Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Piecing Makeover


I've never written a book review before, but when I saw this book during a quilting event last weekend, I fell in love. 

I've been teaching quilting for more than 15 years and this is one of the best books I've ever seen that gives a detailed, pictorial solution to sewing's little problems. I've long said that quilting is 10 percent talent and 90 percent troubleshooting. Patty Murphy takes all the trouble out of trouble-shooting with clear, close-up photographs and well-written, detailed instructions for making a variety of common quilt units – strip piecing, four-patch, nine-patch, half-square triangle, quarter-square triangle, and flying geese. Patty then expands those lessons into classic block instructions – Dutchman's Puzzle, Square-in-a-Square, Log Cabin, Pinwheel, Sawtooth Star, Ohio Star, Ocean Waves, and LeMoyne Star. Patty concludes with modern favorites such as Drunkard's Path, Bear's Paw, Hexagon, Half-Rectangle Triangle, Diamonds, Equilateral Triangles, and Kansas Dugout blocks. The "Problem, Diagnosis, Solution" format is brilliant. 

Well done, Patty Murphy!

I probably need to add that I promoted this book so heavily at the event that the publisher gave me my own copy. I also need to add I would have bought it anyway! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Best of Show

In March, I taught Grandma's Surprise to a group of students in Wenatchee, Washington. Students get the option of making the quilt in two different sizes using my first three quilts as design inspiration. They also receive a coloring page and math help to design their own if they'd like to make additional changes.

One student loved the pattern, but didn't want to make a wall hanging, so she took full advantage of the coloring page and colored a queen size (92'' x 92'') design!  We had a good laugh over how long that quilt was going to take to cut and sew, and off she went. In June, I received a progress report:

She also shared a photo of why she hadn't sewn more... a new addition to the family:

This week, I received another update -- her quilt won Best of Show at the North Central Washington Harvest of Quilts show in Wenatchee! Liz Arbaugh, your quilt is fabulous. I can't wait to see this in person the next time I'm in the area.