Monday, September 7, 2009

A book review and a pillow

I bought Jelly Roll Quilts this weekend on a whim, because it had some cute designs in it. One of them is a neat star design that you make using strip pieced 45 degree diamonds. I'd never sewn diamonds before, so I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into. ;-) I thought I'd try one out as a pillow, failing to notice that the whole quilt that they show has only 4 stars on it- so they're pretty big (30" x 30" without a border in the end!).

A diamond section from the back:

You piece 3 rows of diamonds and then 2 filler triangles to make 1/8 of the star, and then put sections together. This is the back once all the pieces are put together:

It was pretty fiddly going- I figured I knew how to handle bias stretching from garment sewing, but there was quite a bit of yelling at the fabric anyway. ;-) This is a not very centered star center:

Here's my huge pillow. I made a couple mistakes putting it together, so I'm glad I just tried a single star pillow instead of a whole quilt.

And the back is just extra strips pieced together

The book has some very nice designs, but doesn't really offer hints on how to deal with things like matching seams at an angle, dealing with stretching, or any extras. The directions are clear enough, but they seem to assume you have a general idea of how to put patchwork designs together.

It's also very light on quilting/binding/finishing. I was initially attracted to it because of the fabrics featured- I have so many quilt books that seem to use screamingly ugly fabric in the designs. I know that doesn't really matter, but this one is really nice to look at and the quilts seemed a lot more attractive to make because they used fabrics I would really use.

It features 15 quilts, starting from super easy up to more difficult. My star was 3rd from the end, and pretty much as tricky as it got. Most of the sections on the quilts are only 4 pages long- they have good diagrams but refer you back to previous steps a lot saying "now do steps 4 to 12 but with X instead of Y" so it can be a little bit confusing. Overall I like it though, mostly for the pretty quilt designs and the clear diagrams.


BeeBee said...

Well, color me impressed. I like the giant star pillow. I spent some time on a quilt this weekend, too. My new obsession is Bargello. I know what you mean about the fabrics in the books. The one I'm using has beautiful designs, ugly colors.

Uta said...

I'm impressed with anyone taking on patchwork... And that star? Good thing you've sewn a bit before, right? It's a great pillow, and they can't be too big imo!

Elaray said...

I'm a beginning quilter. So far, I'm limiting my quilting fabric purchases to coordinated packs like jelly rolls. I'm interested in learning about books that feature these packs. I'm glad you posted this.

Anonymous said...

I love it. The fabrics work well with the pattern. I have been itching to make a quilt of our couch--need to cuddle under something when it starts to snow!!

Patricia said...

I Love the way it turned out. I am always impressed with what you are able to get done.

Lisette M said...

I love your pillow, looks vintage. Stars are hard to make, yours came out great.