Toolbox Tuesday – Book Reviews – January 18

I have to admit – that besides collecting fabric I am a sucker for books. I see a new quilt book that looks good, I buy it. Sometimes I realize that I haven’t looked at some books for ages – but “you just never know when you might need it” and if you don’t buy it now “it might not be there when you need it.”

Two books from C&T Publishing that were extremely helpful in creating my quilt Polaris for the McCall’s Design Star Competition were Drafting for the Creative Quilter (C&T 2010) and Borders, Bindings & Edges (C&T 2004) – both by Sally Collins.(Both are still available from C&T!)

These two books are, in my opinion, “MUST HAVES” on your quilting bookshelf. Yes, on first glance you might say – these look too technical, too complex, too precise – but there really is something for everyone. (If you are a Virgo you will LOVE these -I’m not -even with the shift in recent re- calculation in Zodiac Signs – and I still love them!)

In Drafting for the Creative Quilter (C&T 2010) Sally shows you how to analyze various blocks, how to re-size, how to design with blocks of different sizes, how to take a block and re-design it/adapt it/alter it, etc… the list goes on.  On the broader level – this is a great book solely for design inspiration. It can help spark your creativity to think differently about your quilt designs and block designs.  I don’t know that I would have been able to draft the 8 point start block that I used in Polaris.  Each of the star points is measures 11 inches from the center point out to the tip!

In addition to drafting blocks she has wonderful insights into color placement, scale, and other design elements that can be used in creating any quilt.

The second book Borders, Bindings & Edges (C&T 2004). In her thorough fashion – Sally deals with I think just about every border possibility that is possible – including how to put a 1/8th inch border on a quilt to make a section pop. (YES – 1/8th of an inch). I didn’t put an 1/8th inch border in – but I did adapt her technique for putting in some 1/4 inch highlights.  The white in both of these borders is1/4 inch and it really helps the central square-on-point pop.

If I didn’t have then small white border the central medallion would loose it’s impact. If I put a bigger border there the effect wouldn’t be the same AND my border that squares up the quilt wouldn’t fit! The information in this book helped me figure out how to, as Tim Gunn on Project Runway  would say “Make it work”

She provides wonderful instructions on how to figure out what size spacing strips you need to include to make your borders fit, what to think about when deciding “how wide do I need to make that border – should it be 3 inches, 6 inches or ???). There are great ideas different border designs and on how to take those designs around the corner. Again – the technical person will love this book – but if you aren’t the “precise piecer” – you will find loads of info that you can use. How to make borders fit, how to make bindings, how to caclcuate bindings, how to apply different finishes ……. the list goes on and on.

If you don’t have these books in your library – get them – you won’t be sorry!


2 thoughts on “Toolbox Tuesday – Book Reviews – January 18

  1. I learned how to piece with Sally Collins book Mastering Precision Piecing. Now I see that you are a fan of her work, too. No wonder that I love your quilts. Polaris is exquisite – the attention to detail is outstanding. I envy your talent.


  2. Thanks for the input on the two books that you used. I have been looking at the Drafting for Creative Quilters book for awhile, but was not sure if it would be a helpful to me. I used to do mechanical drafting on a computer for a living.
    How is your quilt doing in the competition?


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