Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review and A Giveaway: A Quilter's Mixology

About a month ago I received an email from Interweave offering me a review copy of Angela Pingel's new book, A Quilter's Mixology. Since this book was already on my Amazon wish list, I was certainly excited to receive a review copy.

Honestly, when I first heard about Angela's book concept, I was skeptical. A whole book of quilts created only from Drunkard's Path blocks? I wasn't sold. That being said, I'm now completely sold on this book. I really enjoyed reading through it. I think Angela has done a great job coming up with extremely creative uses for just one simple block. 

A Quilter's Mixology has a good mix of large and small projects. This Loosely Curved Wall Hanging is one of my favorites in the book. It would be a great place to start if you are unsure about sewing very many curved blocks. I love the use of solids in this quilt. Another great benefit of this quilt--it is created using the Drunkard's Path Die and Go! Cutter. 

Photo Source: Interweave Publishing

The Flower Power Quilt is one of my favorites as well. This quilt also happens to utilize the Go! Cutter and dies (both sizes of this die). I think this quilt would be fantastic in all solids!
Photo Source: Interweave Publishing

I asked Angela a few questions about her book:

Blue Chair: What drove you to write your book?
Cut to Pieces: I have always loved quilting books. I taught myself to quilt in high school by following a pattern from a book, and my very first job was working in a library. (The second was in a fabric store). So writing a book has been a dream of mine for well over a decade.
I went through a number of ideas for topics before I settled on curved piecing. I felt I had something unique enough to say to warrant a book on the topic.

Blue Chair: Do you have a favorite quilt in the book and why is it your favorite?
Cut to Pieces: I really love them all. That's ridiculously generic but true. But there are a couple of patterns that I've either already made again or want to make again. Nine patch curves is a favorite because I love how well it combines traditional blocks in a new way. I could make that a hundred times and still want to make more.

Blue Chair: What would you tell others who are scared of sewing all those curves?
Cut to Pieces: Like anything else, it takes a bit of practice. Also, it is really not that difficult. If you are really scared don't start with an all curved pattern. I have plenty that just use curves in small doses, such as Butterflies or Teleport. Also, the Ombré Drunkards Path Pillow is great because there are no seams to match!! And it is a little project. Perfect for dangling your toes in the world of curved piecing.

Photo Source: Interweave Publishing

I decided to dive in and start a project of my own from A Quilter's Mixology. I opted for the Arabian Nights Quilt shown above. As usual for me, I can't leave things alone and follow the directions exactly. I am thinking about mixing it up and arranging the design as shown on my design wall. I used the True Colors line by Anna Maria Horner. I'm loving it in these blocks. The original pattern calls for templates or the Sizzix 4" die, but I opted to use my Go! 3 1/2" die rather than use the templates. This will give me a smaller design, but I'll keep rearranging things until it's just right.

Pros of the book:
  • Great photography with full photos of each quilt. 
  • Easy to read text with tips scattered throughout the book. 
  • Angela's creative approach to this block is truly impressive. I am amazed at how many different ideas she came up with using one simple block. The designs range from traditional to modern.
Cons:
  • Every quilt pattern (obviously) requires curved piecing. This may not be for everyone, but as Angela said, start with a pattern that requires a minimal amount of curved piecing. Also consider making a mini to begin and go from there.
  • The templates (which are a necessary evil for quilting). I'm still debating on how to approach this. I hate template plastic and as such am not looking forward to cutting out many curved pieces using a template. I'm considering having acrylic templates professionally cut to make the process easier when I'm ready to start a new quilt. If any of you have gone this route before, I'd love to hear how it went and what company you used to cut your templates for a project. 


In case you don't follow Angela's blog, check out Cut to Pieces for full images of each quilt included in her book:

A Quilter's Mixology in Review: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

The Giveaway! Closed

One winner will receive their own copy of A Quilter's Mixology courtesy of  Interweave Publishing. Please leave one comment on this post to enter the giveaway. To make it more interesting, include your current favorite fabric line that you might use for one of the quilts in the book or a tip on sewing curves! If your email is not linked to your account, please also include your email in the comment so I can contact you if you win.

If the selected winner is from the US, he/she will receive a hard copy of A Quilter's Mixology from Interweave. If the winner is from any other country, a PDF copy of the book will be provided by Interweave.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Interweave Publishing to review, although I have provided my honest opinion regarding the book contents. 

101 comments:

  1. I've made a few garments and had to sew curves so I probably shouldn't be avoiding them in quilting... The quilts in this book look gorgeous - I just splurged on some Autumn Woods by Kate & Birdie fabric that would probably look great in curves.

