Book review tuesday for factotum of arts (+giveaway)

Before we commence our book review today, allow me to thank you for the thoughtfulness with which you responded to my unloved Friday finish. If you haven’t had a chance, you should definitely review all the comments (one of my most-commented posts to date). I really enjoyed the exercise and I’m so glad that you felt comfortable engaging in it with me. I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to respond to so many comments (packing up my family to leave on vacation Thursday!) but please know that I absolutely read and thought about each and every one.


Now let’s review a book! Michelle from Factotum of Arts asked me to write a post as part of her Book Review Tuesday series and I was more than happy to oblige, particularly because it gives me the perfect excuse to go on about one of my personal quilt idols: Sarah Fielke.

I was first introduced to Sarah Fielke’s work when a couple of bloggers mentioned enjoying her Craftsy class. I was immediately taken with the photographs of her quilts and signed up for the class. After that I became somewhat of a super-fan and bought every single one of her books.

quilting from little things

The one that holds the most special place in my heart is Quilting from Little Things, if only for this quote: “You will notice that I don’t list solids as essential in my stash. That’s because, as a rule, I don’t use them.” I can picture how my face must have looked when I read that and the thoughts that must have gone through my head.

“What? Seriously? That’s allowed? Is that why these quilts look so interesting to me?” Changed my life.

Oh, you think I’m exaggerating? I’m really not. I was rather a newbie at the time and very influenced by traditional quilting decrees like “you must include solids so the eye has a place to rest” and then by modern decrees about “graphic areas of solid color” and “expansive negative space.” As always, I don’t mean to imply that those are not valid decrees. They just didn’t click for me. When I started using prints for my background fabric it was a big step toward finding my personal quilting style – making quilts that I love.

Generally I get more inspiration from just studying every picture and word of my quilt books rather than actually making the quilts. But I have made a couple of small projects from the book and the Craftsy class.


Applique and hand quilting project from the Craftsy class

Just looking at that makes me want to do another appliqué project! I blogged about it here.


Mini quilt using tulips from Sarah’s Night Garden pattern

In this project I was testing quilting with linen and voile. You can read about it here but don’t miss the follow up here.

It might be obvious (but it’s a book review so I guess I should say it): I would definitely recommend this book for your quilting library. I’d rate the projects as intermediate to advanced in difficulty, but completely doable for someone who has made a couple of quilts. It’s perfect, really, for quilters who want to try new and more complex techniques.

As part of Book Review Tuesday Michelle always gives away a copy of the book! How generous is that? So of course I will follow her tradition and give away a brand new copy of Quilting From Little Things. This giveaway is going to stay open a little longer than usual because I’ll be out of town and without internet access. I’ll draw a winner Monday, February 24 at 9 am EST.

The giveaway is open internationally and you don’t have to be a follower to enter. Just leave a comment. You can tell me about your quilt idol(s) if you want!

I’ll be back briefly tomorrow to share my first gypsy wife block and some words of encouragement for my barn door quilt along participants!