Quilt Book Review: “Art + Quilt” by Lyric Kinard


Later this month I will be attending AQS Quilt Week in Grand Rapids. One of the classes I will be taking is “Art +Quilt: The Elements of Art for Quilters” by Lyric Kinard. I am super excited because a while back I bought her book “Art+Quilt” and love it! I can’t wait to meet Lyric at the event. and have her autograph the book for me. I also wanted to share this book with you.


Art + Quilt”, book by Lyric Kinard – Design Principles and Creativity Exercises

I bought the book when I first got interested in art quilts. This book is one of the most beautiful books I have on my shelf of quilt books. It is hardcover, 9 inch by 11 inches in size with 136 pages. The binding is spiral bound. I find this to be a big plus as you can lay it flat on a table and refer to it without having to continually find the page you’re working from. The images used in the book are beautiful and perfectly illustrate the concepts in the book. There are many images of sample works to get you moving in the right direction on the exercises.

IMG_0442[1]Who is this book for?

Art + Quilt is for the semi-experienced or experienced quilter who would like to start experimenting with art quilt concepts. It is also for the art quilter who would like a further understanding of classic art concepts, all of which are directly applicable to quilting.

This is not a book for someone who is just learning to sew and quilt. Knowledge and experience in basic quilt construction is needed to work through many of the exercises.

What’s inside?

“Art + Quilt” is arranged in chapters that cover different art concepts. I have never had formal art classes, so, for me, this book is a good primer on concepts such as principles of design, creative composition, texture, shape, line, color and value. This is not a book you read once, then put on the shelf. I won’t be working on the exercises from the beginning of the book to the end. Instead I will be skipping around and working on concepts I am most interested in right now. This is a book that is meant to be absorbed slowly and one I will be referring to over and over again when dreaming and designing a quilt.

The book is arranged with explanations of concepts, followed by small exercises in relationship to each concept. By first reading, then experimenting with the exercises, you will have a much better working understanding of the concepts outlined. The exercises are easy and straight forward, some involving a sketch book, some involving fabric and actual quilting small pieces.

How Much Time Do I Need to Work Through the Book?

IMG_0444[1]The only complaint I have about “Art + Quilt” is not really a complaint about the book. It is that I will need a lot of time to work through the exercises in a meaningful way. But that’s not such a bad thing. I intend to take the time to do the exercises more than once if I feel I need more work with a concept.

The sections on color is one I’m looking forward to most. These exercises I will likely work through several times. Color is one of the concepts I have been working on this year, trying to get more sophisticated in how I choose colors. With this book, I have a lot of material here to work with. (No pun intended!)

The links on this page will take you to Lyic Kinard’s website where you can purchase the book. Look on the right-hand side of the page for order information.  What’s really cool is, if you enter your name in the field when buying, it looks like Lyric will sign the book to you!

Happy Quilting,




P.S. If you attend the Grand Rapids Quilt Week Show, and you see me, PLEASE stop me and say Hi!! I’d love to see what you think of the show and, most importantly, if you’ve purchased any really good quilting stuff!



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Block of the Month Quilt Block – Economy Quilt Block

I am continuing making the 2013 Craftsy Block of the Month Quilt. This class is free from Craftsy. All you need to do is sign up for free, and order the class which is completely free. Join the class and follow along with me!

The Economy Block is a little more involved than the other blocks in the series.  This block has some points that need to match.  Matching points is not one of my favorite things to do, but this block did give me good practice. And I know from experience that the more you practice any technique, the better you get. When I look at a quilt show contest quilt that has complex piecing, I know that the quilter has spent many hours perfecting that technique.  So it didn’t hurt me to reach outside my own box and practice some points.

I am pleased with how the block turned out and I think it is going to make a nice focal point in the quilt!

Happy Quilting,




P.S. You can find all of the videos in this Block of the Month series at my YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe to the channel and you will see all of the latest quilt videos the next time you visit YouTube.  (If you click the Craftsy link, I do receive a very small commission from Craftsy.  Thank you for contributing to my fabric stash fund!)



Having Trouble Finishing a Quilt? You’re not alone!

FacebookPostOn our “I love to Quilt” Facebook page, we have over 1000 quilters who are all sharing their experiences and having fun talking about quilts.  This week I was rummaging through some of my unfinished quilt tops and found one that is 15 years old.  That got me wondering, how old are the unfinished quilts others are hiding in their closets?

So I asked the “I Love to Quilt” Facebook quilters and got the responses you see here.


Can you believe one quilter has an unfinished quilt that is over 60 years old?

