Books



Pillow Collective: Equalizer Pillow

(PSST! There’s a giveaway at the end of this post…you should read all the way through :)

Equalizer Pillow from Think Big! book, from #bestdayeverfabric for @modafabrics by April Rosenthal #pillowcollective #thinkbigbook #aprilrosenthal Hi friends!

I’m posting this morning about a fun pillow I made for Amy’s Pillow Collective blog tour! This time around, Amy wanted to feature pillows made from blocks from her new book, Think Big! Since she started working on the book, I’ve been lucky enough to have a behind the scenes ride. As we’ve worked on other projects together, like QuiltCast, I was able to see her quilt, pillows, and table runners for the book as she made them. Her original Equalizer block was one of my favorites right from the beginning.

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Amy worked really hard on this book, and boy did she do a great job. The best part of the book, in my opinion, is how incredibly versatile it is. Every single block has diagrams to use it as a pillow, table runner, and several sizes of quilts. So truly, this book can see you through MANY, MANY projects, and still have more to give!

I made my pillow out of my Best. Day. EVER! collection that came out last fall with Moda Fabrics. I figured my couches could use some springing up, if you know what I mean. When my kids saw it, they said, “Mom, you should probably make more covers for all the other pillows, they’re pretty old.”

EqualizerPillow4 So I guess they approve ;)

I decided to mix it up a little, and instead of using a solid for the background, I used my Playing Field print behind the colored bars, and then my First Date print on the top and bottom. To break up all that busy colored goodness, I threw in some Graph Paper from the stream color way, and left the pinked edge raw for a little fun.

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The block went together easy and quick, and I’ve got to say, I think I agree with the kids. The rest of my pillows sure look “old” in comparison.

For this Pillow Collective, Amy is doing two great giveaways! First, a few fun fabric bundles, and second, her beautiful Moda Love quilt that she made last market. (Check out her pictures, here.) It’s gorgeous. To enter to win, pin a picture of any (or all! for more entries) the pillows on the blog hop to Pinterest using hashtags #thinkbigbook and #pillowcollective for lots of chances to win! (And be sure to follow me, amrosenthal!)

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Also, through the 1st of March, Amy is offering 30% off her book in her shop, with discount code “ILovePillows”

(Ask my husband, I really do. Remind me sometime to show you my massive body pillow…)

xoxo

April

PS Pat Sloan and Amy Smart also posted about their pillows today…go check them out!

The full list of participants is here, with a few people posting each day through the 27th.

Mary Kolb

April Rosenthal

Amy Smart

Pat Sloan

Rebecca Silbaugh

Christina Lane

Becky Jorgensen

Elizabeth Evans

Natalia Bonner

Maureen Cracknell

Debbie Grifka

Christa Watson

Melissa Corry

Heather Valentine



Scraps, Inc. Overcast

Scraps, Inc. Cover, Lucky Spool Media 2014 www.aprilrosenthal.com

About a year ago, give or take, I got an email from a friend of mine over at Lucky Spool Media, saying she wanted to put together a scrappy quilt book, and did I want to contribute? I took one look at the concept, the inspirations, and the other participants, and my answer was a quick “Definitely!” After having my own book manuscript approved, she gave me the option of backing out of Scraps, Inc. in case it was all too much. I stuck to it–I couldn’t possibly turn down a chance to be a part of something this awesome. Now that it’s a finished book–I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.

I’ve talked about it before, but now I get to show you!

I’m so excited to show off Scraps, Inc. and my contribution to it, Overcast. I ADORE THIS BOOK. I ALSO ADORE THIS QUILT.

Overcast by April Rosenthal From Scraps, Inc. by Lucky Spool Media www.aprilrosenthal.com

This is Overcast, my new favorite baby. What started as an irish chain quickly morphed into a study on contrast and curves. It reminds me of colorful umbrellas on a wet pavement, seen from above. I love the meditative feel it has, and of course you all know how I feel about little squares. (Swoon.) I have Overcast back with me at home now, and it’s an instant favorite on my couch, for cuddling, for staring at…this quilt will always hold a particularly special place in my heart, as it was the first quilt I got to use a bit of my own fabric in!

The pictures are gorgeous. The quilts are beautiful. The contributors are awesome.

Scraps, Inc. Stack of Quilts, Lucky Spool Media 2014 www.aprilrosenthal.com

And after all those really dramatic words, the best part about this book (to me) is that it takes something you already have (scraps) and helps you make something truly lovely out of them. There are step by step instructions, and detailed illustrations. The projects range from super simple, to a bit more involved–there’s something for everyone.

Scraps, Inc. Quilts, Lucky Spool Media 2014 www.aprilrosenthal.com

This is the perfect book for yourself or for any sewist that you know. Put it on your wish list, because I promise, you want it.

And to help sweeten the deal, the publisher is giving 30% off through this blog tour. (I love deals.) Just follow this link, and then enter code SCRAPS30 at checkout, and you’ll have a beautiful book headed your way in no time.

Love you lots, friends! Go out and make something beautiful!

xoxo

April

PS I’m the 3rd day in a 8 day blog hop. Go check out the other amazing contributors and see the beautiful quilts they contributed. It’s worth the time, truly.

