Very frustratingly we still don't have internet, and am not sure when it will be back on.... aagh! But I really wanted to share with you this fantastic book before the baby arrives (although I have a feeling she'll be late like my others!).
Material Obsession was the first ever quilting book I bought. I loved it! Its a beautiful book, great photography, fabulous designs, and wonderful hand quilting. I often (still) flick through it for inspriration, particularly on hand quilting. So when I was sent Material Obsession 2, by Kathy Doughty (of Material Obsession) and Sarah Fielke (of Sewn) I was delighted to find that this book is just as fantastic as the first -loads of quilting eye candy that brings traditional designs to life. It is a grown up version of their first book - in that I mean they have moved on from squares and rectangles to more sophisticated designs and that use a variety of techniques such as foundation piecing and hand piecing. I have much to learn when it comes to traditional designs and techniques, so its great to have a book on my shelf that steps me through it with plenty of diagrams and full sized templates (no enlarging on the photocopier!). The quilting basics section at the back of the book is excellent, and I particularly loved the section on working with colour. They have a great explanation for warm and cool colours - its warm if it reminds you of the sun (red, yellow, orange) and its a cool colour if it reminds you more of the sea (blue, green, purple) - easy! The 'basics' section also contains info on choosing fabrics, threads, using different rulers, fussy cutting, foundation piecing, various applique methods, step by step hand quilting (they taught me to hand quilt), and binding. They really know their stuff.
Here's some of my favourite quilts in the book:
The beauty below is Kathy's all time favourite quilt. I'm keen to try foundation piecing, and make a smaller version of this quilt.
And this amazing one is Sarah's favourite quilt ever. She used 350 different fabrics - stunning!
What a labour of love this one would be. Each star has 72 little kite shaped pieces sewn by hand together.
I wanted to try all of these quilts, but I decided that due to lack of time I would try my hand at hand piecing the star on this last quilt. I'm a little ashamed to admit that this is the first time I've tried hand piecing, or using a template for that matter!
I decided a cushion would be best for my first attempt.
I found it a little tedious cutting out all the fabric using a template, as many of them were fussy cut, but I was surprised that I loved the hand piecing part so much. It was very restful and so portable. The cushion came together much more quickly that I had anticipated.
I need more practice getting all the seams to match up nicely, but I enjoyed the process and I could see myself making a hand pieced quilt in the future.