Double Wedding Ring Quilts by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

double-wedding-ring-quilts-1Double Wedding Ring Quilts by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, hot off the press and out this month. I have seen double wedding ring quilts and appreciated their beauty, but thought them fiendishly difficult.  Victoria encourages us to not worry about making mistakes and to use them to learn from and even turn a mistake into a design feature!  With her thoroughly modern approach and improv style, turns a very traditional quilt style into 10 breathtakingly modern beauties.

double-wedding-ring-quilts-2This quilt was Victoria’s starting point using Center City fabrics from Jay McCarroll.  She used AccuQuilt wedding ring die cutters and a mistake quilt top, turning it into a master piece.

double-wedding-ring-quilts-3Bright Lights, Big City above, is large-scale scrappyness – perfect if you have lots of left overs from previous quilts.  Each section is well explained and with lots if diagrams, photos and suggestions to move the designs on further.

double-wedding-ring-quilt-4Leona above was inspired by a vintage quilt top, called Olga and this was named after Victoria’s grandfather ad his twin sister Leona.

double-wedding-ring-quilt-5I love the way this book takes such a traditional pattern, breaks it down and reinvents it with a modern twist – so many ideas on how to change the design, mixing up fabrics or even those quilt tops folded gently to one side as they some how fall short of our creative desires when making them.  I think my favorite quilt if all is Luminous Views made in solids, its big, bold and very modern take and beautiful.  This book really does inspire you to create and push your creative boundaries.  So if you’d like a little nudge, want to try circles or just have a beautiful book to gaze at this is for you.


Book Review: Urban and Amish

Classic Quilts and Modern Updates



Review by Kat Cottington

I am an avid reader (and purchaser) of books to feed my passion which is patchwork and quilting.

I am experienced and usually like to do my own thing but a few months ago I joined the LMQG as I liked the fresh look of the quilts I had seen. However, I have found it difficult to get my head around altering traditional blocks to give them an up-to-date spin and then I was asked to review this book.

The greatest part of this book is that it shows traditional and modern takes together and helps to open your eyes to the possibilities that a few alterations can make. Of course once you get this you can change things even further to make them your own.
The instructions for both traditional and modern are well written and clear. The photography is very good and I really like the descriptions for the quilting which is lacking in a lot of publications.
The only thing I would really criticise is that the basting is limited to the use of safety pins as there are other options available, namely thread basting by hand, basting by machine using soluble thread and, my favourite, spray basting.

Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon

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Every quilter, sewer has scraps left over from projects and what to do with the smaller pieces can be tricky. Shannon Brinkley has been creating things with her hands since she was a very young girl and fell madly in love with modern quilting in college.  Shannon is a modern quilter and this is a very modern take on appliqué methods.

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Scrappy Bits Applique starts with the basics of raw edge appliqué techniques, advice on colour theory, quilt design, collage techniques and various finishing methods.  There are 8 projects in the book with charts so one can make a baby quilt up to king with full fabric requirements for the different sizes. Various quilting methods are explained and shown, along with basting techniques and handy tips.

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The Little fox is very cute and far from the South London fox I see! The half triangle boarder is brilliantly explained with lots of tips and makes sewing the Geese blocks far less challenging.

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Windy Poplar is very effective with the low volume background. The Elephant with its pieced background, Around the World would be an amazing gift for a gap year student or wall hanging. The book comes with templates, but as I had a PDF review copy I cannot say what size patterns are.

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The fallen leaves cushions are a brilliant starting point; there is a lot of top stitching and satin stitch with the designs. This anchors the edge of the scraps and also adds definition to the designs.  At the back there are lots of inspiring quilts Shannon has made to spark your imagination. I love The Kraken and Shannon has featured this quilt on her blog.  I would re3commend Scrappy Bits Applique to anyone wanting to venture out into applique and also for anyone with a basket full of scraps and not sure what to make.

