Today we are giving away a copy of Quilting Happiness, written by crafting and quilting experts Diane Gilleland and Christina Lane! Spoonflower crafter-in-chief Kim stops by to share her review of this brand new book!
Kim: I don't know about the rest of you, but I do love a beautiful quilting book. When I'm facing a day packed with errands and kids' after-school activities, when I'm short on time to actually work on a quilt of my own, or when I just need inspiration or ideas, I'll often pop a quilting book into my bag to peek at during the day. A good quilting book makes me feel like I'm still engaged in one of my favorite creative activities even if I'm not physically at my sewing machine. And who doesn't love a little eye candy when your day is uninspired or just too busy?
Quilting Happiness is the new book about making quilting "more joyful" by talented bloggers, sewists, and authors Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland (of The Sometimes Crafter and CraftyPod, respectively). Quilting Happiness offers plenty of luscious quilting and patchwork projects to inspire and energize, a must-have for any quilting book, but this book was different from any quilting book I've run across before. I know I love to make quilts, of course, but Christina and Diane challenged me to figure out what, exactly, I love about it through a series of creative exercises. The "creative tough love" exercise struck me as a good one. The "tough love" in this case takes the form of making a block you don't like using fabrics you love and a block that you do like out of fabrics you hate. I haven't tried this exercise yet but I'm super-curious about how that particular love/hate mash-up would turn out. It's like a soap opera of the sewing room!
In addition to offering help with creative soul-searching, this book also offers plenty of useful suggestions for organizing your creative impulses. One of my takeaways was a gift-giving planner in which you create a page for each intended quilt recipient in your life. This strikes me as a much better way to plan handmade gifts than just typing notes into a spreadsheet or a smart phone. There's also an excellent idea for a charity quilting kit that looks like it would both make starting your next charity quilt easier and provide a creative exercise all on its own. And why have I never started a quilting journal to corral all the tiny piles of fabric swatches I have laying around my sewing room, suggesting themselves as possible future quilts? I'm totally putting that together this week!
After I've finished reading a good quilting book, I always have little bits of paper marking the projects I'd like to try, and my copy of Quilting Happiness has several of those paper bits sticking out of it today. I love the "Starstruck Quilt," the "Squared In Quilt," the "Can't Help Myself Quilt," and the "Liberty Mini-Quilts" in particular. But even more of my little paper bits are marking the other stuff–the exercises for exploring what makes me tick creatively, the suggestions for organizing both quilting inspiration and handmade gift-giving, and the ideas for involving family and friends in quilt projects. Quilting Happiness is a great book both for those looking for new inspiration and for those who might want to delve a little deeper into their creative sewing lives.
Enter by Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 for a chance to win! We will announce the winner on the blog on Wednesday, September 4th. Gina McPeak is the lucky winner of our Wacom Bamboo Splash digital drawing tablet giveaway— congrats!