Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quilting From Little Things - a Book Review

 Hi there! Thank you for joining me on the blog book tour of Quilting from Little things by Sarah Fielke. There is so much I want to say about this book...but I know pictures say so much more than words can sometimes. The bottom line for me is that this is the best book I bought this year. The VERY BEST BOOK. I bought my first copy (yes I have 2, and yes I am keeping them both. I do lend one out to friends, but they normally go buy their own after flipping through mine.) straight from Sarah when it was released in Australia. I was impatient and did not want to wait for it to be released in the US. Quilting From Little things is like the Ranger Handbook - but for quilters. It covers all the great piecing and applique techniques with brilliant methods. You are sure to pick up new skills in this book.
Sarah has covered 10 different techniques in this book and they have 2 projects apiece. First a little dolly quilt, and then a much larger one. I love that. Learn something new, but let your first try be small, so you can really concentrate on the technique, and then branch out into the big project with the knowledge under your belt.  Hopefully that will be the longest run-on sentence in this review.

 Sarah's 10 different techniques are

  1. row by row construction
  2. strip piecing
  3. deconstruced piecing
  4. applique with bias strips
  5. flying geese and foundation piecing
  6. inset piecing
  7. needle turn applique
  8. using wedges
  9. step-down piecing
  10. feathered blocks
 OK, let's look at some pictures. "Spring" is the small project you can learn your applique with bias strips to get comfortable with the technique. After you have figured out you can move onto "Whirligig".

 As you can see "whirligig" is a bit of a step up. It is a lovely quilt.

 When I saw "Stars in your eyes" I thought I had it figured out. I was wrong. Sarah has a fabulous way of putting these strip pieced stars together.

 I was so amazed at the simplicity and had to shove all my projects aside to work on one like this for myself. Seriously I doubted it could be so easy. It was.
A folded strip of fabric and a 60 degree ruler later and I had a small quilt top.

 It made me so happy to look at this quilt and think about all that I learned while making it.

 These needle turned applique eagles are another reason I wanted this book so badly. I started with the smaller silhouette and have made a baby quilt top with it.

 I will graduate up to these awesome eagles someday when I have a bit more time. This quilt is on my bucket list for sure.

 This is my version of the "Little Silhouette". As you can see I used the smaller eagle template, but I changed up the layout a bit. I was dying to use Sarah Fielkes short cut for making star point squares. She does it by strip piecing, and it is brilliant. 

 There is a FULL sized pattern sheet included. You will not have to futz around with your printer trying to figure out how to enlarge pattern pieces. Nope, just trace them and you are set.  Some of the projects you can just use your special rulers if you already have them. I love finding a new way to use something I already own!

She also has little diagrams to clarify her instructions. Not that they really need clarifying, but pay attention to them and you are sure to learn a simple trick to make quilt making that much more simple.

 If wedges have ever been intimidating for you, after trying out either of these projects you will be a master of the wedge.

 I don't know if I need to mention this or not, but Sarah Fielke has an amazing sense of color and fabric combinations.

 This quilt "the night garden" may be my favorite quilt in the book. I love the abstract feel of it. She is demonstrating Step down piecing here.

So, I asked Sarah a couple questions and she was sweet enough to answer them.

Me: What was your favorite part about writing Quilting From Little Things?

Sarah : My favourite thing about writing this book was the process of working out
the dolly quilt from each of the large quilts. I made the big quilts first
as their own large concepts, and then distilled each one down into the
little "classes" that are the dollies. I really loved doing that and
thinking of a new design for each technique. 

Me: do you have any plans for another book?

Sarah: I do have another book in the works, due for release in 2013 - I'm working
on the quilts right now!!

That is awesome! I sure will be looking foreward to it.

So, if you don't already own this book you need to add it to your Christmas list. Santa can get a great deal on it (or you can if you plan to treat yourself)

Get an extra $5 off Quilting from Little Things! Visit and use promo code QUILTLITTLE to get your
Details: Promotion expires 7/31/12. Sale and bonus offers are for "in
stock" items only, while supplies last. Martha Pullen Company reserves
right to correct pricing errors.

Here is the link straight to the book

Quilting From Little things is one of my very favorite quilt books. I hope you will like it and learn as much as I have from it. Thank you for joining me!

Here are all the dates for the rest of the tour and the blogs
Monday 28th November: Fat Quarterly and Amy Ellis
Tuesday 29th November: Thomas Knauer
Wednesday 30th November: Camp Follower Bags and Ryan Walsh
Thursday 1st December: The Happy Zombie and Moda Lissa
Friday 2nd December: Mrs Schmenkman Quilts and True Up
Saturday 3rd December: Pink Chalk Fabrics and Pam Kitty Morning
Sunday 4th December: Sew Mama Sew and Pat Sloan


Hoola Tallulah said...

Oh wow, that looks like an amazing book, and the one you made, breathtaking, I think this is the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen <3

Poppyprint said...

That was an awesome review and you've totally convinced me that I need this book. I love learning piecing tricks and it sounds like there are plenty to learn here!

Kristin L said...

Aha, so that's where your wonderful eagle came from! I love the big wedge quilt! Very traditional but with a super twist. And yay for templates that are ready to go straight away, and template-less options as well!

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