book review

Book Review: String Frenzy

 

If you’ve been quilting for any time at all, you probably have fabric scraps, including strips and strings. If you’re looking for projects where you can use these bits and pieces, you need to check out the projects in String Frenzy by Bonnie K. Hunter.

 
Photo courtesy of C & T Publishing

Photo courtesy of C & T Publishing

 

This latest book by the scrap quilting queen is full of gorgeous patterns, all using leftover strips and strings of fabric. The quilts in this book are large, but could definitely be scaled down to make smaller projects, such as table runners or lap quilts.

 
Photo courtesy of C & T Publishing

Photo courtesy of C & T Publishing

 

If you’re familiar with any of Bonnie’s previous books, you’ll know how much information she includes on getting your scrap fabrics organized and ready to be used in projects. This information in itself is worth the price of the book! It’s definitely worth reading all of the helpful content in String Frenzy that Bonnie provides on getting a scrap system going so you can always have your extra fabric pieces ready to use in any project.

 
Photo courtesy of C & T Publishing

Photo courtesy of C & T Publishing

 

String Frenzy includes 12 projects from scrap fabric and each pattern follows a similar format with text as well as a section called “At a Glance” for visual instructions.

Click on the image below to see more detailed information on String Frenzy and the beautiful quilts in it.

Are you a scrap quilter? If so, give me a “yes” in the Comments below.

Get your own copy of String Frenzy at https://amzn.to/2I7kEw2 and start clearing out that scrap bin.

Creatively,

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Print
 

P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Book Review: Scrap-Basket Bounty

In Scrap-Basket Bounty, Kim Brackett shows you how to use your fabric scraps to create one block and then combine a number of these blocks to make a quilt. There is definitely an advantage to making one block several times to create a project. It allows you to get very good at your ¼” seams!

 
Image courtesy of Martingale Publishing

Image courtesy of Martingale Publishing

 

The projects in this book are lap-sized quilts or larger. Each of the projects uses a different block, but every block is square, with some being 8” x 8” or 10” x 10”, for example.

While there are 16 projects in Scrap-Basket Bounty, there are really many more patterns than this. Kim provides alternative design layouts with each project so you can decide which one you want to make. By simply turning the blocks, you create a totally different-looking design. I love this idea!

 
Image courtesy of Martingale Publishing

Image courtesy of Martingale Publishing

 

Kim shows you how to ensure that your quilt will turn out well using your scrap fabrics by explaining the importance of contrast between the main fabrics and the background fabrics. If you don’t have this contrast, the block design won’t be obvious – and all of your hard work won’t have turned out the way you wanted it to.

 The designs in Scrap-Basket Bounty are easy enough that any level of quilter could make them and they’re a great way to use up scraps.

 
Image courtesy of Martingale Publishing

Image courtesy of Martingale Publishing

 

I really like Kim’s idea of taking one simple block and creating a variety of quilt designs from it. While Kim provides 3 layouts for every project, you will probably be able to come up with more on your own. You could even create totally different looking quilts just by switching up the light and dark fabrics in these designs.

To see more of Scrap-Basket Bounty, click on the image below.

If you like pieced quilts and have lots of fabric scraps, check out Scrap-Basket Bounty by Kim Brackett.

Creatively,

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Print
 

P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post ,I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Book Review: You and Your Sewing Machine

You might think that You and Your Sewing Machine wouldn’t be for you because you don’t get down and dirty with your sewing machine, but you’d be wrong. This isn’t a manual on how to repair your sewing machine, but more of an informational guide to your sewing machine. It will help you better understand how it works and help you solve issues when it isn’t performing as it should.

 
Image courtesy of amazon.com

Image courtesy of amazon.com

 

 There is a lot of helpful information in this book and before you again start thinking that this will be a boring, technical manual, I think you’ll find that You and Your Sewing Machine is a really interesting read.

First of all, I love it that Bernie uses the word “sewist” rather than “sewer” in the title. Just sounds so much more inclusive and elegant.

As Bernie explains in the Introduction, he has been a technician for over 40 years and has noticed that there is a very personal relationship between a sewist and his/her sewing machine. In the book he is trying to:

“help you gain a better understanding of your sewing machine – its needs and what it is trying to communicate to you.”

If you’ve been sewing on a particular machine for a long time, you’ll become attuned to its “everything is great and I’m loving stitching with you” noises and its “something doesn’t feel quite right and I need help” noises. This book will help you to notice when things aren’t right with your machine and explain how you can ensure that it is kept running smoothly and what to do when it isn’t. 

The book is divided into 3 sections: Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine, Maintaining Your Good Relationship, and Problems and How to Fix Them.