“Sew a Modern Home” review

Many of the quilters I know find that they gain inspiration from
a range of sources beyond the usual ‘craft’ world. Art,
architecture, graphic design and interior design are a few of the disciplines
studied by modern quilters who looking for fresh design ideas. It is not
uncommon to stumble across modern quilting blogs where the bloggers interior
design choices are as alluring and inspiring as the quilts!
In her introduction Melissa Lunden explains how her love of
interior design has infused her quilting. The result is a range
of projects that are fresh, clean, and thoroughly modern.
The book take us room by room through a
range of projects from quilts, pillows, tableware, toys and nursery items.
It opens with a basic instructions section,
quilting and sewing techniques are explained with clear illustrations
and detailed descriptions.
Many of the projects are made using solid
colours, giving the projects a crisp modern look.  For me these are the best projects,
the solids allow Melissa’s clever design work to really steal the show. Chevrons, drunkard’s path, and flying geese are some of the familiar designs made modern.
Items range from large quilts to small items of tableware, and many of the projects
are suitable for beginners. Gift inspiration is abundant, with projects suitable for baby showers and house warmings.


Each project has clear material and cutting
instructions, with tips and tricks to save you time.  Diagrams detail the construction methods and there are lots of photographs including close ups of the quilting.
This is a great book for those who are
looking to make statement quilts for their home, or for the beginner
who wants to start with something small but dream big!

I think it will convert many people who are yet to discover
how stylish modern quilting can be.

Sew a Modern Home by Melissa Lunden is available now from Martingale Books
Images courtesy of Brent Kane.

“Imagine Quilts” book review from Martingale Books.


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Imagine Quilts is a bright and colourful book that I dived straight into and read from cover to cover, despite wanting get up and sew as soon as I saw the very first pattern. I’m totally in love with Elephant Parade, the first quilt in the book and I am already mentally
wandering through my stash to work out which fabrics I can use to make my own version.

This book is divided into four sections, based on inspiration sources: your current stash, using traditional techniques in new ways, the world around you and breaking the rules. Each section has quilts that use traditional blocks in new ways, as well as patterns that are fresh and new, but throughout the book Dana encourages you to play around and find your own inspiration in every day life. Her bright, encouraging take on life and sewing are infectious and I’m sure that anyone reading this book will catch this enthusiasm and start to see all sorts of patterns in life that look like quilts waiting to be born.

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Patterns and colours aside, the best feature of this book is the
simplicity and clarity of the instructions. I could mentally see how
the pieces would fit together without resorting to playing with material scraps
or even turning the book upside-down and frowning at it.
Not everyone does that? Ah well, I know I do when patterns seem
complicated on paper. This book even manages to make sewing Dresden
circles look easy. I’ve never been brave enough to try making one
until now, but I’m absolutely sure that I could after reading Dana’s
instructions. Throughout the book there are little hints and tips that
will help to improve accuracy and go a long way towards explaining the
little things in quilting that make the difference between a
beginner’s quilt and a professional finish.

This book also has a great glossary which makes it a perfect gift
for a new quilter, whilst still being a welcome and inspiring addition
to any established quilter’s library.

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B1253 Imagine Quilts 3rd.indd

