Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Two Books Up For Review

This is not an affiliate post, nor was I asked to give these two reviews. You may recall from this post that one of my loves is libraries, another books, and that I snagged no less than five recent interesting-looking quilt books.

The first I perused is The Simple Simon Guide to Patchwork Quilting (not an affiliate link) by Liz Evan and Elizabeth Evans.  I like...

  • that they are sisters-in-law and that both their names are Elizabeth! 
  • their fresh bright quilt designs. 
  • that this is a terrific book for beginners, yet within are more than a couple projects that pushed my 'wanna-make' buttons.

The book starts with quilt basics.  Then it's divided into themed chapters organized by basic blocks, like Churn Dash, or basic units, like the HST.  Within each chapter are a few projects that use that block or unit. For example, the Rail Fence block has a cushion, a skirt and a quilt pattern that each feature the Rail Fence block.  The chapter starts out with how to make the Rail Fence block, using very detailed instructions and clear diagrams.

My favourite project out of the book other than the quilt on the cover would be a pretty sweet flying geese quilt, similar to a hexagon quilt I've seen on Pinterest, and this one:
Ahhh! The riot of colour!  Since when did I like red?  Not that I dislike it, but it's definitely not up there in my colour popularity contest. But THIS--!! Love.  Need to make it. Those reds outshine the lime, the chartreuse, and the navy do they not? It's like I had to look at it for about the third or fourth time before I even realized they were there.

The second book is Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting.  Natalia has long been a favourite machine quilter of mine. I own her Craftsy class (that IS an affiliate link) and yes, red face of supreme shame, I still have yet to write the review for it. But it's a good'un, s'truth (who says that? It's in a book I read eons ago... I think...)

Deeper red face of shame, but it wasn't until I finished this book and read the author bios that the penny dropped, and I realized that Kathleen Whiting is Natalia's mum! She's a prolific designer. And this is not their first book they co-authored! I will have to get the other one out of the library, Modern One-Block Quilts.

So this book?  It is just so cool. I allowed myself 5 quilts or so at a time to soak up. Then I'd set the book aside and go work on a quilt, either the Cows quilt or the one for Modern By The Yard e-zine. Yeah that didn't last long; the last ten quilts I just devoured.  You can really do some cool sh*t, er I mean create some cool patterns with a quarter log cabin!

Like the first book, this one starts off with quilt basics.  The log cabin designs are arranged alphabetically. Clear instructions and diagrams, with a closeup of each quilt are provided. No quilting suggestions are given, other than a suggestion to purchase one of Natalia's machine quilting books. However, you do get a closeup of what she did to quilt each quilt.
Believe it, (or not) but this is "a loose play on the traditional Log Cabin-style quilt block." p. 17

What I really like in this book is that there are sizes, with accompanying breakdown diagrams of the quilt, into that size for Baby, Throw and Coverlet sizes, 36", 60 X 72", and 96" respectively.

As for picking a favourite? No can do.  But I made myself choose just three, and the previous two and the one below would be them.  I find it fascinating (as I always do) how just one simple change in the same block creates an entirely new look.

The same block is used in both these quilts, with a slight change in the final round which, when one lays them out in this particular setting, creates the stars between blocks! Genius.

There are at least two more I'd love to show you, but you need to either get this out of your library or off Amazon, and look on pages 29 and 31 for two other fabulous ones.  Oh but there are several I could have a DrEAMi! over. 87, 93, 45, 39--!!  Might have to purchase this book.

Do you do that? Get a book or five, out of the library, find yourself renewing it (more than once), and then deciding to buy it?  I know I've done that with several books.

I checked Connecting Threads, because I got an email that they are having all their seasonal books on sale for 40% off, and I see that all books are on sale 20-40% off, but sadly neither of these two are in their stock. However, both of Natalia's machine quilting books are, and wow, each one is 32% off.  Just putting it out there. That is an affiliate link, just so you know, and it will take you to one of them.  Everything I learned, I learned from books, online blogs or YouTube, and Craftsy classes. Here's a sneak peek at the most recent one just off the frame, shhh:

Linking up
Free Motion by the River


  1. i learned from buying one book and finding u tube.

  2. Great post! I bought Cabin Fever after seeing Natalia on Nancy Zeiman's tv show. You definitely want this book! Not only are the quilts in the book beautiful and fun to make but the book sparks so many other ideas! This one is worth buying!

    1. Hi Gloria - thanks for your input on Cabin Fever - I totally agree! You are a no-reply, so I'm answering you here. :-)

  3. Looks like you were having a Dreami moment during a Dreami moment. Love the Faux Granny Square Quilt. I have that pattern drafted in my sketchbook, with cutting instructions using fat quarters. May be in 2018, after the Honey Pot Bee Blocks are done, pieced, quilted, bound, labeled, washed, dried, photographed and blogged!!!
    As far as books are concerned, I have bought two and cannot buy the next one, until I make at least one quilt from each of those ones.
    Have you seen Pinterest lately?

  4. Pinterest is way too big for my brain to compute. I do love a book though I find I am buying fewer quilting books . The log cabin looks interesting, variations there I wouldn't have thought of . The patterned fabric looks well with the solids on your latest project

  5. Cabin Fever looks interesting, I think we have a copy in my guilds library need to check it out. I too learned from books and on-line.

  6. I usually try to get a book from the library before I make the decision to purchase. It's fun to get all these new books and patterns but I've mostly stopped because the reality is that I'll never get to about 99% of them.

  7. Alas, I have access to checking books out of the library. One of the downsides of a completely mobile life. However, I've been buying used books on Amazon, and they are hit or miss, but that's OK at $2-$4 per book. I'll watch for these two! Do you have any quilting magazine subscriptions that you can recommend?

    1. Whoops! That should read "NO access to checking books out of the library." I can always stop in and visit, though.

  8. I can never resist quilting books but my local library doesn't do much and I have a much better selection at home. I have borrowed from friends in the past though and it's saved me from making purchases I would regret. Cabin Fever sounds interesting, and I could always put it on my Amazon wish list, I've got my kids trained nicely now, shame I couldn't do it when they were small.

  9. Both look like fun books. I love looking and re-looking at quilting books. One of these days maybe I'll get around to making some of the cool quilts in a few of them. Lots of books, not lots of time. Hope to see you make a couple of each of these two books.


I wholeheartedly appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment, as they make my day! I answer every one by personal email. :-) Unless... you are a "no-reply" blogger, which can occur for a few reasons. You can get around that by writing out your email within your comment so that I can answer you.