 
Image courtesy of amazon.com

Image courtesy of amazon.com

 

In the first section, Bernie explains the differences between Manual, Electronic and Computerized sewing machines. I think many of us think of electronic and computerized sewing machines as being the same thing, but, as you’ll find out in You and Your Sewing Machine, there is a big difference. Bernie explains additional features on sewing machines and has a section on Questions to ask when buying a sewing machine at the end of this section, which I love! So handy!

In the second section, Bernie goes into extensive detail on sewing machine feet and when and when not to use them. I’m sure that many of us have never had anyone explain this to us before. I found this section very informative and know that I’ll be referring to it in the future.

 
Image courtesy of amazon.com

Image courtesy of amazon.com

 

He continues on to explain about maintaining your machine so you can avoid expensive repairs. There are lots of photos showing you exactly how to clean various areas on your machine and when and where you should apply oil.

I know that most readers will find the last section on solving problems to be a lifesaver – or machine saver. Let’s face it, our machines don’t run perfectly all the time and this book is great reference for when things don’t go as we hoped. Even if this was the only section in the book that you ever looked at, it would be well worth buying this book! From tension issues to poorly wound bobbins, Bernie covers it all.

The last part of the You and Your Sewing Machine is a list of problems and possible causes and solutions. This guide will be something that you will constantly refer to when you encounter an issue with your sewing machine. 

The book is full of detailed photos and up-close shots so you can easily see the various parts and problems to which Bernie is referring.

What I really liked about this book was how the material was presented logically and in an easy to understand format. I like how Bernie explains how various parts on the sewing machine work so that you understand first and are then better able to determine what might cause a problem and how to fix it. I believe that understanding a sewing machine first is the best way to start off your relationship with it. If you don’t understand how tension works, you won’t know why it’s important to thread your machine with the presser foot up (in most cases).

Once you understand how your sewing machine operates, you’ll be better set up to keep it running smoothly.

For a closer look at You and Your Sewing Machine, click on the image below. 

If you are a true sewist, you’ll definitely want to have You and Your Sewing Machine in your library.

Creatively,

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Print
 

P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post ,I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Book Review: Pure & Simple

Pure & Simple by Maggie Bonanomi is full of 17 primitive projects inspired by the seasons. These include small decorative projects, including wall hangings, table runners, pin cushions, and similar items. All of the projects are wool appliqué and are simple designs that should intentionally look imperfect for that perfect primitive look.

 
Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale

 

The projects in Pure & Simple are good for beginners as the shapes are simple and not intricate, making for a quicker and more successful project.

The designs revolve around nature with flowers, branches, and vegetables in most of them.

 
Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale

 

The examples in the book are done in muted colours: beiges, browns, and soft earthen tones. You could certainly make these in more vibrant colours, if that was your preference. The limited number of fabrics means you don’t have to have a lot of different colours of wool to do these projects. This is helpful for beginning wool appliquérs as they don’t have to invest in large amounts of wool to do these projects.

 
Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale

 

There isn’t much information in the way of directions for working with wool for appliqué, so if you have never worked with wool before, you might want to research techniques for doing this to ensure you are successful when making the projects in Pure & Simple. Wool appliqué is easy and you don’t have to worry about the wool edges fraying, but if you are a complete beginner, you might want to have more directions than are included in this book.

Click on the image below for a more in-depth look at Pure & Simple.

 
 

If you'd like to add Pure & Simple to your quilt library, click here.

Creatively,

Print
 

P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive FREE emails full of quilting goodness? Just click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

P.P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.

Book Review: Visible Mending

I found just the book I need! I recently bought a black semi-sheer top and didn't notice that it had two small holes near the hemline in the front. It wasn't until I got it home that I noticed them and was so disappointed. I wasn't sure what to do: whether I should darn the holes or try another solution, so the top has just been hanging in my closet. Enter the book I'm reviewing today: Visible Mending by Jenny Wilding Cardon.

 
 

While no one ever relishes mending, you might actually be looking for garments on which to do this once you take a look at this book! In Visible Mending, Jenny shows you five different ways to fix your favourite garments that may have just a bit too much wear on them. Two of these techniques involve hand work while the remaining ones can be done on the sewing machine.

Boro stitching and hand embroidery are both easy techniques and Jenny shows you various easy stitches on how to use these to fix holes in a top, sweater or other pieces of clothing.

 
 

If you want to use your sewing machine to mend those holes, there are sections on patching, darning, and mending by machine. Whatever technique you choose, the stitching is meant to be seen. This makes it easier, in my opinion, to do these repairs as you don't have to try to hide the fix.

 
 

For a closer look at Visible Mending, click on the photo below to watch a video on my YouTube channel.

If you are looking for creative ways to fix holes in your favourite clothing, get your own copy of Visible Mending by Jenny Wilding Cardon.

Creatively,

Print
 

P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

P.P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.