Sunday, August 29, 2010

"The Quilting Answer Book" by Barbara Weiland Talbert

On a recent visit to the public library, I was rewarded with a surprize....a quilting book I had not seen!
It went home with me. I'm going to have a hard time giving this one back!
This is a small  volume, measuring 4.5" x 6.25" but 1" thick, and it packs a lot of information into the pages. The writing is friendly and the Q&A style makes it easy to find the topic you need.
It begins with Getting Started, which deals with the basic parts of a quilt,and proceeds to work through the many types and techniques of quilting. Making choices and problem solving along the way provides the info you need right where you want it. There are many good diagrams and illustrations, a necessity for quilters (we are all very visual learners!).
The book ends with some of those very handy charts like what size of square to cut to get a particular triangle, as well as lists of online resources for shows, quilt museums, supplies and education. It also has an index, which many books neglect to provide these days.
Author, Barbara Weiland Talbert, has been sewing,quilting and writing for many years. You've probably read her articles in magazines. Visit her website at
This is the sort of book I wish I had written!
If you are looking for a covers-all-bases reference, or a gift for a beginner, you can chose this book with confidence that it won't gather dust on the shelf.

Monday, August 23, 2010

River City quilting "Trouble" here!

There is no "Trouble in River City" now, despite the fine musical number from Meredith Wilson's musical The Music Man. This class was postponed from last month due to the A/C breakdown. It's impossible to have a class in Summmer without some cooled air!

Everyone got set up and right down to business for "Gifts By The Yard". This class is more on the crafty side, designed for when you need to churn out a load of little items as fast as possible. We're headed into the time of year when lots of gifts are needed, whether you're giving them yourself or filling baskets for the local craft sale or boutique.
You pre-quilt (or purchase, or drag from the depths of your stash) a yard of fabric and end up with about 7 tissue holders, 10 glasses cases, and 8 "privacy purses" (some may call that a coin purse, but I don't care what you put in it!). That's just the basic options. Once the tricks are learned, students start to change the cutting dimensions and create all sorts of great new accessories. This time we figured out some cell phone holders and a larger style glasses case to hold the over-size wrap-around black sunglasses that so many people like...or use during their post-op from cataract surgery.

The best part of class is seeing what fabrics everyone has.
Bright is always good for purse accessories, and by selecting a coordinating lining fabric (back of the quited yard) it's easy to make sets of items that go together (how Vera Bradley can you get???). Just make half the items with one side out, and half with the other!
One very clever lady (with a big sense of humor) made items with a cheerful red holiday print for the outside, and the lining was the logo of a state university . She gave some of those to her friends who are fans of the other state university!
It's a good thing that non-quilters didn't come in. They might have thought a sweat shop had been set up. Those sewing machines were going like crazy!
The most amazing part of the class was that I taught how to make continuous bias binding, starting with a square. That is pretty much like a Home Ec. nightmare! But the Piecemakers were ready to learn and stuck with it until they were successful.
Fortunately, there are several experienced seamstresses in that group who will be able to reveiw the process later, and I thank them in advance!
Cherry-Cherry came along with me. It's great to have someone to pick up on all the little details while I'm working my way around and around the room. And it's nice to have a travel companion, even if the class is only across town!
A quilt class is so much more than just learning how to do something. It's a social event, where friends get together for a good laugh or to share stories of joy or sorrow. You always come away with more than the class project, as so many tips are shared. This guild likes to have a covered dish lunch, and you just can't do better than quilters who cook!
All in all, you just can't do better than spending a day with quilters....period!