Home » Happy Mail

Category: Happy Mail

Millefiori Quilts 3 Book Review

Have you been eagerly anticipating the release of Millefiori Quilts 3?  I have been stalking my mailbox since I received the e-mail that my copy shipped, and this week, it finally arrived!  And boy, was it worth the wait.

Basic information about the book

This is not a method-based book, and if you’re new to hand-piecing complex shapes, or English paper piecing, you’ll probably want to get a basic book on those methods to go along with Millefiori Quilts 3. However, the book is absolutely chock-full of lavish, inspiring quilt photographs, easy-to-follow full color diagrams, and thorough block explanations.  If you’re making your own templates, you’ll appreciate that each quilt’s template set fits on a single page. Just remember to add your preferred seam allowance around each template!

Regardless of your favorite shape, you’re bound to find a quilt that suits your preferences.  All the basic blocks in the patterns are radial. Four quilts are based off of pentagons and five-pointed stars, nine of the designs feature hexagons, four of the patterns are similar to the traditional Jack’s Chain combination of squares and hexagons, and one uses 8-pointed stars and octagons. This adds up to a total of 18 spectacular designs to fussy-cut and piece, a true hand-sewist’s dream book.

 

Differences from Millefiori Quilts 1 and 2

Three main differences immediately set Millefiori Quilts 3 apart from its predecessors, Millefiori Quilts 1 and 2. First, Millefiori Quilts 3 is written entirely in English, while the two previous books have French and English instructions side-by-side. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the mix in the first two books, but the third is undeniably easier to read and follow the diagrams.

Second, Millefiori Quilts 3 comprises quilts that have fewer block variations.  For example, in the first book, the famous La Passacaglia has eleven different rosettes, each repeated in varying quantities throughout the quilt.  In the similar quilt, The Can-Can, in book 3,  there are two rosettes, and a handful of color variations to make from each.

Finally, Millefiori Quilts 3 gives an overall simpler impression than the first two books.  There is minimal instruction on piecing and cutting techniques, placing all the emphasis on the book on the patterns themselves.  It’s like a graduate level course in complex piecing.  The instructor knows the students understand the basics, and provides minimal guidance so the students can have time to explore and create.

 

Starting a project from the book

While you can make your own templates from the pages in the book, all of these quilts have more patches than I can even comprehend cutting individually. Paper Pieces to the rescue! They have already created paper packs and acrylic templates for each quilt in the book. I especially love that they make their acrylics in two sizes, one with a 3/8 inch seam allowance (ideal for English paper piecing) and one with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, perfect for hand-piecers like me!  I think I’m going to make Ietsie Pietsie Pizzicato. Anyone know what that name means?  I stumped google translate trying to figure it out! But I dearly love this amazing combination of 10-pointed stars and Jack’s Chain blocks.

So for me, the only choices left are what fabrics to use? Do I pull from my stash and play with fussy-cuts? Or do I really try to let the shapes shine, and make this all out of, say, ombre fabrics? Which would you use?  Stay tuned for progress pictures!!

 

Happy Stitching!

 

Introducing Meteor Shower

Well helllooo there! Another lapse in blogging, although this one’s not entirely my fault.  I upgraded portions of my website, which resulted in me being locked out of my site for days. No fun.  But now, I think, all is well again.  And I know more about websites than I did before.

If you follow me on IG, you know something crazy awesome happened.  The advance copy of my book, Adventures in Hexagons, arrived in my mailbox.  Holding that book in my hot little hands was an amazing experience.  Seeing the little details, like a tiny hexagon on the binding, made me ridiculously happy. It sounds silly.  I know every word and image in that book forwards, backwards, and sideways.  But somehow, seeing it all real and finished and bound, was like seeing it new all over again.

It should be shipping to stores in May, and I hope you love it as much as I do. (By the way, I just looked up the book listing on Amazon so I could link it for you and it’s on sale with a $10 discount at the moment.  You can also look inside it and see more of the book from that page now.  How fun is that?)

 

Today I wanted to introduce you to another quilt from the book, Meteor Shower.  This is a wallhanging size quilt.  It’s one that really shows off how you can play with shapes within hexagons.  See how the yellow and orange diamonds touch point-to-side?  It’s all about placement within larger block boundaries.

I’m especially proud of this quilt because I quilted it myself.  It’s not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but I really transcended my allover-quilting comfort zone and went custom on this one.

 

So what’s new in your world? Are you starting any exciting projects?  Have you seen something on pinterest that captured your imagination and made you want to learn a new technique? Besides prepping for Quilt Market, I’m kind of in a zone of finishing projects right now.  It needs to be done, but I’m also kind of ready to find something new and fun to play around with.  Any suggestions?

 

Happy Stitching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS- I’ve created a new pinterest board to feature quilts people have made with my patterns.  If you’ve made one, will you comment below, or send me an e-mail with pictures?  I’d love to include your work!!

 

Sunprints by Allison Glass for Andover

I’m still in marathon quilting mode, and can’t wait to show you some finishes next week!

It’s been brutally gray around this part of Texas lately.  I’ve had to set aside my taupe hexies for a while and play with brighter fabrics to keep my spirits up.  And speaking of bright fabrics, how about these gorgeous deep tones?

Sunprints by Allison Glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

The line is Sunprints by Allison Glass, and I love the unusual prints and color combinations.  Thank you, Andover, for this fantastic bundle of sunshine!  Most of this fabric is going towards some secret sewing, but a little bit of it will be in a tutorial I’ll have ready for you the first week of February.

Happy Stitching!

emily

Jocelyn’s Japanese Garden

Earlier this week, I recieved the most delightful e-mail from Jocelyn in Perth, Australia.  She included (and gave me permission to share) this GORGEOUS quilt she made from my Japanese Garden pattern.

Japanese Garden by Jocelyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

How cool is that?!?  I’m mesmerized by her fabric choices, the purples really make the blocks in the middle stand out.  Best of luck with the quilt show in September, Jocelyn!!

Happy Stitching!

emily

Internet Connections

One of my favorite aspects of blogging is the incredible sense of community and camaraderie.  I’ve “met” kindred spirit quilters from all over the world, literally. In the coming weeks, I’ll be revamping my blog to introduce you to some of the lovely gals I enjoy following.

But first, I have a fun story to share from a bit closer to home. Everyone in my extended family crafts in some form.  Some of my favorite childhood memories relate to family get-togethers with whole afternoons spent stitching and gabbing.  Back in high school, my Aunt Ellen’s best friend, Vickie, made me this gorgeous little wallhanging:

It has adorned every apartment of my life since then, and now happily hangs in my studio.  It wasn’t until I started quilting myself that I gained a true appreciation for those tiny pieces in the shells and dolphin.

So how does this relate to blogging, you ask?  I’m getting there. . .:-)  Last week I noticed that my little Alzheimer’s quilt had sold.  I was tickled absolutely pink, and more than a little curious about where it had wound up.  A couple of days later, I had a wonderful phone call from my aunt about that very topic!  Turns out Vickie’s sister-in-law bought the quilt!!  And she has a positively lovely blog to boot!  (You should check it out.  I wish I knew how to knit, she has some gorgeous patterns.  And bobbin lace!  That’s on my list of crafts to learn someday. ..  .Perhaps when the kids are old enough not to mistake the bobbins for ammo in their nerf guns!)

I love little stories like this.  Have you started a story with your February happy mail yet?  I’m working on mine.  Since this is a crazy month with my son’s Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet this weekend, my happy mail is going to be small.  I think I’m going to write (yep, notecard, pen, stamp!) a note to a quilt designer who made a tremendous impact on me several years ago.

Happy Stitching!