Quilting Simplified debuted in May 2015 and is my ninth book. It’s a how-to guide for anyone who’s interested in modern quilting but might have been too intimidated to give it a go.
Step by Step Projects: 8
Contents: Coming up Crosses Wall Hanging, Cozy Clamshell Rug, Cheater Hexie Quilt, Jeweled Lattice Baby Quilt, Artistic Arrows Quilt, Ombre Trapezoid Quilt, Mod Log Cabin Quilt, Ripple Quilt
Project info: The techniques are illustrated through numerous full-color photographs explaining every step. The projects are explained through easy-to-follow illustrations, including cutting layout illustrations that make it easy to prepare your fabric pieces at a glance. Some projects require template pieces that need to be copied and enlarged, though it can easily be done from your home scanner/copier.
I started quilting not long after I started sewing at 13. To me, it was a natural progression born out of necessity — I was drowning in fabric scraps! At the time, I didn’t think I was quite ready to tackle the magnificent quilting masterpieces I saw in books and on television, but I just had to dig myself out of the scrap pile I had created. From then on, I started researching every shortcut, foolproof, beginner-friendly method I could find so I could have my quilt and cuddle with it too. In the end, my first few quilts ranged from simple and sweet to downright crazy, but I learned a lot about ways you can bend the rules to make things easier on yourself. This book is a collection of both tried-and-true traditional methods with some foolproof shortcuts to get beginners through their first few quilts and confident enough to tackle the tougher stuff.
While traditional quilts are fabulous, I’ve really fallen in love with the modern quilt aesthetic going on today, and you’ll find the 8 quilting projects in this book tip their hat to that look. Not only because you’ll end up with quilts that are particularly fresh and ready to go with any decor, but because modern quilting encourages experimentation and bending the rules — something that will make beginner quilters feel more welcome.
The getting started section covers the basic fundamentals that are the workhorses of the quilting world — basic piecing, machine quilting, and binding. But included are also (underrated, I think) skills that, once you take a moment to learn, will shave hours off your quilting time. Things like raw edge applique, quilt tying, quilt-as-you-go, and paper foundation piecing. The quilt designs themselves also have little time-savers, such as the Cheater Hexie quilt, that results in a beautiful hexie quilt without Y-seams, paper piecing, or trapezoids. Or there’s the Mod Log Cabin, that utilizes improvisation to marvelous effect.
The projects are laid out to build up your skills as you go, starting with a simple small wall hanging (Coming up Crosses Wall Hanging), moving to baby quilts, then to full bed quilts, ranging from twin to king. If you’re more experienced and want something custom, each project also comes with cutting guides for making the quilt just to your size! Every quilt, even the wall hangings and lap quilts, include fabric requirements for every size from baby to king, so you can make just what you need.
My favorite projects in this book are the ones you don’t have to think too much about, but still get you a fabulous result. Quilts like the Cozy Clamshell Rug and the Cheater Hexie quilt allow you to sit back and enjoy the sewing process without so much seam matching and meticulous accuracy. Quilts like the Ripple quilt get a bit more complex, but result in an amazing payoff. Either way you’ll find that bold and simple designs like ones from modern quilting will give you lots of options to experiment and practice and make gorgeous quilts in the process. I hope you’ll find some of the quilts in this book get you eager to try out quilting — give it a look and see if it’s for you!