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  2. I have been doing a lot of curve quilts and this looks like a terrific book for curve quilt. I would use the new fabric line rustique. Also on all my templates I just take the pattern to a local glass company and they cut them for me. I have had many templates made and the have always been spot on.

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  3. I enjoy curved piecing and would love to make some pieces from this book!

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  4. I have not tried curved piecing and would love to learn. I like all fabric lines

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  5. I've used curved piecing in a sample quilt I made and it was not fun! I'd like to read about Angela's methods because these quilt pictures are lovely! I think I'd try a small piece using Bonnie & Camille's Scrumptious line of fabric.
    tstanulis@verizon.net

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  6. I don't keep abreast of fabric lines as I am still working through several enormous stashes of vintage scraps bequeathed to me by several folks no longer with us. And I can't offer a tip for curved piecing as I've not yet given it a go. I guess I'll just say I've learned most every technique I employ by watching YouTube videos (in addition to how to fix my own commode and replace the gasket on my fridge).

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  7. I love solids! I am trying to get better at my curved piecing!

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  8. Beautiful! I would love to learn how to make these amazing quilts! I don't have a favorite fabric line - I love everything!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  9. I've always admired the drunkards path from afar :) maybe it's time to give it a try!

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  10. I love making blocks with curves. I used the curve master foot at first, but now don't need it to sew the curves. Hope I win this great book!

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  11. hmm, my rec would be not to spend money on the curvemaster foot. i couldn't get it to work with my janome and returned it. i can do well enough with pinless curves and my 1/4" foot.

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  12. I made a wall hanging in drunken pathway pattern using a template. It was a lot of work to piece and since I have a go cutter, I would love to try patterns from her book. I love the look of her pieces.

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  13. When I made my first Drunkard's Path blocks no one had told me it was scary, so I just forged ahead and it went fine. That would be my biggest tip: just go for it! This book looks fabulous, thanks for the opportunity!

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  14. I love the quilts in this book. It's on my wish list. I have never made a curved piece quilt so the learning curve will be great but so will the opportunity for learning something new and beautiful.

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  15. I've always wanted to try Dunkards Path! I think I'd use Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee to make a quilt! :-)

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  16. I have always been wary of curves - I really must bite the bullet and give them a go. This book might just tempt me.

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  17. I've done some curved piecing and it really does get easier as you go along. I have so many favorite fabric lines right now and am anxiously waiting for some of my Cotton & Steel bundles that I pre-ordered!

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  18. i love the quilts in here, and would love to use the Norwegian Woods line

    erin2470@hotmail.com

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  19. I love the butterfly quilt from the book. I would use some solids and some amy butler alchemy for the butterflies

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  20. Thanks for the chance to win this book, a friend of mine and I have been kicking around doing a modern type of Drukard's path for a couple of months now and this would be perfect to give us the inspiration we need. I would use solids, I just have a really great stack waiting to be cut.

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  21. Thanks for the chance to win. I've been eyeing up this book as well - it looks so fun! I think I would like to use some of the new Kona solids. I'm always drawn to solids!

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  22. Hi!!!! Looks like a great book to have!!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!!!!

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  23. I love Jeni Bakers fabric right now. I think my favorite is Nordika, but dreaming vintage is a close second!

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  24. I would use Anna Maria's fabric also, not to be a copy cat, BUT I love what you are doing with yours! Thanks for the review and chance to win.

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  25. I'd love to make on of these patterns with some Kona solids!

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  26. I don't have a tip on sewing curves, but possibly one for templates. I bought mine from a local plastic cutting store. He cuts signs, displays, etc. Mine was just a 15.5" square, but I asked him about more detailed templates and he said as long as I brought something for him to trace, he could make it. And super cheap - the 15.5" square was $10. No markings, of course, but I drew my own in (for tshirt quilts, so I didn't need inch marks, just diagonals to center on.)

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  27. I like being able to mix fabric lines. I love how fabric plays together. Drunkard's Path is on my Quilting Bucket List.

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  28. I love the patterns you showcased in this post. I am interested in checking out this book and trying a curved project now! I am currently in love with Somerset by Fig Tree and I was able to get my hands on a bundle of it before its release in September. I think it would be great in a curved quilt.

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  29. I only have patience for curves that I don't have to pin, ha ha. Acrylic templates over plastic hands down. Had a chance to browse through the book and agree, she did a wonderful job with the quilt variety considering they all have the same basic shape. I'd sew super scrappy warm and cool.

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  30. I would love to use Sunnyside with the Drunkard's Path. Thanks for the chance!

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  31. HI,I think I'd like to use "Scrumptious" from Bonnie+Camille for the Drunkards Path. this book looks so helpful ! Thanks for sharing!


