Sunday, November 09, 2008

Blue and Turquoise Zigzag

This is the other lapquilt that I made in Cairo after discovering just how cold it can get there.I kept the color scheme low key since this was a quilt for my husband. You remember him, he's the one who once called a pink, yellow, and orange color scheme I was working on "egregious." His shirts are black, white, gray, navy blue or dark green. So this palette is a stretch for him, but at least it didn't make him cry and refuse to use it. Hee hee hee.

So this is the Blue and Turquoise Zigzag quilt.

Baby Pokey taking a nap:

I continue to have a hard time focusing on a project. I sorted through boxes of old papers and photos and got rid of two garbage bags full. I suspect I'll do it again and be even more brutal.
Here's a question for you all. Can you recommend a quilting book or online tutorial to someone who's going to teach herself or himself to quilt? Since we're starting at the very beginning let's focus on piecing.
What is the best book/tutorial for teaching yourself to hand piece?
What is the best book/tutorial for teaching yourself to machine piece?
What is the best book/tutorial for learning to use a sewing machine?
I'm looking for something basic that doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about things like accuracy - you know how much I hate that. If someone wants to be a liberated quiltmaker what do they actually need to know? I've looked through some things and boy, there's so much information that is uptight and not that necessary... So maybe a book for kids where you just want them to get interested and who cares about perfection. Any thoughts?
By the way, I have to say Blogger is making me very cranky. Just can't get spacing into the part of my blog that comes after photos. ggggggrrrrr.


True Blue Nana said...

Love the quilt, particularly the combination of colors. Sometimes we try to make it all too complicated but that makes a statement. Is your husband related to mine. Mine has started dressing in one color, black shirt and pants or gray shirt and pants.

Q is for Quilt by Diana McClun is a good fairly simple book. It is written sort of like a tutorial. She starts with a nine patch and shows some neat ways to put it together.

Anonymous said...

I am a relatively new quilter,started last October, and am teaching myself, and one of my first books bought from Amazon was Carol Doak's book 'Your First Quilt Book' (or so it should be).

It is good to teach you how to start quilting but not how to make a quilt and even now as a first year quilter embarking on my first quilt I find it invaluable as it has measurements. For me it has something for the beginner progressing to intermediate.

It also includes hand piecing and machine tips. Hope this helps you.


Anonymous said...

P.S. Quilters Complete Guide by Fons and Porter is another excellent book.

Although you say that you don't like measurements for a beginner I think they are necessary to learn. I am making and measuring out my first quilt with no pattern.


Anonymous said...

My favorite beginner book is "Start Quilting with Alex Anderson." It's a skinny little book so it doesn't look intimidating. It teaches the basics of cutting and piecing, and with the six blocks in that book you learn the techniques you need to make 75% of the pieced blocks in use today.

As for quilting rules, it's good to understand them, so when you break them you know what you're doing. Why is a 1/4" seam important and accurate cutting? So the blocks fit together when you assemble your quilt. If you're making a liberated quilt, you still need to make sure your blocks finish at the same size, either by trimming them at the end or adding a border. If you know that, you can plan for it even if you don't worry about perfect cutting and seams. That's just an example, but it illustrates why it helps to at least understand the rules.

Anonymous said...

Quilting for People Who Don't Have Time to Quilt by Marti Mitchell is what got me started. . . and I haven't stopped since!


Clare said...

The book I originally learnt from was on loan and for the life of me I can't remember what it's called. I have since been given Quilts A to Z by Linda Causee which is quite good, but not as good as the first one.

However, I think there is nothing better than using your initiative and teaching yourself, but with a well written and well illustrated book to help you with the basics. After all, that's what I did, with the help of "someone" and "a certain quilt".

If someone wants to be a liberated quilter, I think they need to know not to be be scared of making a mistake. Out of mistakes come some lovely quilts. Oh and perfection isn't everything!

