a Gallery of Quilts containing pictures of seven quilts also made with the block patterns. Then come the Block Patterns, 28 different paper-pieced flowers, animals, cherries, mushrooms, and vases that you can use to design your own quilts. Next are the Appliqué Patterns (mostly leaves and stems) followed by Triangle Patterns and Quilting Designs. The last section is About the Authors.

These blocks are gorgeous designs and I can see myself using them in projects, even if not the exact projects in the book. For me, this book is a real keeper!

Quilt on!

Looking Forward to the Weekend

Well, Labor Day weekend looms close by and I have some exciting plans for said weekend.

First, lovely eldest daughter will be back in town to visit (mostly because her best friend since 3rd grade will be in town from England and they haven’t seen each other in person in over a year) and to celebrate (very early, mind you) her birthday. She will be traveling a lot for business over the next couple of months, so we probably won’t get to see her. Sigh. (I will just say here, Thanksgiving would be closer to her birthday, but I think it is kind of like The Price Is Right – closest without going over.)

Second, the #LDSI, aka Labor Day Sew-In on Twitter. I am planning to do much sewing in between celebrations and will be glad for the company. My plans include

  1. Some handwork on the Wedding Quilt (of course).
  2. Finishing paper piecing the five pointed star I was working on.
  3. Preparing the paper pieces and the fabric for the Christmas Tree Skirt lovely eldest daughter, maybe even cutting some fabric.
  4. Maybe paper piecing another five pointed star – I need three.
  5. Maybe (if my hand holds out) hand piecing some BOM blocks during the Michigan game on Saturday.

Yeah, I have some big plans. Will I get to them? We shall see. I’ll update on Tuesday.

Third, C & T Publishing is having a book sale starting at 8PM on Friday. Their spring sale provided many of the books that I’ve been reviewing. Let’s see what happens tomorrow night. Yep, I’ll be headed to the website as close to 8 PM as I can get there.



Bits and Paper Pieces

I made a rehearsal block for a big project I’m thinking of doing. It kind of looks like this:

IMG_1420 IMG_1427

Once I put a small border on it, it should be about an 18″ (finished) medallion. And, no, these are not the colors at all. I was just playing with some scraps. I doubled the size of this free paper piecing pattern by Hot Pink Peonies through Craftsy. Then I added the extra outline to make it look a little bit more like something I am sort of trying to imitate. I think I’m happy with the way it looks. So tomorrow I will start pressing the real fabric and maybe even cutting a bit.

My big accomplishment for today was to install the upgraded phone/modem from Comcast. I’m not sure why it was so important that we do this, but apparently Comcast thought it was. Since the one they sent is a wireless router also, we now have two wireless networks here at home. (No, I’m not taking my Time Capsule out of the mix. It’s my automatic backup.) The installation wasn’t very difficult, but I spent too much time trying to figure out how to turn off the wifi part of the modem. I wish they’d asked if I wanted wi-fi! Ah well.

Yes, I’m posting this very late.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Carol Doak’s Creative Combinations

Today we are looking at Carol Doak’s Creative Combinations: Stunning Blocks & Borders from a Single Unit by (not surprisingly) Carol Doak.

Although you don’t see anything in the title (other than Carol Doak’s name) to alert you to the fact, this is definitely a paper piecing book. It also has a huge bonus – a CD containing the Foundation Factory Special Carol Doak edition for resizing and printing paper piecing foundation. She also includes a white paper copy of the foundations at the back of the book.

The book begins with a gallery of the rectangular and corner units included in the book. After her introduction, there is a section describing ways these units can be used and how to use the software to print different sizes. This is followed by a section on tools, one on fabric (including information on how to decide the size patches needed to cut for paper piecing) and a section on paper piecing technique.

Then follows a two page spread for each unit, with pictures of ways to use each unit and a table of sized patches to cut for each color in the unit if you are using the printed size units from the book. And, of course, there are quilt patterns.

Even if I didn’t like any of the quilt patterns (but I do), I would keep this book because it’s main purpose is to help you design your own quilts and borders using these many units. I find this very exciting! And paper piecing lessons from the master never hurt anyone!

