Book Report + Giveaway: The Practical Guide to Patchwork!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well! Today I’d like to share a book I picked up recently and really enjoyed… but don’t hate me… it’s a quilting book!

I know.

Guys, I can’t help it! I’m kind of getting into quilting! It’s scary. And weird. But the thing is, planning a quilt project is just so fun! There are so many cool fabrics to choose from, and thinking about all the different shapes and combinations has literally kept me awake at nights lately. I know. It’s crazy.

ANYWAY. After fumbling through Hazel the Hedgehog, I decided that I should probably learn a little bit about the right way to quilt before jumping into my next project! I picked up The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman, the designer of the Hazel the Hedgehog quilt pattern. I really love this book! In my opinion, it’s an ideal book for anyone who wants to dip their toe into modern quilting.

The book starts out with the basics of quilting and answered lots of questions I had, like, what’s a fat quarter? Or, should you pre-wash your fabric?  It lays a good foundation without a lot of boring stuff like “these are scissors”. Elizabeth covers cutting, piecing, quilting (by machine only, but she recommends another resource if you’re interested in hand quilting), and binding.

There are twelve quilt patterns included in the book, and they’re all pretty fun. I like that she also includes an idea for your backing with each pattern… it’s cool that you can experiment on both sides of your quilt!

Something I really like about the book is that Elizabeth gives different ideas for changing up each of the patterns. It’s pretty easy for me to think about a garment pattern and imagine many possibilities for it, but I haven’t developed that eye yet for quilting, so it’s nice to see the potential variations for all these quilt patterns.

The book focuses on modern quilting, which is super interesting. I have mentioned before that my mom quilted lots when I was a kid, but she is a hand quilter who is mainly interested in traditional patterns, so I haven’t really seen these kinds of quilts before. I love the looks of old-fashioned quilt patterns like the drunkard’s path or double wedding ring, but I also really like these bold modern designs.

Isn’t it fun to think about how you can make these styles your own? I would love to play with blocks of bright color for my own Kitchen Windows quilt.

Planetarium just looks super fun to sew! I wanna try it!

Little Leaves teaches you how to applique, which seems pretty free-form and loosey-goosey… what’s not to like about that?

I would like to own a quilt made from this pattern but I would not like to cut, piece, or quilt it. Too many pieces!

But look at these fun variations on the Superstar! I really like the colors she’s got here in the flying geese variation- wouldn’t they look cool in a quilt???

I really like Birdbath! I think it would be fun in hot pinks and greys, maybe. Ooh- and zebra print, just to be wild!

This crazy windmill block looks really cool! I bet there’s a way to create a 3D effect in a monochromatic color scheme… wouldn’t that be awesome?

Alright, guys, I love this book so much that I’d like to give away a copy to one of you! I’ll ship it anywhere in the world (since I’ve found out that Book Depository offers free worldwide shipping, it’s much more affordable for me to do that, yay!!), so if you’re interested, please fill out the Google form below before Monday, April 20th at 11:59PM EST! I’ll draw a winner using Yay!

Now tell me- which one of these patterns is your favorite??? Do you have a favorite traditional quilt pattern? Any of you convinced to start quilting??? Do tell!

137 responses

  1. I love the flying geese! Quilting is so much fun! It’s a nice break from garment sewing every once in a while because it’s so straightforward to piece those blocks together. I have three queen-sized quilt tops that are just waiting to actually be quilted. I’ve made smaller quilts, but the idea of quilting something that big is so daunting. One day it’ll happen! My bed is just waiting for one of them.


    • I love the look of flying geese but I’m a little intimidated by them! Wow, you’ve made three big quilt tops?! That’s really impressive! I hope you quilt them soon- I bet they’re awesome!


  2. I love the flying geese! I love quilting – it’s such a nice break from garment sewing every once in a while. I have three queen-sized quilt tops just waiting to be quilted. I’ve made smaller quilts, but the idea of quilting something so big is so daunting. One day they’ll get done, though! And my bed will be so happy. 🙂


  3. I’ve been making quilts for the last three years. They take forever, but are so rewarding to complete. I usually have one going while i sew other stuff. They have all been baby or lap quilts, but my next will be a for a king sized bed.

    I like the kitchen windows quilt in the book. My favorite pattern that I have made so far is the equilateral triangle quilts i made for my nephews.


