Several weeks ago Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts asked if I'd be interested in reviewing Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. She and 17 other bloggers each contributed a pattern to this amazing collection, so of course I said yes! I'd seen lots of hype about the book so I was interested in taking a look for myself.
Lanterns in the City by Audrie
I have to say I went into this with no expectations or notions about how this book would be compiled - I've been so busy these last few weeks that I was just glad to have something fun to point my attention to for a while. One thing that I particularly enjoyed were the biographies of each blogger. Most are several paragraphs long and I really, really enjoyed reading all of them. Even though I read several of their blogs regularly, I learned more about their backgrounds and how/why/when they started quilting.
Across the Quad by Jennifer
There is a variety of skill levels in the book, from simple patchwork squares to dresdens, and a fantastic updated Courthouse Steps in Audrie's Lanterns in the City. I appreciate that they left out the basic quilting technique section in the front. Every time I buy a quilting book I think of the valuable space that's taken up with that information. I get that it belongs in a beginner quilting book, but my guess is that most people buying books like this are already quilters looking for inspiration or patterns, not a detailed how-to. I was a little surprised at the 19 patterns included - that's a great value for less than $20!
Indian Summer by Katy
The photography is one of the high points of the book for me - the quilts are all photographed full-on and the paper is fantastic. You can really get a sense of the scale of the quilt and pattern since it's not draped or folded. Several of the designers also share the back of the quilts and how to duplicate them, which would be really helpful to a beginner quilter or someone who just wants everything spelled out. A couple of the quilts have improvisational piecing, and they are so well explained. I've taught a couple of classes in which people were so intimidated and stressed out by improv, so I was really glad to see step-by-step instructions to make it a little less scary.
Mini Claw Throw by Jeni
I couldn't help myself and had to pull some fabric to make a block from Jeni's Mini Claw Throw. I'm going to make it into a hot pad with some coordinating coasters for a gift! I also really want to make one of Katy's Indian Summer blocks as a mini-quilt -which is a perfect example of how I use quilting books. I rarely make the patterns exactly as they are written, but use them as a jumping-off point and a source of inspiration.
If you'd like a chance to win a copy of your own, head to Ellison Lane Quilts and enter the giveaway - it ends Sunday, March 17! Thanks, Jennifer, for letting me be a part of your exciting