Books on Monday – Piece and Quilt with Precuts

This week we are looking at Christa Watson’s most recent book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts: 11 Quilts, 18 Machine-Quilting Designs, Start-to-Finish Success! The links below are to the Kindle version and the paperback version on Amazon.com. If you use them, you will be helping to support this blog. Thank you for considering helping in this way.

This book came along at the perfect time for me. I had just looked around at all the jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm squares that I have around here and started to wonder how I am going to use all those precuts before I become nonproductive. And then Christa answered my question! With 11 quilt patterns I’d be interested in making. All from various precuts.

In addition to the quilt patterns, Christa has provided quilting ideas and directions on how to do the quilting for each of the quilts. If you’ve ever taken a class with Christa or read one of her other books, you know that she is a wonderful teacher both in person and in writing. That makes these quilting designs achievable and way less threatening. At least, that’s how I feel about them.

So let’s look at the book from the beginning using the annotated Table of Contents.

  • Introduction – This is the basic Introduction material written in Christa’s usual style.
  • Working with Precuts – This includes some definitions of precuts, information about choosing fabrics, speedy sewing and not enough fabric (like if you make a goof or something).
  • How Do I Quilt It? – This is some basic information about machine quilting and making decisions about quilting your quilt. It includes some information about basting, Christa’s favorite machine features, and tying off the threads too.
  • Walking Foot Quilting – These are the patterns that lend themselves particularly well to walking foot quilting. For each pattern, there is a walking foot quilting suggestion.
  • Free-Motion Quilting – These are the patterns that include quilting plans that are free motion quilting.
  • Combined Quilting Techniques – Guess what these are! You got it! The quilting plans include both free motion and walking foot aspects.
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author

Disclaimer – I have met Christa and I like her a lot. This may not be a completely unbiased review, but I will say that I am expecting myself to make the main cover quilt and three or four of the others. Whether i ever do any free motion quilting is another matter entirely! Thumbs up for this book though!

Quilt on!

 

Books on Monday – Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares

Yes, in cleaning up the sewing room I discovered a stack of books that I could review. So, yes, there will be a few Books on Monday posts on the second and fourth Mondays of the next few months. Since today is the fourth Monday, here we go. Remember that this post will contain Amazon Affiliate links which will help to support this blog.

This week we are looking at Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares: Quilting with 2 1/2″, 5″, and 10″ Treasures by Kim Brackett.

Kim is the author of other Scrap-Basket books also, most of which I own. Obviously, I like her design aesthetic. This book is no disappointment. There are 18 projects in this book and I marked 15 of them as projects I might be interested in making. I have a ton of precuts, so it is realistic to imagine that some of that may actually happen.

One of the first things that I appreciated as I looked at this book is the fact that Kim mentions in the Introduction the fact that the fabrics used in the projects in the book would most likely have been discontinued. She then gives tips for people who want to make a quilt as close about as possible to those in the book even if the fabrics are no longer available. I’ve not seen that anywhere before and I found it very interesting to read.

After the Introduction, there’s a section called “Things to Know About Precuts” which includes information about how to deal with the pinked edges among other things. This is followed by a page called “Special Piecing Techniques” which basically describes how to do folded corner units.

Next come the projects. As I mentioned previously, there are 18 of them. Each of them gives cutting instructions for those who prefer to use scraps in their projects in addition to the cutting directions for the precuts. The directions appear to be vey easy to follow, although I have not yet actually made one of the quilts. As I read the directions, I can picture how I’d do each one, so I’m hopeful.

After the projects comes a page of resources, including identifying the fabrics in several of the quilts. This is followed by a page with Acknowledgments and About the Author.

Overall, I have plans for this book and recommend it if you are looking for scrappy quilt ideas.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Moda All Stars – Scraps Made Simple

Today we are looking at Moda All-Stars – Scraps Made Simple: 15 Sensationally Scrappy Quilts from Precuts compiled by Lissa Alexander. This is available in both Kindle and paperback versions, hence the two different Amazon Affiliate links.

This, like the other Moda All-Stars books, is basically a book of cool projects designed by Moda designers. For me, this book is a keeper  because I like almost every quilt in this book and can picture myself making them. Plus, I have a lot of precuts so…

The book starts with an introduction. As part of the Introduction, Lissa Alexander includes the questions that were asked of each designer for the Scraps of Wisdom insets that go with each quilt. The next section of the book is A Primer on Precuts. Most of these are given their Moda names since this is a Moda book.

Then it’s on to the quilts. This section includes quilts by (in this order) Carrie Nelson, Amy Smart, Laura Boehnke, Amy Ellis, Edyta Sitar, Sherri McConnell, Lisa Bongean, Corey Yoder, Jan Ragaller, Susan Ache, Jenny Doan, Lissa Alexander, Lisa Calle, Lynne Hagmeier, and Sherri Falls. I am not kidding when I say i want to make them all. After all, I have soooo many precuts.

Cutting instructions are mostly given as if one is cutting from yardage, but, of course, it is easy to recognize where the precuts would be used. Edyta Sitar does map out how to cut her quilt from fat quarters. It’s always nice to see a map!

The instructions are clearly written and very well illustrated. I saw a couple different ways of making half square triangles in the book. I always like to see new ways of doing things. I will definitely look into some more of these Moda All-Stars books!

Quilt on!

Apparently

If I don’t work, I don’t do much blogging. It certainly isn’t that I haven’t been doing quilty things! I am making good progress on the neverending hand quilting project. And I have organized our church’s quilt for the auction next December, including cutting, putting together block kits, making the sample block so that I could type up directions, typing up the directions and passing out most of the available block kits. (See the sample block below.)

I also have done little bits of organizing and rearranging my sewing space. It used to be that the only precuts I ever purchased were jelly rolls. But look how many charm packs I found! How did this happen?

I blame the pinwheel thing. Honest.

Seriously, though, I looked at that method of making pinwheel blocks where you sew two charm squares together around the outside edges and then cut it into four parts by cutting on the diagonals, and I thought there might be lots of other things than just pinwheels that could be made with those units. I do plan to try someday soon. But I sort of have two finishes in sight and I really want to get those done first.

So now that I’m back at work, what am I doing today. Well, first I’m catching up on all the things that happened while I was out of the office (due to budget considerations, in case I never mentioned it). Then I spent the rest of this afternoon drawing lines on 48 1 inch wide strips so that I can do the next step in my American Beauty BOM. I could start the sewing today too, but I think I’ll wait on that. Tomorrow is another day.

Here are the strips, piled up and from the back so that you can see the lines I drew. Tomorrow I’ll show you the other side after I get one of the new units pieced.

Quilt on!