Another piece of advice I would give a new quilter (and we've both said this before) is not to rush out and buy every single ruler, gizmo and thingymejig just because so and so said you can't quilt without it. I've still got a whole load of stuff in the bottom of my sewing box that I've never used, but was told I would need!

DH is into dark blues and blacks so know what you mean about men and colour. I love your Sweeties quilt.

KnitOneQuiltTooKristin said...

It's been so long since I learned that I don't know if the books I used fit your criteria. I took a class for my first one and it was before rotary cutters so it was all with templates and we hand pieced the thing. I think the book was Quilts, Quilts, Quilts by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes.

I think any book should have a good discussion about using rotary cutters because that's some thing I notice with friends who come to sew. If they aren't quilters they have no idea how to safely use a rotary cutter. Nowadays there are also lots of DVD learn to quilt versions so something like that might be good.

I love the zigzag quilt. It's a great, easy pattern for a beginner.

T said...

heh. Egregious. :snort:

It's an interesting question about beginner books - especially with the "twist" of not-so-picky quilt police stuff. I got nothin'.

Though I can tell you that my introduction to paper foundation piecing was Foundation Piecing with a New Attitude, by Ellen Rosintoski. Looking at it now (old and beat up as it is), I realize this is NOT a beginner's book, but I didn't know any better so I got to skip many of the boring (?) beginner projects and jump right in!

(As for Blogger, do you compose in Compose or Edit Html??)

mountain-quiltist said...

Mary Ellen Hopkins book, "It's Okay if you Sit on my Quilt" was the book I learned from. Very simple with good illustrations. The thing I think was the most important to me, was understanding that measurements need to be consistent from beginning to end. For example, if you are not using a strict quarter inch seam, but are sewing based on lining up the fabric with the edge of the foot on your sewing machine, you need to use that same foot all the way through.
The things I learned from that book continue to help me to this day.
I'm not a hand quilter, so my bible for machine quilting is Harriet Hargrave's "Heirloom Machine Quilting". Practice, Practice, Practice!

Cher said...

love that quilt Ton-everyone has mentioned the books I would suggest.
sorry you feel unfocused-but purging is good! Hope you feel more pulled together soon.

Sue said...

Best first machine piecing book:
The Casual Quilter: 6 stress free projects by Robin Stobel. I never hear this book mentioned. It is wonderful - her attitude - her anti-perfectionism - her cute projects. I credit my love of casual quilting to the fact that I began with that book. No quilt police have ever messed with me.

quiltmom said...

I love the Diana McClun book Quilts, Quilts Quilts but some of the other ones are equally as good- we all need a good reference book.

Another resource would be quilting ( google) It has lots of information and patterns for quilters of many different skill levels. If that does not get you there then let me know and I will try and send you the actual address.

There are lots of good quilt books out there, it is so hard to choose.
Good luck with this project.

ROZ said...

Sorry, I can't really recomend a book. I learned to quilt back in the stone age. I went to the library and borrowed "The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting" by Marguerite Ickis. That was just about the only quilting book they had at the time.
As far as your quilt, It's great. One of my favorite sayings, "You can't have too much turquoise!"

Quiltdivajulie said...

Me, I looked at the pictures in the books - if the quilts looked like something I wanted to do, I figured out how... hence the reason my early quilts were all over the place design wise (not a bad thing)... I took a basic beginners class (rotary cutter 101)... from there, it was all colorful and intuitive. Sorry - that probably isn't much help.

LOVE the colors in the blue and turquoise quilt - it's wonderful!

julieQ said...

Fons and Porters complete guide is a good one, but I think the best way to learn is at an expert's hand. I love you quilt! I have one cut out in all pinks!

scraphappy said...

Your husband sounds like he would get along well with mine. All his clothes are black, gray or beige. I think dark green might appear when he is feeling adventurous. After looking at a recent chaos quilt I made for nursing home residents, he commented that he thought my color choice might confuse the elderly, and that if they were allowed to choose their quilts, that one would be the one whoever was last to choose got stuck with.

