> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Quiltmaking Essentials 1: Cutting and Piecing Skills

Quiltmaking Essentials 1: Cutting And Piecing Skills, by Donna Lynn Thomas is a new book published by Martingale, to be released June 3rd.  SewCalGal was lucky to get an early review copy of this book.  Needless to say, I'm delighted  to be able to share insights with you today.  

SewCalGal is an advocate of continual learning and improving our skills and actively researching opportunities to improve our Precision Piecing Skills.  This new book is a "must have" book for new quilters, an excellent refresher for not-so-new quilters, and absolutely perfect for anyone wanting to learn or improve their Precision Piecing Skills.

Early on inside of this book the author provides a description of this book as "a reference manual about rotary cutting and machine sewn patchwork, NOT applique', paper piecing, hand piecing or foundation piecing. Volume 1 covers basic rotary cutting, pressing and block assembly.  Volume 2 will cover quit top assembly, sashes, borders, backing, and bindings."   

SewCalGal found this book has easy to follow instructions, great visuals and excellent tips and tricks. It is organized into the following chapters: 
Basic Concepts
Rotary Cutting
Block Construction
Machine Piecing
Special Sewing Techniques
About the Author

SewCalGal recommends this book to also be an excellent resource for Quilt Guilds that may want to base host challenges around Quiltmaking Essential skills.  The possibilities are endless, plus it could be a great way for quilt guild members to improve their skills.  For example, consider hosting a challenge where members create the same small lap quilt "top" and each member that enters the challenge shares:

- insights from the book on an area of quilting that they improved,
- talks about how they improved their pressing skills, showing the "back" of their quilt top.

Or consider having a special workshop where members use the insights in this book to make a complex block where all blocks are put together for a charity or fundraiser quilt.  Think of the benefits of all the members stitching blocks "perfectly pieced".  Seriously, this could be a great workshop for a guild and this book could be a great tool to use to get guild members to work on their precision piecing skills.   

Of course, a guild could also host Donna Lynn Thomas to come to their guild for a presentation and/or workshop!

SewCalGal hopes you can check out this new book at your local quilt shop or favorite online store.  Don't forget, you can also let them know you are interested in having them carry this book.  Of course, you can also check it out and order it online at Martingale.

You can find the author, Donna Lynn Thomas, at:

You can find Martingale at:

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dagmar.eu said...

Thank you very much for bringing this book to your readers' attention AND for reminding us that we can go on learning and improving! Your ideas for guilds and groups to challenge themselves are very welcome too. I will share this post with members of mine and maybe I can persuade them to try quality over quantity for once.
I'm off to learn more about the author and take a look at Martingale's shop!

Barb said...

I definitely need work on my piecing skills, this looks like a great book