  4. Love it! That book looks beautiful. I made a twin size quilt in college and haven’t made one since — that one took me the entire summer! XD I think my biggest problem is I can’t decide what I’d want to make exactly. I adore the superstar style, but, like you, it does seem like an awful lot of cutting and piecing. Plus, choosing the perfect fabrics is a lot of pressure! lol


  5. I love that you are getting into quilting, and how can you not be swept away by Elizabeth Hartman? She has such great designs and I love how cool and modern her quilts are. I’ve had my eye on this book for a few years, but I’m not sure why I never bought it. Weird because I have so many books! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.


      • That’s sort of how I’m feeling about the small hedgehog quilt. I want to make it for my sister and I even went as far as picking out fabric, but I’m intimidated by all the cutting and piecing. One day I’ll get the courage, or maybe I should do what you suggested – one block at a time. 😉


  6. This book is exactly what I was looking for! I’m not too fond of traditional quilts and wouldn’t know where to start with quilting. I’m not usually very lucky in giveaways but I’m going to try anyway 🙂


    • It’s really a nice book! And it’s quite affordable, if you don’t have to pay customs from the Book Depository (not sure how that works). Also, I’ve noticed in my browsing that there are often free quilt patterns available for download from fabric company websites (I downloaded a few from Art Gallery Fabrics that are quite modern and fun)!


      • thanks for the tip about fabric company websites! I don’t know how it works for books but via the French Amazon we never pay for customs. And I’ve checked this particular book and I found out it’s available in French too 🙂


    • It really is a nice book! I wish I could give a copy to everyone! I’d better invent some sort of really useful machine or something so I can make a fortune and give away alllll the quilting books! 🙂


  7. I’ve gotten out of quilting recently but I’ve had a fat quarter bundle of Out to Sea lying around for a few years intended to be my daughter’s big girl bed quilt. Seeing you get so excited about this book makes me want to go take another look at it moldering away in my bookcase. I’d also recommend checking out any book by Malka Dubrowski, her use of color, texture, and improvisation would make your head explode!

    There’s a few different strategies for making larger quilts. Some people chain piece deciding to do step 1 for all the blocks followed by step 2 and so forth. This can get really boring, but there’s also some major flow. Some people like to give themselves a deadline like 6 weeks and then figure out how many blocks they have to complete a week to finish in time. Quilting has done wonders for my time management.


    • Oh my! I just looked up that collection and wow, it is so cute!! Thank you for the book recommendations, also! Can’t wait to check them out! I’ll be honest: I’m terrible, like, REALLY terrible at time management, so if quilting can help me at all that will be amazing!


      • Sarah Jane is one of my favorite fabric designers. All of her collections are stunning and she designs the cutest embroidery patterns that go with it. I don’t know if it’s the case for everyone, but since making a quilt is such a momentous undertaking it really helps mentally to chop it into smaller pieces. Otherwise it looms so large in front of me that it’s hard to get off my duff and do it.


  8. I LOOOOVE “Kitchen Window”!!!! IMy favorite Traditional block is the “Churn Dash”. I am jast past being a new Quilty person 🙂 goggle… & loving it!!


  9. Ooh I really like that Kitchen Window quilt as well. I’ve been following a blog called Red Pepper Quilts lately and been getting inspired in this area too.
    My favorite traditional quilt pattern is the double wedding ring and I have a paper piecing pattern for it. The sheer massiveness of it excites me but I haven’t started it yet. Those pesky garments keep getting in the way. 🙂


  10. I’m SOoooooo glad that you are getting into quilting too! I think it is a ridiculous amount of fun. I have a bit of a quilting stash going, mostly charm packs and jelly rolls with a few fat quarter bundles and I kind of have no idea what to do with them because they are so deliciously beautiful and the possibilities seem endless. I think that’s why I end up giving away the quilts that I’ve made… they are made FOR a specific person so the colors and design are focused. ANYway… I have a new quilt almost finished and I’ll definitely be logging that one soonish!


  11. I love the idea of quilting and I’ve tried my hand at it a couple of times… I’m just not very good at it yet. I dream of someday making a quilt that looks like the ones I see all over the blogosphere.


  12. Pingback: Wonky Log Cabin Quilt! « Ginger Makes…

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