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Friday, March 25, 2011

Log Cabin Quilting

Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal is a new look at a very traditional block. In her section on the history of the log cabin quilt we find that a very similar pattern was found on the linen wrappings of Egyptian mummies. The log cabin could just be the oldest quilt block.
Of course, that doesn't mean it's outdated as Susan shows us. She starts with the history of the block and suggestions for fabrics, thread, batting and tools needed. The second chapter deals with the basics of quilt-making which is an excellent guide for beginning quilters.
Chapter 3 includes patterns for ten quilts of differing levels of difficulty ranging from one spool to five. None of them, however, should be too difficult even for a beginning quilter.
Chapter 4 is all about home decor. Napkins, coasters, pot holders, an apron and tea towels are for the kitchen. There are also patterns for three different pillows.
Chapter 5 is for bags, my favorite. You can chose between drawstring, zip bag, camera case, market tote, favorite fabrics bag and red cross bag.
My favorite project is the cross quilt shown on the cover. It's hard to believe that the simple log cabin can turn into this series of crosses but they are indeed made with only a center square and four logs.
No matter what your level of expertise, I think most people will find this book interesting and useful. You can order it from Potter Crafts at Random House or Amazon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Built by Wendy

I arrived home from our trip to find two review books waiting for me. Built by Wendy, Coats and Jackets was interesting because I already have her book on dresses. This book includes the basic patterns as did her Dress book.
The book begins with an overview of the three basic patterns and then possible design details. There is also a section on fabrics and trims.
Chapter two discusses the use of the patterns. If you already have the dress book, this section will probably be quite repetitive. Of course, a little review never hurt anyone.
Chapter three consists of sewing notes for coats and jackets, including seams, openings, facings, linings binding, collars, hoods, cuffs etc.
The rest of the book has instructions on making each of the three styles of jackets; the fitted jacket, the basic jacket and the straight coat. Each style has several possible variations which could be the jumping off point for your own creations.
This book is probably more challenging than the dress book but I believe most people with some experience should be able to follow the instructions given. There are lots of very clear diagrams and the instructions are given in point form.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in sewing their own clothing.
You can purchase the book from Random House.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home At Last

We finally made it home from Australia. We had a wonderful time with our family and all their friends. Here are some random pictures from our trip. The one above is of a grass tree and a termite mound. Those are amazing looking trees.

This is the beach near our daughter's home. What a luxury to be able to walk to the beach in under five minutes. The warm weather was nice too, since it was very cold and stormy here at home.

These are some amazing huge rocks near Glen Innis, NSW in Australia. Thanks again, Joe, for driving us to see these stones and the other sights on the way to Glen Innis.

Here is a tree proving that plants are stronger than stones!

We stopped at this waterfall on the way to Glenn Innis. It was about 10 degrees cooler at the bottom of the falls than it was back in Red Rock near the ocean.
We had a wonderful trip. We caught up with some old friends and met some new ones. My only complaint is that it wasn't quite long enough.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


We arrived in Australia a few days ago and are enjoying the plus 30 weather...sort of! I haven't managed to download any pictures yet, sorry, but picture this: Gentle floats up the tidal river bobbing along on noodles, an hour an half walk down a deserted pristine beach, strolling through the mangrove and rainforest board walk trails, lazy lattes on the deck of the local Aboriginal Cultural Centre, op shopping (mcc or thrift shopping) in Woolgoolga (hard name to say, nice place to stay!), a tempting twenty minute perusal of the quilting aisle of mega fabric store Spotlight, delicious meals on the deck with new and old friends and lots of laugh and of course - nail biting crokinole tournaments!
Pictures later! Right now, I'm going to relax in the hammock with my kindle and an icy fresh lime spiked Gin and Tonic! Ahhh, it's a hard life...