The Practical Guide to Patchwork – a review and a giveaway!

I’m so excited to be part of Elizabeth Hartman’s blog tour for her newly released book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork (Stash Books). I’m sure you all know Elizabeth from her fabulous blog, Oh, Fransson! She’s a constant source of inspiration, creating quilt after gorgeous quilt.

If there’s one book I’ve been waiting to get my hands on, it’s this one! From the moment I heard that Elizabeth was writing a book, I just knew it would be a must-have. And Elizabeth certainly does not disappoint!

This book contains 12 wonderful quilt projects, separated into sections for beginners, confident beginners, and intermediates. Each project contains detailed instructions for putting together the blocks, the quilt top, and even instructions for great pieced quilt backings. Elizabeth also provides a thorough section on the important basics — necessary supplies, how to select fabrics, time-saving techniques, and step-by-step instructions for putting together your quilt (to name just a few!).

After reading it cover to cover and poring over the quilt photos, I had a chance to ask Elizabeth some questions —

. . .
You seem to have a never-ending source of inspiration for new quilts — did you find it easy to come up with the quilt designs included in the book? Were there any that you wanted to include but couldn’t? And speaking of inspiration, what’s your favorite source for inspiration?

“I started planning the quilts for the book with a checklist of design elements, both conventional and modern, that I wanted to include.  Writing the patterns for the book was, to a certain extent, designing patterns around the items on that checklist.

In general though, I am constantly inspired by things I see around me.  Architectural and construction elements are huge.  Tile, brickwork, parquetry, fences, windows, etc.  Part of what is fun for me about writing quilt patterns is having a particular shape or design element and figuring out how to make it into a quilt.”

. . .

I love the names of your quilts! You mentioned what some of them were named for, but I’m wondering how you decided on names for a couple of the others, such as your string quilt ‘Valentine’, or the scrappy log cabin ‘Sunspot’. How did the names for those quilts come about? Is there a story?

“Naming quilt patterns can be tricky!  Sometimes I have a very strong idea of what I want the name to be, and sometimes it changes several times during the process.  There’s sometimes a story, but I’m afraid the Valentine and Sunspot quilts don’t have very interesting ones!  The Valentine quilt is so-named because it was originally entirely pink, red and white.  I liked the name though, so I kept it when I changed up the colors.  Sunspot was so named because of all of the bright color at the center of the blocks.”

. . .

One of my favorite aspects of your book is the ‘Alternate Ideas’ section where you present the same block done up in two different colorways. I think it’s so helpful to see how different fabric choices, or a completely different color palette, can really change the look of a quilt (and often it’s so hard to picture that!). How did you decide which other two color selections should be included for each quilt? And of course, the quilter in me wonders if we’ll see those alternate blocks showing up in additional quilts. Any plans for those blocks?

“Thanks!  One of my biggest complaints about some quilting books and patterns is the assumption that everyone will be using them to make the same quilt, sometimes with the exact same fabric.  When I design a pattern, I like to think of it as a framework onto which other quilters can hang their own fabric choices, so it was important to me to include suggestions about making each quilt from different types and cuts of fabric.

I’d like to say that I had a system or some kind of master plan in terms of how I chose the fabric, but it was really just what I found appealing at the time!  I tried to include a variety of different colors and styles.

In answer to your other question, I kept a few of my favorite sample blocks, but I didn’t keep most of them.  I will admit that I am not particularly good about using up all of my leftover materials!”

Thanks, Elizabeth, for taking the time to chat with us about your book!

Be sure to follow along with the rest of Elizabeth’s blog tour! There will be lots more about the book and additional chances to win!

Tour Dates —

Friday, October 29: I Heart Linen
Saturday, October 30: Tallgrass Prairie Studio
Sunday, October 31: Handmade by Alissa
Monday, November 1: Connecting Threads
Tuesday, November 2: Rossie
Wednesday, November 3: One Shabby Chick
Thursday, November 4: True Up
Friday, November 5: Pink Chalk Studio
Saturday, November 6 Whip Up
. . .

And now for the giveaway! Stash Books is providing one lucky commenter with a copy of The Practical Guide to Patchwork. In addition, Elizabeth has put together a lovely pairing of mustard and purple fat eighths for that same winner. Please leave a comment here letting me know where you find your inspiration!

I’ll select and post a winner on Friday afternoon!

Edit: Comments are now closed. I’ll post the winner shortly!

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