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Monday, March 19, 2007


Book Review: Paper Piece the Quick Strip Way

Paper Piece the Quick-Strip Way
By Peggy Martin
C&T Publishing, 2007
112 pages, suggested retail $28.95

A couple of weeks ago Lynn and I did the Atlanta Shop Hop on a tour bus with 30 other quilters. It was an interesting and entertaining weekend (Lynn will be posting an account of the trip at Planet Patchwork), and one of the things we learned was the perennial appeal of a well-done book on paper piecing. One of the women on the bus bought this book on an early stop of the 13-store hop, and it was soon being passed around the bus and garnering a lot of “ooh”s and “ah”s. I saw the title as it passed by my seat, and wondered what all the fuss was about. At the next stop, two other quilters bought the book and the discussions and exclamations continued.

A week later, we received a review copy in the mail from C&T, and I got a good look at what the bus crowd was admiring. It is indeed worthy of admiration. Instead of simply publishing a new collection of paper-pieced blocks, Peggy Martin has extended the range of paper piecing in a couple of ways. One is that she has adapted the technique to quick machine chain-piecing, considerably speeding up the somewhat tedious paper-piecing technique. Her blocks are assembled from strips rather than individual pieces. If this sounds impossible, she provides detailed instructions in the book, and the result is every bit as precise as a painstakingly hand-sewn block. Her second innovation is that she has revolutionized the way paper-pieced blocks can be used as design elements. She splits them, staggers them, explodes them, and otherwise deconstructs the traditional block-based design to get dramatic new effects.

The book contains instructions for 12 complete projects, plus ideas for designing your own quilts using these techniques. By building on a traditional quilting method, Martin takes a lot of the intimidation factor out of doing your own designs. The projects and sample designs in the book are bold and dramatic. It’s a really fun book with a lot of great new ideas. It’s no wonder the ladies on the bus were impressed.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Kiss me, I'm a quilter.

Froggy quilt, I: Yellow Frog.
Originally uploaded by Christina.
Whoops! We had some technical difficulty here. In the meantime, National Quilting Day was yesterday. Now, you could have spent the day drinking green beer and looking for the end of the rainbow, but really - we know you were quilting, right?

This year's special project is once again to make "birth day" quilts, in honor of National Quilting Day's "birthday." Follow the link to find out more, but the basic idea is just: have fun, make a baby quilt, and donate it to a local hospital. The National Quilting Association also suggests you might combine your holidays and make a St. Paddy's themed baby quilt, but really, there are no rules.

Now, we realize the day itself is past, but: "The third Saturday in March is officially designated as National Quilting Day, but quilters are flexible and we love a celebration - especially when fabric is involved - so over the years, observance of National Quilting Day has unofficially been expanded to the whole month of March!"

And hey - it's a baby quilt; they don't take that long, right? (Never mind the baby quilt that's been on my sewing table for a month now; I trust y'all are more organized than I am.)

Have fun! And hey, if you do make a NQD baby quilt, maybe send us a link to a photo of it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


New links!

Originally uploaded by Christina.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out some of the new links here at It took a good little while, but I sorted through all the backlog of submitted links, and they’re all up now. I also cleaned up a little bit and eliminated (I think) all the broken links from all those cool sites that are no more. As always, please let us know if you do find a broken link.

There’s all kinds of new stuff in there. A few examples:

The Quilting Quail Retreat (category: travel) --
'A quiet rural retreat for up to 6 people to enjoy quilting, scrapbooking or crafting.
Work tables, cutting table with mat, 2 big ironing boards with irons, 2 design walls and sewing machines available.'

Quilting Insanity (category: beginning quilting) --
Online forum, free patterns, swaps, and more.

Frances Burks Studio (category: machine quilting and other services) --
'Let Us Preserve Your Wedding and Other Cherished Moments with a Custom-Made Memory Quilt.'

Infinite Freedom (category: patterns) --
Doll clothes and bay quilt patterns (for sale).

Enjoy! And keep those links coming - you submit them, we’ll link them.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


International Quilt Festival Coming to West Coast

West Coast quilters can begin planning their quilt travel for 2008 with the knowledge that the International Quilt Association, sponsors of quilt festivals in Houston and Chicago each year, will be presenting a new annual show in Long Beach, California beginning in late July next year.

“We have been looking for quite some time at starting a third edition of Festival—one that would serve a different geographic area than our current fall show in Houston and spring edition in Chicago,” says Karey Bresenhan, president of Quilts, Inc. and Festival’s director. “After many site inspections and much research and consideration, we’ve decided that Long Beach is the ideal choice for the summer Festival’s home.”

The show will include many of the same features that quilters all over the world have come to expect from the Houston and Chicago Festivals: a wide variety of vendors, dazzling special exhibits of quilt and textile art, and classes, lectures, and events for every style, technique, and skill level of fabric artist. In addition, it will also include features unique to the Long Beach show.

“Starting a new venture is always challenging, especially one of this magnitude,” Bresenhan continues. “But we won’t be resting on our laurels and reputation. We want the Long Beach Festival to have an identity of its own. As show organizers, we are constantly learning new things every year to improve the show experience for our attendees, who let us know what works and what doesn’t. All of that collected knowledge has been put to good use in planning the Long Beach Festival and will help us in the future as we continue to create the kind of show our attendees want.”

Classes for the new show will begin July 24, 2008, with the main show running from July 25-27 at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.

Information provided by IQA,

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