Friday, December 6, 2013

Book Review - Christmas is Coming

Hi everyone:

I promised I'd tell you about the other Christmas/holiday/seasonal book that I added to my library this year. Here it is: Christmas is Coming: Appliqué Quilt Patterns to Celebrate the Season by Cheryl Almgren Taylor

While I didn't actually meet Cheryl at International Quilt Market, I did see her signing copies of this book at the Martingale booth. I've always been a fan of Cheryl's designs and find her style instantly recognizable. I don't know how she does it, but Cheryl makes even holly and Christmas ornaments her own.
Christmas is Coming by Cheryl Almgren Taylor
Photo courtesy of Martingale
There are 13 projects in the book and it is divided into 3 sections: Home for the Holidays, Celebrate the Season and Rejoice and Be Glad! The projects in the book are for fusible web appliqué, so the designs are already reversed for you. Cheryl includes basic quilt making instructions for piecing, fusible web appliqué and foundation piecing. Christmas is Coming includes a variety of designs great for gift giving from quick table runners to more elaborate wall hangings and even a bed runner, if you don't have time to create an entire quilt.
Welcome Wall Hanging from Christmas is Coming
The Welcome Wall Hanging reminds of Christmas Eve service with its traditional church appliqué and the snow-covered fir trees. 
Christmas Bouquet Wall Hanging from Christmas is Coming
For something which would take a little more time to create, but would be treasured forever, Cheryl has included the Christmas Bouquet Wall Hanging. At 36 ½" square, it would also be lovely as a table topper. I think I would add some hot-fix crystals to this project for some holiday bling.
Home for Christmas Bed Runner from Christmas is Coming
If you want to add some holiday cheer to your bedroom, the Home for Christmas Bed Runner is perfect. You could change the fabric on one of these houses to mimic your own home. 
Christmas Pageant Wall Hanging from Christmas is Coming
I love the touch of whimsy in the Christmas Pageant Wall Hanging! As Cheryl describes it, "This small wall hanging brings back memories of holiday plays at school and Christmas pageants at church." You could use fabric from your children's clothing or even your own to personalize this delightful project. 

I added Christmas is Coming to my quilting library as I liked the variety of designs and the "traditional" feel of the book, and of course, fusible web appliqué is my favourite technique!

Do you have holiday or Christmas quilting books in your library? Leave me a comment to tell me which book is your favourite.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review - Modern Holiday

Hi everyone:

Can you believe that we're already in December? I think that the holiday season creeps up quicker each year and every year I'm determined to create at least one new Christmas quilted item. I'm not talking about a whole quilt, mind you; a table runner or a pillow would be just fine. 

I have many Christmas quilting books and magazines and enjoy adding to my collection. This year I have added two new books to my quilting library, one of which I'll be reviewing today: Modern Holiday : Deck the Halls with 18 Sewing Projects - Quilts, Stockings, Decorations and More by Amanda Murphy.

I met Amanda Murphy at International Quilt Festival in Houston this year and she was kind enough to spend some time talking to myself and Lee of Lala's Lovelys. I had recently acquired her Modern Holiday book so was especially pleased to talk with her. 

Modern Holiday by Amanda Murphy
Photo courtesy of C & T Publishing
There's a project for everyone in Amanda's book. She uses fresh, modern fabrics for the designs in Modern Holiday, which range from full-size quilts to wall hangings and table decorations. 

I love Advent calendars - we have two in our house that we put up every year - so I was pleased to see one in Modern Holiday. While we fill our Advent calendars with chocolate treats, I think I prefer the presents in Amanda's version. The yo-yo bows on the gifts are a nice embellishment which adds texture to the project.
Countdown to Christmas from Modern Holiday
Snowfall is a full-size pieced quilt which uses the connector corner technique to create an intricate design. I enjoy projects that use simple techniques to create complex designs and Snowfall "falls" into this category. The contemporary fabrics against the white background give this quilt a fresh, crisp appeal.
Snowfall from Modern Holiday
If you don't have the time to make a quilt, how about some seasonal pillows? These Snowflake Pillows are only one of the pillow patterns in Modern Holiday that can be used to decorate your home during the winter season. Amanda uses fusible web appliqué to create these quick designs.
Snowflake Pillows from Modern Holiday
One of the more complex patterns in Modern Holiday is Trimming the Tree with its quilty ornaments. I appreciate the fact that the ornaments were pieced and did not require specialty fabric to achieve their look. While this project might take a little longer to make, the result would definitely be worth it.
Trimming the Tree by Amanda Murphy
I liked the use of traditional blocks, such as Flying Geese and Hexagons, to create fresh new holiday designs. Complete instructions, colourful photos and a great variety of projects make Modern Holiday a "must buy" for your Christmas quilting library.

In my next post, I'll be reviewing the other holiday book that I had to add to my collection. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Christmas Pattern

Hi everyone:

I'm excited to release my latest pattern, Christmas Lanterns. This is a pieced design using half-square triangles and squares. I used a modern Christmas fabric for the sample, which is a real departure for me! 
Christmas Lanterns designed in Electric Quilt 7
I liked the combination of deep red, aqua and white, rather than the traditional green and red that I would usually use.
Christmas Lanterns in modern fabrics
In addition to Christmas lanterns, you can also find other seasonal patterns, such as Bundle Up and Snowflakes a' Fallin' in my website store. 
Bundle Up table runner
Snowflakes a' Fallin' table runner
These are all easy patterns to create and make excellent gifts - Christmas is coming, you know!

Now I'm off to work on some Christmas gifts of my own.