Years ago I used to be a book reviewer over on Planet Books Blog. I was an avid reader and reviewing new books, old favorites, and hosting author interviews was my passion. Fast forward to today and I’ll shamefully admit that I haven’t had the attention span needed to really sit down and read a novel in a long while. The books I read now are quilt books. I’m always making and the quilt books I get are full of inspiration and sometimes I will make something out of them. To kick off my new Quilt Book Review (QBR) Series, I’ll be talking about the following book.
Once in a while a quilt book lands in my hands that causes me to want to make every single quilt in it. That is the case with Sharon Holland’s debut book, Utility-Style ~ Quilts for Everyday Living, from Landauer Publishing. Sharon has invited me to participate in her upcoming blog tour for the book’s launch and I am having trouble picking a quilt to make from the beautiful pages inside. She’s covered the gambit of styles; modern, minimalistic, traditional, and down right gorgeous quilts. Her writing is welcoming, educational, and not intimidating at all. Sharon has used a variety of vintage fabrics from her personal stash and paired them with the lovely fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics, including her own delightful collections, reminding us that we should mix and blend fabrics more often. I admit I have become very comfortable working within the parameters of a single collection over the last few years, as I have been a sample maker for quilt shops. I am excited to use a variety of fabrics and styles together in upcoming projects of mine, and I’ll do my best to do so with whichever quilt I select from Utility-Style ~ Quilts for Everyday Living.
So remember, the quilt blog book tour will be in December and I’m excited to be a part of it. Until then, check out Sharon Holland’s website for inspiration, great tips, and pretty, free patterns, as well as patterns for purchase. You can buy your own copy of her book HERE.
XO – Lady K
While my friend Anna aka @HootnHaller was here last month, we decided to challenge each other to actually make things out of the many quilt books that we both own. I know, what a concept! LOL! I love quilt books and have a hard time not buying them, therefore, I have a lovely collection of quilt books in my studio. Problem is, I haven’t made much out of them. I spend plenty of time reading them and drooling over the pictures of beautiful projects, but I haven’t taken the time to make many of them.
I decided to make a quilt out of April Rosenthal’s book, “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced”. It’s one of the wonderful titles that has been published by LUCKY SPOOL and has a cool theme. “5 styles, 10 patterns, 50 quilts.” April has designed ten fun and beautiful quilts that range in skill level from fairly easy patchwork to approachable, yet challenging paper piecing. April has then taken the book a step further by showing how different decorating styles can completely change the look of these ten quilts. She even has a fun “Style Quiz” for the reader to take to narrow down what their home dec style is. (Like April states in the beginning of her book, she loves personality quizzes on Facebook and so do I, so this was really fun.) According to the quiz my style is “Farmhouse” style.
I chose to make the second quilt in the book, “Breaking Tide”. I have surprised myself by picking this one because it is simple and easy to put together, consisting of 12.5″ quarter square triangles. I always feel like I have to make things that are a bit challenging or complicated with lots of pieces creating one block. Once I started making the forty-nine blocks I sure was glad the construction was so fun and simple. Of course I started over thinking fabric combinations. I chose to make this quilt out of Cotton + Steel fabrics only. I have a great selection of C+S fabrics I have been collecting for a little while now, including cuts of all twelve prints in their Black & White line. When things started to feel hard as I was creating fabric combos, I stepped back and decided to stop what I usually do, and let the fabrics speak for themselves. I ended up using a lot of fabrics with animals on them. It turned out to be the way to go because this quilt is for Hubby and me and he really loved all the animals when I showed him the final layout of blocks.
I still have to sew all the blocks into rows, then all the rows together and then put the border on but I am really loving how it’s turning out. April’s instructions are well written and the measurements are accurate, providing plenty of squaring up room. I look forward to making more quilts out of “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced”.
Last night Brian Williams introduced a medical report that at least five minutes of jogging/fast walking can reduce one’s risk of cardiovascular disease by 45%. So this morning I turned off the TV, set my iPad up on our treadmill and I did some hiking for twenty-five minutes aka #sweatnsew while watching the Fat Quarter Shop YouTube Channel. Through the sweat dripping in my eyes, I watched Kimberly Jolly and Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts go through a tutorial for a “beginner’s eight point star”. My jaw dropped! Could Y-seams really be THAT easy? Edyta was adorably sweet and funny as she guided Kimberly through the tutorial and shared her secret tips.
I was so excited about learning a new technique that I finished up my “hike”, showered and high tailed it into my studio. After selecting some fabrics, the next thing I did was take note of the cutting measurements. I did as Edyta advised and prepped my fabric with starch to give it some body and stiffness. After cutting my fabrics I settled at my sewing machine and continued to watch the lesson again and perform each step as instructed.
All in all the block came together easily and quickly. I did heed Edyta’s words and took my time and enjoyed the process. I am always reminding friends and students to do the same because it’s so fun and care should always be taken.
I am using my blog to review things like this tutorial. I was extremely impressed with Edyta Sitar’s instruction and tips. She made a challenging block full of Y-seams very doable by all skill levels in my opinion. Fat Quarter Shop didn’t take shortcuts in their editing of the video and showed each step in real time (minus three prepped units at one point) and made me excited about learning a new way of sewing Y-seams with my machine.
I hope you will check out the FQS Tutorial for yourself and try Edyta Sitar’s approach to the Eight Point Star. Click HERE to go to the link.
Rating ~ 5 out of 5 stars