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To write about your experience with a quilting book or magazine here, REPLY to this discussion with the name of the book on the first line.

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Debbie Mumm's Country Quilts for All Occasions

Review submitted by Carol Vickers

This is one of the first quilting books I ever purchased. I bought it 6 years ago for $19.95 - not bad for a hard cover 250 page book with 120 projects! I have probably used it more than any other book I own. The book is in two sections; the first half is Quick Country Quilts for Every Room and the second is Quick Country Christmas Quilts. The directions are simple and easy to follow and the patterns cover a large range of difficulty. The entire book is in full color so fabrics are easy to identify in the directions and the photos of the finished projects are gorgeous. I've made several of the projects and in looking through it now I have many many more bookmarked that I want to try. I love the whimsical look of Debbie Mumm quilts and this has to be my favorite of all her books.

Note from Schatze: here's a link that will provide more info: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-Mumms-Country-Quilts-Occasions/dp/1571...
Machine Quilting with Decorative Threads
By Maurine Noble and Elizabeth Hendricks

Review submitted by By Dale Kathryn Battison

I have many art-quilting books, most of which relate to actual sewing and design techniques. I also have a some books that are all about those wonderful decorative threads.
Machine Quilting with Decorative Threads is primarily about "how to use the non-traditional threads" such as rayon, metallic, monofilament, etc. The authors discuss, in detail, not only the various decorative threads, but they have also provided charts to help determine which needle will give the best results with which thread.
The book is divided into chapters, which include "Threads Through the Needle" and "Threads from the Bobbin", and within each chapter are exercises that the reader can follow very easily.
(The authors also have written a bit about sewing machine needle basics - and the need to CHANGE YOUR NEEDLE!) (My mending-only aunt changed her needle only when it broke!)
I refer this book quite frequently and have found it to be a great resource in my library. I think you will too.

Note from Schatze: Here's a link that will provide more info: http://www.amazon.com/Machine-Quilting-Decorative-Threads-Maurine/d...
Color from the Heart, by Gai Perry
Subtitled "Seven Great Ways to Make Quilts with Colors that You Love."

Review submitted by Schatze

I borrowed this book from the library because I'm still learning how to make good color choices. Gai Perry's written other quilting books that I've liked so I was pretty sure this one would be good, too.
Her goal is to help the reader learn how to "see" color and pattern with more of an artist's eye. There's a section on basic color theory, highlighting the basic elements in a very reader-friendly way.
She also asks the reader to do some small projects to help learn the principles she's teaching. The 7 lessons in the book work directly with the principles of spontaneity, color enrichment, value recognition, contrast, inspiration, visualization and the "artist's eye".
What I liked about the book is that the directions are clear. There are plenty of full-color examples of how other quilters have interpreted the principles, often very differently from each other, but still within the parameters set up for the lesson. Gai's own work is included, showing examples that range from simply-constructed quilts to very complex designs.
I also liked that Gai set some interesting goals for herself, showing that even an expert quilter still liked to challenge herself creatively. She also teaches the reader how to critique the quilt as it's being assembled on the design wall.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences with this book!

Here's a link that will provide more info: http://www.amazon.com/Color-Heart-Seven-Quilts-Colors/dp/1571200711...
Curves Without Piecing
by Annette Ornelas

Review submitted by Kathy Biggs

Had it not been for seeing two stunningly beautiful quilts from this book completed at a LQS, I probably would never have given it a second glance. The picture of the beautifully curved pieces and the word “patchwork” on the cover of the book would have sent me right on down the book isle. Cliché time...”don’t judge a book by its cover". First, this is NOT traditional patchwork. Second, these curves are EASY. And the dimensional design concept presented in this book is nothing short of GENIUS. The book includes 12 patterns in skill levels ranging from beginner to intermediate to advanced with pattern designs ranging from various flowers to hearts and stars to butterflies and dragonflies. The book begins with a general overview of Dimensional Curved Piecing including suggest fabrics and tools needed. The author then goes into instructions for creating the basic units used in the patterns included in the book. Each pattern has a Yardage and Cutting Requirements chart, full color graphics with detailed instructions that are easy to follow and a full color rendition of the completed project.
So by now you are probably wondering what is 'peeled-back' and where does the dimension concept come in, and how can a curve be easy. In order to pique your interest just a little more, here is a brief explanation. The blocks are created from units (starting with basic squares and rectangles) that include folded pieces. The folded side is then pulled back ('peeled-back') and top stitched down to form the curves. See, easy curves! This is a time consuming method, but a lot of fun and oh, so beautiful when completed. The only negative in the book, is the photos of the completed projects just do NOT do them justice because you cannot see the dimensional texture from the top stitched folds in the flat photo. Prior to writing this review, I made one of the intermediate level blocks (Fairy Flowers p.81) to check out the ease of following the instructions and can definitely give thumbs up. I would highly recommend giving this technique a try. And this book gets a 5-star rating.