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© Martingale,

Photographer, Brent Kane

Martingale Books “Modern Basics” by Amy Ellis

I’ve been making quilts for several years now but still consider myself to be a beginner. Like many twenty first century quilters I have very limited space and money to pursue this pleasurable pastime. This is why I was drawn to the title of Amy Ellis’ book Modern Basics – Easy Quilts to Fit Your Budget, Space, and Style.
From the introduction onwards Amy offers snippets of encouragement and solid, sensible advice. For example she advises that you cut all pieces before starting to construct your quilt top,
this way you won’t lose motivation and can chip away at the quilt when you find a few spare moments to get behind your machine.
She also dispels the myth that in order to be a good quilter you need a sewing room, giving suggestions on how to store your tools and keep your fabric stash to a minimum.
Following the introduction the book launches into 14 projects. All of the projects adhere to the principles of ‘Modern Quilting’ and all are stunning. There is something for modern
quilters of all tastes, from blocks created with bold floral prints to graphic statement
quilts made from solid fabrics.
Many of the quilts appear quite complex, but when you turn the page to look at the construction diagrams you realize how deceptively simple they are. Several of the quilts could easily be
put together in a weekend.
Each project has yardage requirements and cutting instructions and some quilts can be made in a range of sizes.
The piecing and construction diagrams are clear and very well produced. The written instructions are considered and easy to follow.  
The photography by Brent Kane is great, there are at least two photos of each quilt, one in situ
giving a sense of scale and size, and one photo of the quilt flat out so that you can admire the design as a whole.
The final chapter of the book is a beginners guide to patchwork and quilting. It covers everything from essential tools, cutting techniques, machine piecing, pressing, borders, basting, quilting and binding.  It is very well written and features simple, effective diagrams.
This book is fantastic. For a true beginner it is one stop shop, containing all the advice and instruction they need and enough inspiring projects to keep them satisfied for years.
For me it has made me realize that I don’t need to attempt complex designs and techniques to produce stunning work, there is beauty in simplicity.
Lets all get back to basics!

All images courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane


Skip the borders – Easy patterns for modern quilts

b1120_cI was really happy when this book came up on the LMQG review list as it had been on my Amazon wish list for ages and the week before, I had purchased my very own copy!

Julie says in the introduction that she drew on her love of teaching to work out how to put together the text and I think that comes across in her writing style; friendly, relaxed and informative with permission to break the rules!


There are 15 quilts in this book split into 3 sections – “one block”, “two block” and “outside-the-block” quilts. There are no templates but each quilt is beautifully illustrated with a full page photo along with clear and easy to follow instructions on materials needed, cutting details and a cutting diagram. Once you’ve cut everything out there are further diagrams to illustrate how each individual block is assembled and how the quilt top as a whole is assembled.

There’s a section at the beginning of the book which breaks down the structure of a quilt without borders and I like the idea that not using borders means some of the designs look as if they could “go on and on”.

The book also includes a really helpful section on binding, which personally I think will be something I’ll refer to again and again. Especially the binding calculator which tells you how much you need dependent on the size of the quilt – no more cutting three times the length I actually need!

On to the quilts! Of the “two block” quilts, I have my eye on Raspberry Desert – I love the contrast of the pinks against the neutral background combined with the strong geometric pattern.

b1120_11Framed Coins from the “outside-the- block” section is another favourite with the bold solids combined with black and white prints.


Of all the quilts featured though, White Stars has to be my favourite and I’ve started my own version using my prized Liberty stash.

b1120_01 First though, I wanted to make a smaller, one block version using some fantastic vintage scraps from Sew and Quilt. I thought the scraps would work really well with the negative space of the star and I’m delighted with how it turned out.

My Vintage Liberty Print Star.

My Vintage Liberty Print Star.

Overall, this is a well written book of thoughtfully designed patterns which I think will provide inspiration for quilters of all skill levels.

– Claire

Modern Bee – 13 Quilts to make with friends

modern bee 1

When I volunteered to review a book for the LMQG I was overjoyed when “Modern Bee” turned up in my inbox! I am an avid reader of Lindsay’s blogs “Lindsay Sews” and “Craft Buds” plus it was a happy coincidence having last year taken over as Bee Mama for my own quilting Bee – Bee Europa.

