Monday, December 27, 2010

A Big Apple of a Book

This is a step-up-to-the-plate book. If you've ever marveled at the handsome New York Beauty block but shied away from making a quilt from it, this is your time.

Linda J. Hahn, quintessential Jersey girl and well-known teacher of this block, has created a paper piecing template and simple sewing technique combination that is so successful, you'll get a perfect block with perfect points every time. And, you won't spend your sewing time pinning and unpinning! She really does make it simple.

Color and design options are endless, as are the quilting possibilities. One of the neatest things about this book, in addition to the technique itself, is the inclusion of many suggested quilting ideas. Linda and her daughter, Sarah Hahn, have created a line of quilting stencils to use with New York Beauty blocks and quilts (or any quilt, for that matter) and have shared those designs here.

Give yourself permission to make a fun quilt this next year and try a New York Beauty. You will be very uptown. The book is AQS item# 8346. Ask about stencil availability when you call: 800-626-5420.

Thanksgiving and Memories

Oops! I must have gotten busy over the last few weeks because I just discovered this Thanksgiving weekend post. Here it is, hopefully better late than never.

It's not unusual for people to become nostalgic at holiday time; cementing tradition is part of the  plan.

So is reviving memories, and quilting certainly lends itself to that, what with making quilts for special occasions, using certain patterns to invoke feelings and messages, giving quilts as gifts to commemorate milestones...

And here on this Thanksgiving weekend I've come across just such a heart string. I found the  "label" I wrote for the third quilt I ever made. I didn't know back then (1991) that sewing an annotated history of the quilt onto the quilt was good to do. I merely wrote a note and handed it and the wall hanging off to my mom, who had the foresight to encase my bad handwriting in plastic. Thanks, Mom.

"Unlimited Mileage

This piece, my third, was done for my mother's 60th birthday -- 8/15/91. It commemorates our April '91 trip to Paducah, KY, for the American Quilter's Society annual conference.

The Mariner's Compass block is for all the "unlimited mileage" we put on the car. The deep turquoise is for the bridges over the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The gold fabric is for the ceiling of the lobby bar at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. The red fabric is for the Catherine the Great exhibit. The long row border is for the long, flat Missouri roads."

Well, now.

No one told me back then that making a Mariner's Compass (in the era before paper piecing) wasn't something a novice should do. I'm happy it doesn't bow that much in the center (grin). But more than any other quilt I've made, that one is special.

I'm sure every quilter has a super special quilt, even when it's impossible to choose among the "children." Feel free to share your favorites with us on Facebook or here on the Publishing blog.

New York Beauty Puzzle

I've always been a fan of jigsaw puzzles. At AQS, we've been thinking about ways we can provide fun and excitement to quilters in addition to our shared love of fabric. We'd like to see whether anyone else is interested in puzzles, too.

We've made an online jigsaw puzzle one of the quilts from  New York Beauty Simplified  by Linda J. Hahn. We hope you enjoy putting it together as much as we did. Let me know what you think!

Have some fun putting this quilt together. Please share your comments and thoughts on whether you'd want to see more of these in the future.

Happy Piecing!