I feel much better about my drawer of quilt tops.

How about you?  What is the oldest quilt you have yet to finish?

Happy Quilting,


P.S.  If you’re on Facebook, come to our “I Love to Quilt” Page and Like the page.  We would love to hear what you have to say about your quilting.



Block of the Month: Choosing Colors For Your Quilt

Continuing with my 2013 Block of the Month Quilt that I am making through the Craftsy Class, I am ready to choose the colors for the quilt.

I normally like a very scrappy quilt. But I decided I wanted to coordinate colors on this quilt. So I am using a focus fabric from which to draw my inspiration.

If you would like to participate, you can join me in taking this free Craftsy Class, The membership to Craftsy is free. All you have to do is sign up. The 2013 Block of the Month Class is also completely free.  (If you do use these links to sign up, I do receive a small commission, which I use for my Fabric Stash Fund!)

Happy Quilting,


P.S. If you got here through YouTube, be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter in the sidebar. You will receive articles just like this as well as news on upcoming quilt shows.


AQS Quilt Show Charlotte, North Carolina- July 30 to August 2, 2014

2014CharlotteGraphicIf you’re planning on attending the AQS Quilt week in Charlotte, North Carolina, we’ve got some information for you  that you will need to know.

Parking It looks like they have found several areas to choose from for parking. For a list of parking available and rates, go to this parking page.

Lodging If you haven’t booked your lodging yet, you should know that the quilters blocks of rooms for a special price are all filled.  But be sure to call the hotels suggested on this lodging page to see if they have had cancellations or if you can still get a room at their regular rates.

Directions You can get to the show by car, taxi, rail, or bus.  To find out details on all of these modes of transportation and directions to the show, go to the Quilt Show Transportation page.

Special Exhibits You Don’t Want To Miss

SAQS Masters II is the newest fiber art show from Studio Art Quilt Associates. The 37 quilt artists included in the exhibition have proven themselves to be masters of this exciting art form and hail from all over the globe. The artworks encompass a broad range of fiber art techniques and styles, from realistic to abstract. It’s a provocative and stimulating museum-like experience.

The Modern Quilt Challenge is the traveling exhibit that stemmed from the AQS Modern Quilt Challenge in 2013.The challenge was dedicated to the modern quilt movement and included many quilts that broke the traditional rules with new approaches to fabric combinations, piecing, construction methods, and motif quilting.

Stitch Like an Egyptian AQS, in the spirit of celebration of extraordinary works of fiber art, presents the Stitch Like an Egyptian exhibit to AQS QuiltWeek events visitors. Visitors are amazed at the quality, workmanship, and artistic vision that these pieces of appliqué art convey. So pack your bags and don’t forget to come back and tell us all about it!

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Omnigrid Wooden Ruler Rack and Gypsy Quilter Bitty Buddy

Omnigrid Wooden Ruler Rack

I just received a package in the mail that I ordered last week. In it is my new Omnigrid Wooden Ruler Rack.  When I started using my quilt studio for a video studio, it became necessary to rearrange my space. It was clear I needed better ways to organize my tools. I had seen the ruler racks, but had never tried one.

I am pleased to report that my new Wooden Ruler Rack is just the thing I need! It keeps my rulers in one place,upright so they take less counter space, and they are easy to grab just the right one when I need it.

Gypsy Quilter The Gypsy Bitty Buddy

I have been using my Bitty Buddy for years now. My mother gave me mine and I have used it ever since. When I first got it, I thought it was cute but not really a necessary item in my quilting. I would have been amazed if you had told me that day that I would use my Bitty Buddy every time I quilted, even when I am at Quilt Camp.

If you’re looking for a place to put those tidbits of scraps that are too small to use in a quilt, pick up your own Bitty Buddy today.


P.S. Join us on Facebook.  We love to talk quilting!

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How to Make an Offset Log Cabin Quilt Block

The Offset Log Cabin Quilt Block is the first block in the 2013 Quilt Block of the Month series that I am working on from Craftsy. If you would like to sew along, go the Craftsy to sign up for free, view the instructional videos by Laura Nownes, and download the free patterns.

The Offset Log Cabin is a great beginners pattern. It looks great and took me no time at all to put together.  I like the slightly modern twist of making it offset with different widths of strips.  This is put together with strip piecing, so if you can cut strips and sew them together, you have all the necessary skills to finish this block.

The video above will show you my experience with the pattern and the block.  You can sew along by viewing the free video and downloading the free pattern that is a part of the 2013 Quilt Block of the Month Series with Laura Nownes found here.

