24 September 2009

Book Review - Start Quilting with Alex Anderson 3rd Edition

Alex Anderson has a dedicated following of fans, and it is with good reason. She explains herself exceedingly well, and makes every step of a project achievable. This 48 page soft cover has 8 easy projects aimed at the beginner quilter. Each of them is small enough to finish easily, but comes with instructions for all bed sizes if you decide you want to be more adventurous. The main focus is on teaching - all of the basics ‘how-to’s are here; clear, simple and comprehensive. Learn to plan, cut, piece, quilt and bind your quilt in easy steps, following sensible advice and helpful tips. The rotary cutting lesson even covers left and right handers, which is very welcome! We are constantly asked for books for beginners – This is ideal!

23 September 2009

Book Review - Intuitive Color and Design by Jean Wells

There are lots of good quilting books, but precious few which comprehensively cover the use of colour! This new one is about the exploration of colour, line, shape, harmony and design – a whole new adventure for many of us. Learning about colour involves learning to see – analyse the scene, identify the light source, think about what attracted you to it. Note how lines and shapes can represent a scene, without the clutter of minute detail. Use photos and journals to develop ideas or find inspiration. Take the 11 segment colour course offered in this book and turn quilting into an artistic adventure. Follow the assignments in harmony, abstraction, temperature and more, and learn innovative finishing methods to show your new style at its best.

21 September 2009

Pre-Cut Quilting Fabric Terminology

Baking terminology has invaded the quilting world, and the jargon can be a challenge to work out. The main point to remember is that Pre-cuts will usually be offered in matching colourways. The number of fabrics in the pack will be dictated by the fabric company. If there are a lesser number of prints in the range, they will double up on some. Once you have a reference list, you can confidently apply the terms to books and fabrics. Always read the fine print!
Jelly Roll & Bali Pop = a bundle of 2 ½ x 44in strips, usually 40 or more prints.
Turnover = a bundle of 6in triangles, usually 2 each of 40 or more prints.
Honey Bun & Sweet Roll = a bundle of 1 ½ x 44 inch strips, usually 40 or more prints.
Charming Jelly Cake = Charm Pack, Layer Cake and Jelly Roll bundled together.
Layer Cake = a bundle of 10 inch squares of fabric, usually 40 or more prints.
Twice the Charm = a bundle of 5 ½ x 22 inch pieces, usually around 15 pieces.
Dessert Roll = a bundle of 5 x 44 inch strips, usually 10 per pack.
AB Bundle = a bundle of fat quarters, usually 15 – 20 American sized.
Jelly Cake = Layer cake and Jelly Roll bundled together.
Charm Pack = a bundle of 5in squares, generally a quantity of 21 – 44.

Book Review - Simple Comforts by Kim Diehl

The latest book from the ‘Simple’ series sees Kim using her signature style of traditional patchwork combined with charming appliqué. There are clear instructions for 12 cosy lap quilts, all featuring a slightly scrappy, countrified look – which of course could look totally different depending upon fabric choice. Appliqué instructions are covered generously and clearly, with every detail addressed. Kim has her own favourite methods which she recommends trying, along with her ‘pin point’ tips and hints. Reading through her methods, I can report that she avoids confusion – I did not have a furrowed brow as I agonised over methods here! Hence the series title, really!! Kim’s page on fabric selection, which after it offers all the dos and don’ts of fabric, reveals this characteristically wise gem: “listen to your instincts and always please yourself”. Sums it up pretty well!

19 September 2009

Tool Tips - Clover Design Layout Sheet

If your partner always wants to go to bed just when you get all your blocks laid out in perfect order all over it, then you need a Clover Design Sheet! This handy layout sheet is white, measures 145 x 150 cm (58 x 60 in), and is made from a textured material which allows your fabric pieces to easily hold to it without pinning or securing in any way. The sheet is constantly reusable, and you can shift your pieces around to your hearts content. You can even hang it on your curtains! When you need to pack up, place the protective cover sheet over it and just roll or fold it up, with your creation still attached. Fantastic!

10 September 2009

Book Review - Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth by Rayna Gillman

The aim of this terrific book is to provide an informal approach to printing on fabric – to get us all to improvise and imagine and make unique prints. The techniques are ‘low cost, low tech, low key and high impact’ says the author, who also advises that if you don’t like the fabric you have made, ‘trade it... add another layer or two...cut it up’! Print using anything with texture - bumps, holes or interesting shapes can be used. You will need natural fibre fabrics such as PFD, along with paints, dyes and other bits as specified within the book. Be brave and have a go! This would be especially good in a classroom or group dyeing situation – the possibilities are endless.

09 September 2009

Book Review - It's A Wrap

It’s A Wrap by Susan Brier has a preface containing some sage words from the author, that I can really relate to. She says, ‘Hobbies help me stay active, learn new things and keep up with what is new. I feel great when I create something special using skills that I’ve learned.’ And, ‘I’ve chosen to be good to myself. I’ve waited a long while for time for myself’! We should all take note of Susan’s wisdom. Her book is a celebration of the simple – simple stitches (straight and zigzag), and simple techniques (wrap, wind & sew) which when combined result in the most fantastic containers, which look anything but simple! Whether you choose to use purpose bought fabrics, or scraps from previous masterpieces, the finished result will be magnificent. Start with a plate shape to learn the technique, then experiment with four basic container styles to create square, oval, round and other shapes, along with lids, handles and embellishments. Never has cotton clothesline been put to such good use! Other basic supplies required include; fabric glue stick, fray stoppa, fusible web, bag handles, tacky craft glue, masking tape, and good thread. Tools needed include; appliqué or zigzag foot, rotary cutter, cutting mat, quilting ruler, scissors, hand sewing needles, universal or sharp machine needles, measuring tape, needle nose pliers, sewing machine, stiletto 6th finger and sewing pins. This book is quite inspiring and exciting - I can feel a whole set of place mats coming on...

02 September 2009

If you love fabric.......

I wonder how long I would remain married if I filled the house with furniture like these inspired works of art. www.squintlimited.com