    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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  32. I think these quilts would be lovely with blender type prints -- maybe some from the new Cotton & Steel line.

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  33. I have been eyeing this book forever, I would love a copy of it!! I really want to make some of these quilts using Oakshott's new Colourshott line! Would be amazing!

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  34. the tip is see over and over again is to use lots of pins. would love to see angela's book so she can unpack all her tips for me!

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  35. I'm very intrigued with Angela's book! I really like some of the quilts in it. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

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  36. So many pretty quilts in this book. I have a large stash of some Kona's that would work great. Thanks.

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  37. After seeing these beautiful photos, I think I'll finally take the leap and try sewing curves. But it will be a small leap--I'll start with a cushion cover using some French General's Josephine. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of this gorgeous book,

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  38. My current favorite fabric line is April Rhodes' Arizona. I love the muted rich colors. I think it would make a lovely quilt using the Arabian Nights pattern. Thank you for the chance to win!

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  39. Loooooove curve blocks! The new cotton & steel basics would be great with a few of the big focus prints thrown in.

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  40. I am sooo ready to try my hand at curved piecing! this book is the right one for me I think!
    Indelible is my most favourite line right now and I think any of the quilts in this book would work beautifully in Indelible!

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  41. The only curved sewing I've done is setting in sleeves. Would love to learn & make a quilt with Chance of Flowers by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Thanks.

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  42. this past weekend i picked up catnap and would love to showcase it on that loosely curved pattern -- I think that would be super sweet.

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  43. One of my goals for this year is to master curved piecing so this book would be a great help. I love to use solids so I think a bright mini quilt would a great way to start.

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  44. Currently in love with Rustique.

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  45. I've never tried curved piecing but have done some garment sewing so feel fairly confident about giving it a try. I think I'd use some April Showers. Thanks for the chance to win :-)

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  46. For curves, I have to take it slow and use a few pins. I seem to be using a lot of solids lately. Thanks.

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  47. I have a stack of Terra Australis fabrics, by Emma Jean Jansen of Australia, waiting for me to create something luscious. Since I love sewing curves, this would be a great book for inspiration. Thank you for the chance to win!

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  48. Well, as for the fabric line I'd love to use to make one of these quilts, I'd probably go with my favs - Kona solids! Blues and greens would be cool... those curved pieces make me a little uneasy, but I'm up for a challenge!

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  49. I actually am drawn to the solids used in the Loosely Curved wall hanging, which is different for me. I'd use the Kona Solids line that I'm currently working with. Thanks!

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  50. I still need to get some AMH True Colors. I think it would be great in one of these quilts.

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  51. I made a drunkard's path quilt once -- I followed the quiltalong's directions for sewing it without pins, and that worked out really well!

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  52. Ooh I didn't know you could get custom made acrylic templates, I just bought some quilters template plastic to make some, but I'd rather prefer something sturdy too.
    I'll say Indelible, I think it would work wonderfully with a lot of the patterns I've seen from the book, I just need to buy some...

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  53. I've currently recruited my bee mates to make me a bunch of 9-patch blocks this month so I can sew all the curve blocks to make the 9 patch curves quilt that I fell in love with at Market! Thanks for the chance to win :o)

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  54. I'd use Kona solids because I don't like seeing the lines where fabric prints don't match up! Picky picky, I know, but solids make me happy so that's what I'd use. I love that first wallhanging that is shown. Perfect colors, perfect quilting. Thank you for the chance to win! :)

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  55. Oh wow - all those yummy curves! I think all of this new and shiny Cotton + Steel would look amazing in the Flower Power quilt!! Fingers crossed!!!

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  56. Suck it up and pin your curves is my tip! That's the best way to ensure accuracy, I've found.

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  57. thanks for the chance :) I would love to try curves, as I have not yet. My current fave line would look great in curves I think, I am going with Arizona from Cotton and Steel

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  58. This book is so inspiring! One of my favorite lines right now is Daydream, by Kate Spain - although I think I'm going to love Horizon even more. It would be gorgeous in pretty much any of these quilts!

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  59. I cut my drunkards path blocks with the Olfa circle cutter! It takes a bit of drafting and marking where the center of the circle is and then you need to stop so you don't cut through the quarter inch seam allowances, but I don't have to use flimsy templates and I can choose whatever size I want! (Within range.)

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  60. I have admired her book for a while. I have four stacks of Flea Market Fancy i would love to add some solids and cut into that.

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  61. I've never been particularly fond of curves but the quilts you have featured are intriguing. I could easily get inspired.

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  62. I love Meadow but I'm also a big fan of solids. Thanks. G Fahrion at comcast dot net.