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Lindsay talks about her own Bee “Mod Stitches” and as soon as you see the names of the Bee members you know this is going to be a winning book with members such as Jeni Baker, Elizabeth Jackson, Amy (Sukie) Newbold to name a few! One thing I also liked about the book was the extra snippets about the members such as how they got into quilting, why they love quilting and so on; I love those little extra insights!

modern bee 3This is a fantastic book with lots of advice and tips on how to run your own online quilting Bee, how and where to get started, the different types of Bee’s, what to do if there is a problem and so on.  There is a wonderful selection of quilt block designs that work through different levels from beginners, confident beginners to intermediate. The blocks are designed so that they could be used as part of a Bee; they come with excellent construction details and even how much fabric you need to send out each month!

modern bee 4The photography is bright and clear and shows not only individual blocks step by step but also how they can be sewn into a quilt. The section on finishing a quilt talking about backing, the quilt sandwich, basting, quilting styles and binding was really useful to someone like me who has only ever made one baby sized quilt.

modern bee 5One thing that should be noted about this book is even if you are not intending on starting a Bee or taking part in one this is still a wonderful book with lots of lovely quilt designs and great quilting tips about tools, sewing techniques, colour choice, pre washing fabrics the list goes on. There is everything in this book and definitely one I’ll be referring to when I make my first big quilt!!

modern bee 6Happy Stitching and reading – Cara @ Pink Stitches

Modern Bee, published by C & T Publishing, all photographs © C & T Publishing.

Playful Little Paper-Pieced Projects, Compiled by Tacha Bruecher

ImageBook review by Amy Cavanagh

When I received an electronic copy of the Playful Little Paper-Pieced Projects book I immediately scrolled through and looked at all the pictures.  Wow – so many lovely looking projects! I then went back to what I think will be my favourite project from the book – the Roll-Up Backgammon Board! I WILL be making this project one day!  In fact, I would love to make several of the projects in the book because they look fresh and exciting The Nutcracker pillow, the Mail Organizer and the Winter Present Basket are on my list! Here is a picture of the Winter Present Basket:

Imagec & t publishing

Doesn’t the block look lovely as a basket? There is a range of complexity to the blocks in the book and the projects made from them look fun and quick! I adore small projects that I can stitch up quickly after I have spent an hour or more piecing a block.


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The rewards of completing a project is so satisfying and the book mentions this so the blocks do not linger in the WiP pile!


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I had thought that I would be able to sew a sample to share with you but the electronic review copy did not come with the CD that holds all the patterns. The fact that the book will come with a CD is both good and bad news. Good because it means there is no annoying photocopying at 200% to get a pattern to the right size but bad (for me anyways) because it means you have to have a computer with a disk drive (which I do not!!) in order to print the patterns. The book does mention that you can trace onto freezer paper instead of printing from the CD but I am not certain if the patterns are full size in the book.


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The line-up of contributors is amazing: Tacha Bruecher, Laura Jane Taylor, Kerry Green and Lynn Goldsworthy to mention a few.  How cool is it that I have met all of these people? This makes this book that much more exciting!!


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I wish I could tell you about the paper pieced patterns but I did not test any. I can tell you that the diagrams look clear and the photographs look lovely. There is a Flickr group if you would like to see a few images from the book.

ISBN 978-1-60705-820-5 (soft cover)


ImageModern One-Block Quilts by Natalia Bonner & Kathleen Whiting.  Published by Stash Books.



A beautifully laid out book, all 22 quilt designs are based on a single block design.  So each quilt design could be made with printed or solids and give a new look to each pattern.  The blocks range from simple, beginner friendly to the more advanced.  Therefore, this book does offer something for all quilters.  The quilt designs are all designed in baby quilt size to coverlet size, giving everyone the freedom to make any size desired.  The quilts are constructed using many techniques and these are really well explained with detailed diagrams at the front of the book.


Lanterns – block size 14” x 14”

In the acknowledgments both sets of grandparents are thanked, as they helped sew, unpick and repair sewing machines!  It’s always good to hear that even very established quilters need to unpick!


ImageWiggling 11” x 11”


ImageChurned 10” x 10”




Eight o’clock 8” x 18”


ImageColoured candies 9” x 9”

A really great addition to any quilters book shelf.