Wow. Busy day yesterday. I worked 18 hours. Thursdays are always hard days for me. But one really cool thing is that a while back, I co-authored a book chapter with some of my colleagues for a book related to what I do professionally. Well, yesterday I got a copy of the book. It just came out. That always makes for a good day! A feeling of accomplishment!
Knowing how that feels, I was so excited for my friend Amanda Jean Nyberg earlier this spring when the book she coauthored with Cheryl Arkison came out. The book is called Sunday Morning Quilts. (Click the link to get a copy!)
Click on any of my photos in this post to make them larger.
Have you seen it yet? It came out in March, I believe, and I have been meaning to write a review of it for you since then. Yes, that's how far behind I am. Nevertheless, I'm getting my book review posted for you today!
And I have a giveaway for you as well! So, keep reading!
What's the book about? Well, the subtitle of the book is Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics. You guessed it...It's about using up your scraps! It has tons of great ideas for using your scraps.
Now, in full disclosure, Amanda Jean is my friend. But that doesn't matter. I LOVE THIS BOOK! When I first read it, my thought was, "Wow. I am so proud of Amanda Jean. This is one of the BEST quilting books on the market. Evah! I will treasure this book!" Seriously. I can be fairly objective about these things, because I review manuscripts all the time in my professional life. I think this book is AWESOME. Let me tell you why....
First, in addition to some really great quilt patterns and projects (which we'll get to in a moment), there some just plain good reading in this book. Honestly, I read every word of this book. Even every word of the patterns, because there's so much good stuff everywhere in the book. At the beginning of the book, there's a section on "What Defines a Scrap?" I love this, because sometimes I have a hard time decided what actually constitutes a scrap. Is a fat quarter that I cut a 2" square out of the corner now a scrap? Is a 1/2" piece of fabric a scrap or trash? It is sometimes hard for me to make discriminations like this. It may seem inconsequential, but if you're trying to organize yourself to USE scraps, I find it's actually a fairly important consideration. At least for me.
There are great sections on how to sort and store your scraps, too. I also found these sections extremely helpful. More on scrap storage in a minute.
Then, the authors tell you how to start USING your scraps. The book is wonderfully organized, with "tabs" on the side of the page so you can quickly reference a technique. There are great instructions and photographs that accompany the instructions. I used this "sewing-a-slab" technique to make the fabric for my little tiny duffle bags, in fact.
Another thing I love about the book is that there are some really fun, creative projects in the book that are "sidebars." That's how packed with good information this book is. For example, this little sidebar tells you how to knit a fabric doormat out of your selvages! I LOVE this project and finally started saving my selvages for this purpose. This idea could be a stand-alone pattern so easily, and in this book it's like, "Oh yeah, and you could do this, too!" Haha! That shows you how awesome everything else is in the book!
Another little sidebar project is these little storage boxes made of your scraps, in which to store your scraps! This version was made by Cindy of Live A Colorful Life blog. (Photo used with permission.) Coincidentally, she did a blog post about making this project from the book today. Hop on over to her blog, and you can see more about how she made this, and you can even get a little peek at Amanda Jean's former studio! I love Amanda Jean's versions of this project, and I adore Cindy's selvage version. I really need to make one of these. Maybe this weekend!
So, would you like to see some of the quilts in the book? I was so lucky to get to attend a trunk show that Amanda Jean put on when she was in town for the Margaret's Hope Chest day. I got to see a few of the quilts close up and in person! I took some photos for you!
(Bear in mind, this is just a sampling of the quilts in the book. There are 15 quilt patterns in the book!)
This quilt is called Gumdrops. Can you tell why? I think it's so cute and fun! In the book, where this patterns are, there are sidebars with advice on color selection. I love that. And there are also sidebars for making it your own (how to change features like the background color to make your own, different version of the quilt) and on quilting ideas. So much great information and ideas!
This one is called The Original Ticker Tape. I remember when Amanda Jean first blogged this and in talking with her about it at one of our Gruber's retreats, I learned Amanda Jean has a hard time throwing away any scrap....no matter how small. (In my head, I just heard the residents of Whoville saying , "We are here! We are here! We are here!" I think I need some sleep.) She made this quilt to use up some of her very small scraps...scraps that were so small it would be difficult to sew them into a seam. Isn't it fun?!
This one also uses a raw edge technique that results in quilting the quilt while you're attaching the fabric. Imagine how these will fray everytime you wash it. Over time, the edges would become so soft and fuzzy!
Amanda Jean didn't bring this quilt, but she recently blogged it. (Photo used with permission.) This is her version of Low Volume, another quilt in the book, but one that was designed by Cheryl Arkison. Amanda Jean decided to make her own version of the quilt. Go check out her blog post about it to get more information on this one.
This quilt is NOT in the book. This is a project Amanda Jean just recently completed. She told me I could post the photo of it for you. Again, she was trying to use up small scraps. I love the lines in this, as well as all the color!
It's just fantastic, isn't it?? Amanda Jean is working on quilting it now. Click here to visit her blog post about the quilting. It's looking good. She told me she will be writing a pattern for this soon, so keep your eyes open for that!
Sooo, have I convinced you that you really need to have a book yet?
Well, how about a giveaway?
I bought a copy of this book to give away to you. This review is not sponsored by the authors or publisher. I love this book so much, I really want to spread the joy. Amanda Jean and Cheryl both signed a bookplate sticker, which I have attached to the title page of the book for you as well. So, you get your own autographed copy! If you would like to be entered into the drawing, just leave a comment. I'll probably draw a name Sunday night, September 16. I'm going to keep it short and get this baby in the mail to someone.
This giveaway is now closed. The winner was:
If you can't wait or if you don't win, please go grab a copy from Amanda Jean. Here's where you can get one. By the way, this book has been so popular, that I think it's in its THIRD printing! Wahoo! I am not the only one that loves it.
Many thanks to Cindy and Amanda Jean for allowing me to share a couple of their photos and their work with you, too!
Have a great weekend, everyone! I'm going to try to get some sleep in and maybe even some sewing!
Until next time,
P.S. Typepad is giving me fits today. Sorry if you are seeing weird formatting, etc. About every other time I would go to save, I'd get a "Bad Gateway" message. Very frustrating.