If you've been following along with the Book-A-Round tour for Kay Mackenzie's new book, Inspired By Tradition, you'll know that today is my turn. Yay! I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Kay's newest book and the chance to share it with you. Make sure that you visit Kay's website to see the complete list of participating bloggers and whose turn it is next on the tour. In addition to reviewing this fantastic appliqué book, I'll also be giving away a copy of Inspired by Tradition, thanks to the generosity of the publisher, That Patchwork Place. I'll tell you more about the giveaway a little later in this post.
If you're visiting my blog for the first time, let me introduce myself. I'm Kim Jamieson-Hirst, the principal designer and social director of Chatterbox Quilts in Calgary, AB, Canada. You may wonder about the choice of my company's name: well, I'm from Chatham, ON and love to chat, so Chatterbox Quilts it was!
I've been quilting for about 9 years now and have been designing patterns for the past two and a half years. I consider Kay my mentor in all things quilt, especially appliqué, and have always admired the practical and comprehensive information that she provides in all her patterns and books (as well as her cute designs, of course) and Inspired By Tradition is no exception.
In this book Kay has included 50 appliqué blocks in 5 different sizes, allowing you to create your own personal quilts and wall hangings. Kay describes these blocks as having "that old-time vintage flavor and feel, but are simplified for the modern quilter." In addition, Kay provides appliqué information on everything from back-basting to fusible web appliqué.
As with her first book, Easy Appliqué Blocks, Kay has included a CD to make it very easy to print out the blocks in any of the 5 sizes available. Yes, I said 5 sizes: 6", 8", 9", 10", or 12"! Think of the time and frustration you'll save by being able to print out the block you want in the size you want without having to go to a copy shop or fuss with your own photocopier. I think this is brilliant and actually increases the number of blocks available in the book as each one is printable in 5 different sizes.
You may wonder how the larger blocks will print out and this is how Kay explains it in her book: "Larger sizes will automatically print out as multiple pages; just trim and tape them together and you'll be ready to go. Reversed versions are also included". Seems like Kay has thought of everything (I'm not surprised). I really appreciate the inclusion of the reversed versions of the blocks on the CD since I usually do fusible web appliqué and this saves me quite a bit of extra work. I also like the fact that you can tape the parts of the larger blocks together to make the actual block size as I can print these out on my home printer on 8 1/2" x 11' paper, without using any special paper.
As with all her instructions, Kay takes you by the hand and walks you through the process of using the CD and accessing the blocks on it. She includes several helpful hints to ensure that the blocks will print out at the correct size and the proper orientation.
Since the blocks all have a similar old-fashioned feel, combining them is easy, but if you're having trouble deciding on which block to do first or how to combine blocks, Kay has included a gallery of ideas to get you started. Appliquér at Heart is just one of the examples that Kay provides.
It includes one of my favourite blocks from the book, "Distelfink". It reminds me of a summer vacation from my childhood where the restaurant that we ate at was called "The Distelfink".
The only problem with this book is that there are too many choices for me to easily decide which block I'd like to do first! I'm drawn to the Distelfink, but the Puppy Dog is so cute and I can definitely see how I could combine him with the Pansies (it would look like he's sniffing them). Being able to print the blocks in various sizes really helps with these types of combinations as I could print Puppy Dog at 10" or 12" and print the Pansies at a smaller size so that the proportions would be appropriate. I really like the opportunities the 5 different block sizes creates. To pick your favourite block, visit Amazon where you can see all 50 of them.
Now that I've got you wishing you had your own copy of Inspired By Tradition, here's the information that you need to enter to win your own copy. It's easy! Just leave a comment below with your email address before March 29 at 9:00 p.m. MST letting me know which type of appliqué you like the best. As I will be on vacation at that time, Kay will be drawing the winner's name herself and will contact the winner by email to get their address details so she can send out their copy. I will be announcing the winner's name in a future blog post when I'm back from vacation. This giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. addresses only.
Good luck in the giveaway and thanks, Kay and That Patchwork Place for providing a copy of Inspired By Tradition to be won by one of my readers.