Here are two links that will provide more info:
I'm reading "Appli-Curves" by Elaine Waldschmitt. It seems also to address what you're describing. Have you seen Appli-Curves? I borrowed it from our public library.
I'd be very interested to hear what you think of the two methods. Maybe when you have time ..... ? :-)

Here a link to Appli-Curves on Amazon that will give you a bit more info:
We carry this one so you can see inside pages: http://www.connectingthreads.com/Books/Appli-curves_BD44884.HTML
My appologizies for taking soooo long to respond here. I worked last week, and didn't get online...just too tired. LOL Anyway, on to the subject at hand. I looked at your link and the one Karen posted below on CT. The only thing that these two techniqes have in common is that they both incorporate curves into the project. They are two completely different methods. If you are doing a wall hanging or other 'art' quilt, then the fusible applique in the "Appli-Curves" book would be the faster of the two methods. If doing a bed quilt, the "Peeled-Back Patchwork" method would be more durable (unless you plan to satin stitch the edges of the fused pieces). The "Peeled-Back Patchwork" book suggests using matching thread when sewing the 'peeled back' curves. However, if you were doing an 'art' quilt/wall hanging, it might look really interesting to use a contrasting or metalic thread for visual effects. Both books offer fantastic ideas. How we ever got along before fusible web was introduced to the sewing world is beyond me! LOL I love looking at quilting books. There are just so many fabulous new books on the market...where to begin???
Good info, Kathy! I'm with you in being excited by all the wonderful quilting books available now.
What I've been doing a lot lately is borrowing a new quilting book from our library system, reviewing it and then deciding if I want to buy it. Several have been uninspiring or simply repetitive of what many others offer, but others have been inspiring or innovative enough that I've added them to my "buy" list.
Kathy, we'd really enjoy your thoughts on any of the books you've read lately, so please feel free to post again!
“Two-Block Theme Quilts”
by Claudia Olson

Review submitted by Kathy Biggs

This 96 page paper back is a quilting treasure filled with whimsical, adorable patterns to charm the child in all of us. The title paired with the delightful giraffe quilt on the cover immediately caught my attention. When my quilting/sewing buddy commented that my grandsons would like the giraffe quilt, my immediate reaction was…”but, I like it”. The book is beautifully laid out with full color graphics and cutting charts. The easy to follow instructions are complete with graphic layouts akin to ‘paint-by-number’ that cover an array of various quilting techniques for the different patterns included.

The book begins with a page on “choosing colors, pattern and fabric”; followed by a section on “basic quiltmaking techniques” that are used in the book. Even for a practiced quilter, these sections are a catalyst for imagination and a refresher for skills that may not often be used.

The book is then divided into two sections. The first section has five patterns using “character blocks” creating Cats (with an adorable little mouse), Dolls, Dogs, Ducks and Giraffes using the two-block method. This section also includes instructions for adding binding and making mitered corners. Some of the designs are embellished with hand embroidered faces with graphic directions for making the necessary stitches. The second section has another five patterns utilizing “character prints”. The ‘character print’ patterns allow for personalized creativity by choosing a character print and colors of your liking.

As an example of creative ideas that come from books, (this one specifically) there is a photo on my page of a little kitty print purse made for my granddaughter that has a keychain made from the mouse pattern on page 23 of the “Two-Block Theme Quilts” book. I did downsize the mice slightly because they was originally going to be an embellishment on the front of the bag. But had a change of plans after deciding they didn’t look that good on the bag.

Here are two links for the book. The first site has excellent images from the book.
The Quilter's Catalog by Meg Cox
Review submitted by Rebecca Trevino

The book is what it calls itself "a comprehensive resource guide". The author includes quilt history and internet sites. Meg Cox touches on so many areas that today's quilters encounter as they work and play with fabrics and quilts of all types. There's some basic information on such topics as buying fabrics, color choices, necessary tools, quilt labels, hanging sleeves, etc. etc. Added to this are countless "resources" for quilters to use every day; directions for finding books, patterns, quilters, blogs, shows, and more. I think this "fat full book" can help take the fear out of using the internet, the computer and the on-line quilt community that's available to us now to better enjoy the whole process that is quilting.
Super review, Trevi! Thanks!


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