Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve managed to find a bit of free time over the last week (why is Summer always busier than I anticipate?), and I used it to finally crack into Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook. It seems like forever ago that I was relaxing at the pool flipping through this book after QuiltCon…only 4 months though.

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is on my all-time-favorite-most-beautifully-photographed-books list. There is just so much content (174 pages!) and fuel for creativity in here. I’ll be honest, I’m a picture person and I usually don’t read everything in a quilting book. But I sat down with this one and it’s been so interesting. I actually keep it on my coffee table!

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I knew the first project I wanted to try to tackle in this book was one of the curve quilts. I went through a bit of color-paralysis but decided on some monochromatic segments. Mostly solids with a few coordinating, low volume prints mixed in.

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It was a somewhat messy, but totally freeing process. VERY fun. It did not take too many hours to finish these segments.

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I need to make more. Should I add more colors? Stick with this palette? Now is when I begin to over think it. I’m a bit nervous about how it’s all going to go together, but the instructions have over 10 pictures so I think it should go well. I’ll share more as I create!

+++ Update! +++

There are a couple supplemental resources for those of you working with this awesome book. First, the Test Quilt Galleries ~ 165 quilts made by testers during the book writing process. Amazing!

Second, the Improv Handbook Facebook page. This is a space where Sherri Lynn Wood and other quilters actively share their process.

I hope you are inspired!

For Keeps: Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living

For Keeps : Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson : Fresh Lemons Quilts

A few weeks ago, I received Amy Gibson’s new book in the mail, For Keeps: Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living. You might know Amy from her blog Stitchery Dickory Dock or maybe her Craftsy classes. I’m not entirely sure when we first met, but I’m guessing we go back to Sewing Summit I or II. It’s been fun to get to know her and watch her accomplish so many things, including writing a book!

For Keeps : Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For Keeps is a beautifully photographed quilting book divided into 3 main sections: A Patchwork Primer, Memory Makers and Memory Keepers. The first section, A Patchwork Primer, is a 28 page crash course in quilting. Amy covers everything from supplies to piecing, binding to appliqué, quilting to foundation paper piecing, and finally quilt finishing.

For Keeps : Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson : Fresh Lemons Quilts

There are a ton of a photos. This is great for visual learners like me.

For Keeps : Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The second section, Memory Makers, is full of projects that focus on spending quality time with your loved ones.

For Keeps : Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson : Fresh Lemons Quilts

There are nine different patterns, including cuddle quilts, picnic quilts, playmats, and story book holders.

For Keeps : Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The third section, Memory Keepers, are projects associated with preserving memories. The seven projects include a new spin on a family tree quilt, a silhouette project, and a photo quilt.

For Keeps : Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Amy has a great For Keeps website with some fun extras for you. She is encouraging all of us to take some time to think about why we sew and who we sew for. She has a fun “For Keeps Pledge” you can take – read more about it here!

For Keeps : Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Amy also has a free pattern for a quilt block on her site – for you to make for yourself and/or for a community charity quilt.

I hope you are inspired to check out For Keeps, as well as visit Amy’s website and learn more about the “For Keeps Pledge“.

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Today I’m pleased to share with you a newly released book by Melissa Corry, Irish Chain Quilts. It never really occurred to me just how many awesome ways there were to make an Irish chain quilt. When Melissa sent me her new book to check out, I was really inspired by the variety of designs inside. Irish Chain Quilts contains 15 quilt patterns – from traditional…

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry : Fresh Lemons Quilts
Photography of quilts courtesy of Martingale Publishing, Photographer Brent Kane

to modern…

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry : Fresh Lemons QuiltsPhotography of quilts courtesy of Martingale Publishing, Photographer Brent Kane

to improvisational…

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry : Fresh Lemons QuiltsPhotography of quilts courtesy of Martingale Publishing, Photographer Brent Kane

to appliqué.