Two products are mentioned in the video. You can find them here:

Perfect Piecing Seam Guide

Post-it® Page Markers, 1/2-inch x 1-3/4 Inch, Ideal for Temporary Marking and Noting In Books, Assorted Ultra Colors, 500 per Pack


Happy Quilting,



P.S. If you sign up for the free Craftsy membership and free class, I do receive a very small commission, which contributes to my fabric stash fund.  Thank you! If you already have a membership, you are ready to order the free class!



Free Block of the Month Series with Laura Nownes

I’ve discovered a great Block of the Month series of videos and patterns that are completely free! The 2013 Craftsy Block of the Month class is free for anyone and everyone!

I chose this project to work on because it has some traditional blocks in it that are easy to make. And they are easy enough for beginners to complete successfully, especially when you view the how to videos along with the patterns! I am going to be posting a series of videos that show me working on each block.  I know there are many new quilters out there looking for easy patterns to learn to quilt.  This series fits that bill!

Now, I am not a beginner. But I am looking forward to putting this quilt together because it is traditional, but also has a modern flare to it with different sized blocks. The beauty is that the instructor has already figured out how they all fit together nicely into a quilt. So all I have to do is follow these simple patterns and finishing instructions.

The video above is me showing you what the class dashboard looks like. You are getting an inside peek into the Craftsy website and how their video classes work.  I have purchased classes from Craftsy before, and I continue to be amazed at the quality of the video instruction and accompanying patterns and instructions.  This company really does it right.  The instructor of this particular class is very thorough and easy to follow.  She gives good tips along the way, such as tips on sewing a quarter inch seam and pressing quilt blocks. This video takes you on a tour of the class dashboard exactly as it will appear when you sign up.

Join me on this project.  It will be great fun to share and compare our finished blocks!  To sew along, sign up for a Craftsy membership and order the free class called 2013 Block of the Month Class with Laura Nownes.  There is no fee whatsoever to join in!

Happy Quilting,



P.S.  If you sign up for a free Craftsy membership, I do receive a small commission.  Thank you in advance for contributing to my fabric stash!


Easy Quilt Patterns for Beginners

EasyQuiltsForBeginnersI am always looking for easy quilt patterns that are easy but make a stunning quilt. In my searches around the internet, I have found a few patterns and resources for beginning quilters. Enjoy!

Irish Chain from RJR Fabrics

Disappearing Nine Patch

Big Block Easy Pattern

Blue Winter Quilt Pattern

Book: Easy Quilt Patterns for Beginners and Beyond

Book: Simple Quilt from Me and My Sister

Beginners Guide to Quilting



P.S.:  Feel free to share these patterns and resources with your quilting friends!



Random Quilting Gives Your Patchwork an Art Quilt Look

I learned to use a sewing machine when I was a child. I watched my mother sew and make quilts. And I wanted to do the same. My mom started by letting me cut and sew squares together. As I proved I could use the sewing machine without sewing through my fingers or jamming the machine, she allowed me to sew more and more. She also gave me free reign over her fabric scrap collection. That’s when I started really developing my own style of quilting.

I began to sew pieces together randomly. I didn’t have the desire or the patience to cut specific shapes. I just wanted to sew sew sew! As a result I pieced together my own spontaneous fabric pieces. And started making quilts that way. My mother watched with amusement. She let me do my thing, even though she probably considered the results a mess of randomness. But I loved it.

As I got older, Mom and I joined a quilt guild together. That’s when I came in contact with many quilters and got to see what they were working on. It became clear that no one was doing what I was doing. And no one thought much of what I was doing. That was okay with me. I continued to love the spontaneous quilting. I made some traditional quilts, but always found myself returning to this mad sewing style that I loved. It was my secret sewing. Those projects I didn’t share with others because I knew they were not considered pretty.

Then Gwen Marston came to town and gave a lecture. This was the mid ’90′s. And I immediately fell in love with this free-spirited quilter who didn’t mind breaking the rules. I picked up her book “Liberated Quiltmaking”, which is still a classic!

As I became a more seasoned quilter, I began to trust my style. With the emergence of the popularity of the Gee Bend Quilters, and their free style, I began to have more confidence in the sewing I once did for my eyes only. (If you’re not familiar with the Quilters of Gee Bend, you should really check out this fantastic book.)

As my quilting evolves, I now am beginning to use this spontaneous sewing in small and controlled ways in my quilts. The video above shows you a good example of how I am using this technique to add interest to any quilt.

Happy Quilting,


The video shows you how easy it is. You can do this too! This technique is great for experienced quilters and beginners.