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  63. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review. I haven't tried curved piecing and would like to give it a go. Like you, I have had Angela's book on my wish list for a while. I do wonder though, if I should invest in a Go! Cutter first? I think the Cotton + Steel Basics range would look great in any of Angela's patterns.

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  64. I love the new Brambleberry Ridge fabric! I use a curve master foot when sewing curves...love it.

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  65. Looks like a lovely book! I have made one pillow using the drunkard's path block (just quilting it now) so this is quite new to me. Would love to do another project.
    I have a lovely layer cake of Daydream by Kate Spain that could be used. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  66. I want to try that baby medallion quilt using the current DS quilts line at Joanns :)

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  67. ooooh! This looks like fun! I'd love a copy.
    My favorite fabric line du jour is Robert Kaufmann's Quilter's Linen.

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  68. I would love to win a copy! I would use some Bonnie and Camille fabric, hopefully Miss Kate when it gets here. Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  69. I w ould love to make the Flower Power quilt with Carolyn Friedlander's Botanics line - I've. been saving these fabrics for a special project & I think this would be the perfect pattern for them. Thanks for the chance to win this fantastic book!

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  70. Incredible that so many quilts can be made from just one block. Looks like a great book. I love flower power and I think it would look great using Dear Stella confetti dots.

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  71. I ordered templates from etsy for the steam punk blocks and have been very happy with them. I added an extra 1/4 inch to the outside piece and wrote myself a note on the template to remember. These blocks are also great practice for curves!

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  72. I have not tried any curved piecing but I really think I should! My current fave line is Meadow.

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  73. I have recently fallen in love with Anna Maria Horner and have started collecting some of her prints. I would start a 'Drunkards' quilt with some of those!!
    keribaar@gmail.com

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  74. Oh how I love those big modern patterns! I'm a fan of Kona Cotton solids - but have yet to try curve piecing - maybe winning this book will give me a big boost!

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  75. thanks so much for the chance to win this wonderful book - I sewed my first curve a year ago and I love curves now - my tip is to sew slow and to keep trying - sewing curves is definitely a practice makes perfect technique !

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  76. I like to use Kona solids, and that is what I would try. I'd really love to win this book.

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  77. I have a fat quarter bundle of le creme dots by riley blake that I thing would look good with a solid background for one of these patterns.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

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  78. I would make something with jungle ave.

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  79. Thanks for the chance.....I'm in love with the mustang line by Melody Miller.

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  80. I just won some American Made Brand solids, so I would use those. Thanks!

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  81. Looks like some fun projects. I would use some Kona or Moda Bella solids.

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  82. I haven't sewn curves before. I think that I would try one of these with some sort of solids.

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  83. My favorite current fabric line is Printemps. Thanks for the giveaway! The book looks interesting. sarah@forrussia.org

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  84. Simply beautiful quilts! I would love to learn how to quilt curves. I don't know if I could find it in stock anywhere, but I think Vintage Happy by Lori Holt would look amazing in these quilts.

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  85. This book looks fascinating! My favourite fabric line right now is Iconic. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  86. I would make a quilt from April Showers.

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  87. I'd like to make one of the patterns out of Chicopee, probably Flower Power. I have been hoarding that stack of fabric for a while now! I don't have a ton of experience sewing curves, but my favorite way to cut them is using the Quick Curve ruler. I am not a big fan of template plastic either!

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  88. Curves kinda intimidate me - but I would LOVE to try something with either Mustang or August from Cotton+Steel. I'm a little obsessed with the entire collections!

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  89. I'd love to try it out in a cotton + steel collection! I do have a layer cake of mustang on the way!

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  90. I love Alison Glass' Field Day !

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  91. that is a nice giveaway. and.. chicopee from Denyse Schmidt is my favourite fabric for the moment!!
    thank you for this chance

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  92. I would love to make a quilt from the book using Sage Birch Farm by
    Joel Dewberry

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  93. My current favorite fabric line is the Charley Harper organic cotton from Birch Fabrics.

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  94. I would like to use jewel-toned Kona solids on black to try some curved piecing or applique.

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  95. I just ordered some Indelible which would be wonderful with this pattern :)

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  96. Love that book. I have been into the Kona Solids lately. Thanks for the chance.

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  97. I really need to finally cut into my City Weekend. Thanks for the chance.

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  98. Uh oh. Templates for cutting could be a bit tedious. I wonder if there's a Accuquilt die or if there is some way to use the Olfa circle cutter to do at least part of the cutting.

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  99. I think Eiko from Birch fabrics would be very nice for the Loosely Curved wall hanging (or larger). The larger blocks would showcase the panels. Thanks! notwendy gmail

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  100. I really like the Loosely Curved quilt too. I think some Kate Spain would work well!

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