I’m today’s stop on Kathreen Ricketson‘s Little Bits Quilting Bee blog tour and very happy to be reviewing this lovely, colorful quilting book. I wanted to share some of my favorite parts from the book, and especially why it resonates so much with me as a quilter and a crafter.
Kathreen has designed 20 quilts that use standard sizes of precut fabric sets (charm squares, jelly rolls, layer cakes, and fat quarters – though of course, you can use your own stash fabrics instead). She also includes thorough instructions all the way from choosing fabrics to binding; advice on color and design; and paper patterns for many of the blocks. Once you learn these quilt-making basics, any of the quilts she’s designed is within reach. My favorite LBQB quilt is Prismatic, which uses layer cakes.
Here’s a closer look at the piecing, which I love, and the overall layout. Simple and striking.
Another instant favorite is Garnets and Gold, which uses fat quarters. This one is so lush and colorful…
But the one at the top of my list to make is Rhombus.
My PMQG guildmate and friend Monica Solario-Snow gave me and Daniela each a jelly roll set of her Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric line, and I have been saving this amazing gift for a special project. The fabric makes me happy (the name couldn’t be more perfect!) and I’m picturing such a gorgeous HMYY Rhombus, bordered in a bright solid. Lovely.
Which brings me to my favorite part of Little Bits Quilting Bee – the bee. I love craft books that offer more than great projects – that tell a story or share history or resources we can all enjoy. Kathreen includes an engaging section at the front on the history and culture of community quilting, from traditional bees to online swaps and groups – I loved reading this part.
Of course Kathreen’s whip-up site has been a huge pillar of our craft community, and my whole life has been shaped so beautifully, and I have met so many people I treasure, through craft.
From my earliest days of learning to sew and getting a million ideas on getcrafty… to hosting naked lady parties and swapping tons of clothes and craft supplies… to our beloved Portland Church of Craft meetings, led by Sister Diane… to my partners in Portland Super Crafty… to Maker Faire… and now the amazing Portland Modern Quilt Guild I’m proud to be a member of, I am very fortunate to be part of our huge, beautiful craft community.
One of my favorite blog entries I’ve ever written, originally as a column for getcrafty in March 2006, was Start Your Own Craft Circle! – half fun details about a weekly knitting circle in North Carolina, and half tips on starting your own craft group. Except for a few links that could be switched out for their 2011 counterparts, it feels as fresh now as it did when I was interviewing the organizers five years ago! Thank you to my friends, everyone who inspires me with your crafts and projects, and to everyone who reads my books and stops by this little corner of the world, too. Now, I would love to hear about your favorite craft groups and swaps and bees!
Giveaway time! I’m happy to be giving away a copy of Little Bits Quilting Bee today – to enter, please leave a comment with your favorite experience in a quilting bee, craft circle, class, or guild, whether it’s with family, friends, online, a swap in the mail, or any other take on this vibrant community. Comments are open through next Tuesday, November 22, and readers in the US and Canada are eligible. I’ll ask Kathreen to choose a winner from the comments and Chronicle will send a book to him or her right away!
Check out the rest of the blog tour here, with lots more reviews, giveaways, and posts about this lovely book!