Like many of you, I waited patiently for this lovely book to materialise, having been tempted with a few sneak peeks here and there by Sarah over Instagram and Twitter. Just those few little snippets were enough to know that this book would be amazing, and it certainly is!
Material Obsession books one and two have been staples on many quilters' bookshelves for ages. Who hasn't spent a good hour or two re-reading and flicking through, soaking up the colour? Sarah's first solo book Quilting from Little Things was just as beautiful and full of inspiration. And now we have Hand Quilted with Love, which is (to the relief of some) not just about hand quilting, although this is Sarah's preferred method of finishing her quilts, but more about Sarah's making of the quilts she's always wanted to make. Her passion for her craft shines through in the way she describes the inspiration for each quilt, and in the luscious photography.
I was lucky enough to be given a head start on one of the quilts from the book and being a big fan of appliqué I was quick to choose Millefiori. This quilt was a huge challenge for me in terms of colour selection, and this is not the kind of quilt where you want to play it safe - better to go bold or go home! And I'm happy to say I'm so proud of how this has turned out. Big thanks to Sarah for giving me the push I needed to test my colour boundaries and try some new things.
This is a bit of an epic quilt to make, being as it is almost 100 per cent hand-sewn (appliqued and quilted). But in the scheme of things, it hasn't really taken me all that long to make - working mostly in the evenings, I started this around three months ago and it's almost finished. Even the hand quilting (using Perle 8 thread) has been quick - I'm nearly done and started less than two weeks ago. I really do encourage anyone who's been put off by the idea of hand quilting to think again - using Perle 8 thread makes everything go much faster and it's really satisfying to see the quilt come alive with each shape being outlined in a different colour thread. The book provides lots of tips and tricks on both hand quilting and needleturn applique, and you can see Sarah's hand quilting technique in action (and how to make perfect applique circles) thanks to the wonders of YouTube on her blog.
Incidentally, I also made a version of the fabulous Whirligig from Sarah's previous book, and it is still awaiting its hand quilting moment in the sun. After this experience with Millefiori, I'm well and truly inspired to take it out of the cupboard and finish it!
But back to the book! I'm already daydreaming about what other projects I'll make. While the Made to Measure medallion quilt from the book's cover is definitely a contender (I love Lynne's version, and there are quite a few others popping up now), I think I'll tackle this fabulous checkerboard design with its applique border. I have been hoarding stacks of Kaffe Fassett and Keiko Goke colours which would be perfect for it.
And this teapot and cup one takes my fancy too! Just to name a few!
Be sure to visit the other stops on Sarah's bloggy book tour and see what other beauties have already been whipped up. You can pick up a copy of the book from Book Depository or direct from Sarah's website.
SewTake a Hike - 4th May
Belinda Stitches – 5th May
True Up - 6th May
LilysQuilts (UK) - 7th May
Creative Dabbling (Australia) 8th May
Mrs Schmenkman Quilts (USA)9th May
I'm A Ginger Monkey (UK) - 10th May
Petits Elefants -(Australia) 10th May
Prints Charming (Australia) - 11th May
RedPepper Quilts (Australia) - 12th May
HandMade by Alissa (USA) - 13th May
Meet Me at Mikes (Australia) - 14th May
Sew Mama Sew (USA) - 15thMay