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Paper Piecing Perfect Points

Today’s Books on Monday Feature is Paper Piecing Perfect Points: 13 Fabulous Quilt Patterns by Debby Kratovil. (Yes, the following link is an Amazon Affiliate link.) (And, yes, we did have a wedding this past weekend, but I’m scheduling this four weeks in advance so I don’t miss a Monday. You’ll have to wait for your wedding fix!)

I love the way paper pieced points look, which shouldn’t surprise any readers of this blog. They look complicated and elegant and we all know I like looking complicated. (Elegant is not necessarily my personality.) However, recently lots of the paper pieced spiky looking quilts have started to look alike to me. I’m not sure what my problem is or how I’ve gotten over-saturated, but when I first glanced through this book I kind of groaned to myself. At first glance they all looked alike to me.

Luckily, there was a second glance. During that trip through the book I marked nearly ever quilt as one I might like to make someday in the future. So, yes, the quilts in this book are pretty and look complicated and I might like to make some. Although, I might use the paper piecing foundations to make some designs of my own also.

In her introduction, Debby gives her top 10 rules for paper piecing. She points the reader to other books if general instructions for quiltmaking are needed. This makes lots of sense in this book. Most beginners would not be trying this!

In the next section she covers special techniques she uses in the quilts in the book and in her own paper piecing. Written paper piecing procedures always seem more confusing than video, but these were pretty clear to me. We’ll see when I try some of them later on.

Then we get to the quilt patterns. No one will be surprised to hear that each quilt has lots of points! That’s the point (pun intended) of this whole book! And there are several very pretty quilts in this book. One of them, Toile Garden Medallion, would be a beautiful way to display some large print fabrics. (Yes, points and large prints.) This may actually be the first one I try although the quilt in the book is not made from colors I can ever picture myself working with. But I am a sucker for flying geese circles. I also especially like Descending, Katie’s Point of View (the cover quilt), and Silk Compass. Definitely enough quilt possibilities to make this book a definite keeper.

Quilt on!

Slow Quilting Reflections

Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us did a series of Monday posts called “Slow Quilting Monday” for a few months. I think I was a bit confused about the need for such a series of posts and confused about why I was confused! Then it struck me just recently that most of my quilting (until the fall of 2010, I could have said “all of my quilting”) is slow quilting, and that is what I prefer. (The last part of that revelation was another surprise, frankly.) But it hasn’t always been this way, trust me.

I started quilting low on patience (and skill, of course). I desperately wanted to get quilts finished, and I didn’t obsess over whether points were cut off or corners matched. I assumed that, except for the church quilts, I would be machine quilting all of my quilts. And, of course, I would be machine piecing. Hand piecing would probably never happen. When I looked at Jinny Beyer’s book Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts and realized the amount of prep work that went into hand piecing (like marking the seam allowances so you know where to sew), I was horrified.

And then, slowly but surely, something changed inside me. Maybe it was simply that I got more patient as I got older, but, since it hasn’t really been that long since I started quilting, I doubt it. Anyway, gradually some things changed for me. Here they are in no particular order:

  • I realized hand quilting relaxed me and machine quilting made me very tense.
  • I started the job that required me to sit and wait for long periods of time, so my boss suggested I bring some kind of craft to work on.
  • I realized that BOMs were perfect for taking to hand piece at work because I really only had to cut out and mark one block at a time.
  • I realized that when I hand pieced I was more accurate than when I machine pieced.
  • I started caring about accuracy as opposed to finishes.
  • I realized that I like the look of a paper pieced block.
  • I realized that I am a process not a product girl.
  • As happy as I was to make gifts for friends and relatives quickly, I didn’t enjoy a project that forced me to make it quickly as much as one that I could savor.
  • I started wanting to do more and more complicated block patterns. (But I haven’t gotten to the applique thing yet!)

Yep, I am a slow quilter. And I love it.

    Quick Question

    Am I very terrible if I take today to get the next hand quilting project of my own (FQS 2009 Designer Mystery BOM) pressed, layered and on the frame instead of working on the church top? (Look at me avoiding the church top!) I really would like to have something of my own available so I can do sporadic hand quilting.

    And guess what else! I’m missing paper piecing! I never expected to like it, but…