Kristin L said...

My brain must work differently because I never really "got" Quilts, Quilts, Quilts -- too much cross referencing the back of the book for me.

I've always loved Quilter's Complete Guide though because although they do spend a lot of time on accuracy, at least the projects are small and start with easy stuff -- building skills with each progressive block or project.

Other than that, I would say, learn some basic rules and then give yourself permission to break them if and when you feel like it.

Sassenach said...

Put me in the F&P Ultimate Guide column -- it has been on my sewing room bookshelf since 1996 and I still refer to it first when I have a question.

My very first quilt was out of one of the "Quilt in a Weekend" books. I made it with my tween-age daughter, using cardboard templates cut out of a cereal box that got increasingly mushy as we used a PEN to trace them. We put that puppy together and then quilted it "sort of" in the ditch. There is NOTHING perfect, or even particularly good, about it. She used it all through high-school, dragged it off to college, and still has it even though I made her a new wedding quilt.

As for posting to Blogger, I shifted to using Microsoft Live Writer (free) for creating posts that are then automatically uploaded to Blogger. It's a much better interface and posting has been problem free ever since, including pictue uploading.

KathieB said...

Great guy quilt.

Can't help much with the book question--I was self-taught, making my own way, using pencil, scissors, and cardboard templates. The dark ages!!

My first books were a Ginny Beyer and a Georgia Bonesteel, but I pretty much just looked at the pictures.

The Calico Cat said...

Hand piecing - either by the lady who does the quilted diamonds or by Jinny Beyer - both only if you also get the DVD, so you can "see" what they are doing.

Jennifer said...

I'm new to your blog and new to quilting. What a great quilt-- and what a great question!I've learned a lot from the very first post I've read!

rona said...

I primarily do hand piecing. I taught myself with the two books "Quiltmaking by Hand" by Jinny Beyer and "Quilted Diamonds" by Linda Franz.

I preferred Quilted Diamonds because the instructions were short and to the point, with great photos. She does emphasize accuracy, templates and tracing a lot more than Beyer, but I think for the small intricate diamond blocks in the book it is important. The hand piecing chapters in the Beyer book are great with tips on quicker hand piecing (fewer templates and no tracing). However, I found the entire book too wordy. The materials discussion was a bit uptight and had some product placement (Beyers fabric line, thread she sells on her website, etc.), and there was a chapter on piecing with border prints which I wasn't really interested in.

Even still, I'm glad to have both and actually refer to Beyers book more often.

YankeeQuilter said...

Purging is good for the soul...and the sewing room. I put two boxes of fabric into storage. When I unpacked them this week they went straight into the donation box. How taste changes! Good luck with the clean-out.

All my started books have been mentioned...

woolywoman said...

I guess that Liberated String quilts was my first quilting book. I'm not sure how I learned to use a sewing machine- osmosis? "Bend the Rules Sewing" is a new book with a nice beginner slant, and a pattern for a bars or lazy gal quilt. I would buy it for a new sew-er.

siteseer said...

Love the colors on your quilt. As far as a liberal guidelines I don't know. I always thought that the cutting was the key and equal seams were necessary. I've got a lot to learn.

Lois R. said...

Tonya, Blast from the past here... Lois formerly of Thoughts of Home Quilting. I taught myself to quilt with Pat Sloan's I can't believe I'm Quilting. Great book for hand-piecing, machine-piecing, rotary cutting, template cutting, everything! I loved it and recommend it!

Quilts And Pieces said...

Wow, those are some good questions to ponder. I"m not sure what I would answer to them.

Lynda said...

Lots of good suggestions here. But I also agree that unless you want to be an art quilter (and make hangings etc) you need to learn the basics and about measurements and seams before you can move away from that and be creative. Even people like Picasso learned how to draw first.