Monday 17th November: Alex and Allison
Tuesday 18th November: Amy E and Amy F
Wednesday 19th November: Amy S and April
Thursday 20th November: Beth and Camille
Friday 21 November: Faith and Jeni
Monday 24 November: Kati and Lee
Tuesday 25 November: Melissa and Sherri and Susan



Vintage Vibe Blog Tour: Growing Up

VintageVibe

Hello!

I’m here sharing a fun book with you today written by my friend Amber over at A Little Bit Biased and mastermind behind the pattern company Gigi’s Thimble. Her new book, Vintage Vibe, is delightful! Amber has such a warm design style, and does a fantastic job of creating quilts that are timeless and beautiful. I think you guys and gals will love this book!

One of my favorite quilts in the book is called Growing Up: it’s a fabulous petal quilt, with some fun artwork for the color inspiration. Check it out!

Growing Up from Vintage Vibe by Amber Johnson

I just love seeing where people get their inspiration and ideas. It makes me look at everything around me a little bit differently!

Growing Up from Vintage Vibe by Amber Johnson

The title of the book is Vintage Vibe, which gets me thinking about this fabulous little fan I have in my studio. After my husband’s grandmother passed away, we had the opportunity to look through some of her things, and choose something if we wanted to. This little aqua fan came home with me!

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It works perfectly, and just needed a little dusting to look good as new! I love having it in my studio as a reminder of the great lady Grandma was, and her thrift and hardworking attitude.

If you’d like to win an e-copy of Vintage Vibe, tell me about one vintage item you have in your home (or one you wish you had!) and what it means to you. I would love to hear about it! I will choose a winner randomly this Friday from all commenters, and one lucky person will receive a digital copy of this beautiful book!

Happy Tuesday!

xoxo

April

PS If you just can’t wait, you can purchase Vintage Vibe on Amazon, or an autographed copy via Amber’s ETSY shop.

PPS: Update! The winner was Beth! Check your email Beth! xoxo



Super Speedy Quilt Borders (Quilting Hack): Fabulously Fast Quilts Blog Tour

SuperSpeedyBorders Hello friends! I’m checking in today to share with you one of my favorite FAST quilting tips–because my lovely friend Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter asked me to! And well, when someone that sweet asks you to do something, you just do it! Plus, she has a super fun book that’s just come out, and I wanted to share it. I had the fun of quilting two of the quilts in the book, and one of them even made the cover (so cool!).

 

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Her book is called Fabulously Fast Quilts, and so she wanted all of us to share our secrets for faster quilting! So here’s my tip:

Super Speedy Quilt Borders Quilting Hack

Let me tell you–this little gem saves me SO. MUCH. TIME. Of course, it may be a little controversial for those of you who have been quilting for years and years, but hear me out. This just might change your life.

Here’s my confession: I don’t measure or pin my borders. Ever. At all. True story. No math, no measuring, no pins.

HOLD ON! Before you picture super bad borders with waves and puckers and stretching and all that horrible-ness, let me state for the record that my borders are square, and the perfect length. No waves.
Yep.

So here’s how it goes: I sew all my border strips together lengthwise to make one. long. strip.
photo 1-6 Then, I attach my best friend walking foot to my sewing machine.
photo 2-7 Then, I sew my border on. I give myself an inch or so of extra at the top, and when I get to the bottom, I give myself an inch or so there, too.

photo 3-4 I cut off the rest of the long strip, and set it aside for the rest of the border.

photo 4-5 I press my border, and trim it using my ruler and rotary cutter to make sure it’s square. Then, I attach the other borders. Usually I will do both sides before pressing and trimming, and then do the top and bottom.

Super Speedy Borders SO. FAST.

None of this crazytown measuring and fussing with pins, and averaging, dividing, and yuck.

Just quick, easy, square, FAST borders. Every time.

You should really get a walking foot. I mean it. (A walking foot is a presser foot for your sewing machine, that allows the top and bottom fabrics to feed evenly. It’s like magic.)

Also, you should really get Amy’s book. (It’s available here, here, and here.) She’s a doll, and her quilts and fun, and easy, and FAST! Win, win, win!

I mean really, check out these quilts! (I also got to longarm the pretty green one!)

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fast-strip-pieced-quilts-001
modern-buzz-saw-quilt-amy-smart
So head on over and say hi to Amy, and tell her congrats and good job on her book–because hey, you’ll have lots of time to read blogs now that the borders on every quilt you make will be done in like 10 seconds.

xoxo

April

PS This post is just one of a bunch of fast quilting tips being shared by a bunch of awesome chickadees. You should really go follow along–your quilting speed will increase exponentially, I’m sure!

Monday April 28
Sachiko Aldous of Tea Rose Home
April Rosenthal of April Rosenthal
Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
Tuesday April 29
Jen Wilding Cardon of Stitch This! Martingale Blog
Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side
Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet
Wednesday April 30
Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts
Melissa Mortenson of PolkaDot Chair
Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock
Thursday May 1
Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s Quilts
Jeni Baker of In Color Order
Friday May 2
Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt
Lindsay Conner of Craft Buds
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life



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