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry : Fresh Lemons QuiltsPhotography of quilts courtesy of Martingale Publishing, Photographer Brent Kane

In celebration of Melissa’s new book, several of us made a block from a pattern to be combined into one future charity quilt. My block happened to be from the cover quilt, End of the Rainbow.

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry : Fresh Lemons QuiltsPhotography of quilts courtesy of Martingale Publishing, Photographer Brent Kane

These blocks are improvisational and great for scraps. I had a lot of fun just letting go, piecing without over thinking it. My background is low volume (as requested) and my focal fabrics are all shades of green. Melissa’s directions were very easy to follow, so even if you haven’t improvisationally pieced before, don’t be worried. :)

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry : Fresh Lemons Quilts

You can pick up your own copy of Irish Chain Quilts in a few places:
·  Personalized and Autographed Copies from Melissa
·  Your Local Quilt Shop
·  Martingale (get a free E-copy with your order)
·  Amazon

If you want to check out more blocks from bloggers, as well as peeks from inside the book, be sure to follow along on the blog hop below.

Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry

June 8th – Happy Quilting – Blog Hop Intro
June 9th – Moda Lissa – Lissa Alexander & Fat Quarter Shop – Jocelyn Ueng
June 10th – Piece N Quilt – Natalia Bonner & In Color Order – Jeni Baker
June 11th – Amy’s Creative Side – Amy Ellis & Sew Kind of Wonderful – Jenny Pedigo
June 12th – Quilt Story – Megan Jimenez & Diary of a Quilter – Amy Smart
June 15th – Freshly Pieced – Lee Heinrich & Christa Quilts – Christa Watson
June 16th – Moda Cutting Table – Carrie Nelson & Little Miss Shabby – Corey Yoder
June 17th – Fresh Lemons – Me! :) & V and Co. – Vanessa Christenson
June 18th – A Quilting Life – Sherri McConnell & Stitch This! – Jenny Wilding Cardon
June 19th – Happy Quilting – Wrap Up & Grand Prizes

Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop Prizes

Also don’t forget to stop over at Melissa’s blog for more Irish Chain Quilt inspiration and the chance to win some celebratory prizes!

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

Last month while I was away at QuiltCon, a special package arrived on my front porch: The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman. Publisher Interweave was kind enough to send me a copy to review, but being a huge fan of Penny and her designs and blog, I was planning on buying this book anyway. Penny is a major paper piecing expert. She designs patterns that you look at and think “how is that even possible???” And they are beyond cute. I wasn’t surprised when I opened her new book and loved everything I saw.

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

The Paper Pieced Home is 136 pages and comes with a CD of paper piecing templates. It begins by listing necessary tools/supplies and then gets into the basic steps of paper piecing these designs. This is super important (to me anyway) because these patterns have several different sections that are paper pieced and then stitched together to make your finished blocks. Penny also spends time covering fabric selection (she has SUCH a good eye for this) and more advanced techniques such as fussy cutting, sewing y-seams, and adding embellishments to your projects.

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

The 40 blocks and 10 projects in The Paper Pieced Home are divided into six chapters: Kitschy Kitchen, Wear It!, Retro Home, Create & Organize, Playtime, and Get Outdoors! There are so many cute blocks in this book! A few of my favorites…

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

How great is this fruit bowl on a grocery tote? Although if my groceries leaked onto this bag I would probably cry!

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

Clawfoot tub bath mat! I want this tub in real life.

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

I actually made this retro couch block last week. I was so loopy with the flu that my fabric choices were absolutely horrific. I took the entire thing apart and fixed it. Which proves how delirious I actually was! I’m much happier with it now though.

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

It’s only a matter of time before I make this sewing machine for my sewing room. Penny’s class at QuiltCon made this block. Amazing!

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

You can buy The Paper Pieced Home on Amazon, directly from Interweave, or (hopefully) at your local quilt shop or bookstore!

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

If you enjoy paper piecing (or learning new techniques) and making super cute blocks, this book is for you.