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Friday, February 24, 2012

Quilt Blocks Across America

Quilt Blocks Across America
Debra Gabel
© Lydia Lowe  2/25/2012

At first glance, this book is somewhat intimidating.  It's fun to look through but I was a little taken aback by the size and scope of the projects in the book.  That was until I started at the beginning and began to read Debra's instructions.

Debra's style is fun and engaging.  She keeps everything light and to the point.  All the instructions are clear and concise with just a few words.  She breaks down her technique; gives general instructions covering her technique, as well as fusing and embellishments.  Taking the reader and quilter further, she explains how to make the process easier if you need to work with larger pieces.  She offers recommendations for how to make the states that you pick feel more like how you've experienced those states.  There's a section on backgrounds, ways to use specialty fabrics to achieve unique results, how to piece by the numbers, even how to print smaller sections onto fabric.  It's paint by number only with fabric!

But this book goes further.  Debra covers cutting supplies, thread types, needle sizes, sewing machine types, machine embroidery and raw edge sewing techniques, etc.  Walking the quilter step by step through the entire process.  Suddenly, I was no longer intimidated and couldn't wait to get started.

This is one of those pattern books that you'll keep coming back to again and again. There is a wealth of information and Debra encourages you to use your creativity to depict her patterns anyway that you see fit.  I like to do embroidery and I though that these blocks would translate really well into crayon colored blocks on muslin fabric with embroidery outlines.  However you choose to make these blocks, you'll enjoy the process and you definitely need a copy of this in your quilt library.

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