Organization for Quilters

Are you spring cleaning?

Spring is really on its way here and some of us get the urge to clean their houses, their cars or their gardens. Well (fortunately) I don’t belong to this group of people but when the days get really long and the yellow sun is shining in the blue skies above green meadows I get the urge to start a new quilt with all these spring colors in it. And as I’m working my way through my stash in search for the right fabric I usually start to think that there must be a better solution to store my fabric and my thread (all in a tumble in a drawer at the moment), that the sewing table could look neater (cutting mat, fabric and sewing machine in one big heap), that the scissors and rotary cutters might be stored in a more organized way (thrown into a plastic container) and so on.

But I found the perfect book to get me and my sewing space more organized.

by Carolyn Wood

Carolyn Wood starts from scratch. In the first chapter she challenges the reader to analyze the reason for ones clutter and to decide what to keep and what to let go. Only then you are allowed to go out and purchase containers or shelfs.
This book covers every area of your quilting Wood talks about the storage of fabric, tools, Ufos, extra blocks, strips, scraps, and strings, thread and finished quilts and gives advice on furniture and lighting in the different areas of a quiltstudio. She tells how to organize your quilting books and patterns and even has a section on time management for quilters with a lot of different projects. And the best – Carolyn Wood even tells you how to maintain your new organization.
The book offers solutions for many different sized quilting spaces – from a space under a stairwell or in a closet to a whole room.
What I like most in this book is the feasibility of the projects. Carolyn Woods talks about giving yourself a timeframe (and not tackling everything at once) and reserving a budget for all the things you want (and sticking to it).
And then there are the pictures. Colorful, great pictures of organized sewing spaces – so inviting that you really want to start organizing your own space immediately.
So if you are thinking about spring cleaning why not tackle your sewing room first. This book is not brandnew but it still is a perfect guide.

Organizing solutions for every Quilter by Carolyn Wood
by C&T Publishing (ISBN 978-1-60705-196-1)
available at C&T Publishing as “print on demand” or as e-book (click here)
or at Amazon as paperback or for the Kindle (click here)


By coincidence I stumbled about some blogposts on how to organize your sewing space with many helpful tips:
Here a post about organizing a small sewing room
Lots of tips (not only) for small spaces (click here)
Collected from quilters around the world these tips cover everything from room layout and furniture to lighting and tools.


So get inspired by all the tips and pictures. Maybe you even find some perfect solutions for yourself. But most of all – don’t forget to quilt!


Book of the Month: Stunning 3-D Quilts by Ruth Ann Berry

Ok, I will confess that the cover of this book was the main reason why a bought it. The quilt looks so complex and the title states it’s “simplyfied”. So my curiosity won.

When you open the book the table of contents will take your breath away. I immediately wanted to make every single quilt of this book.

There are 12 projects but each of them has three further options in different colors – 48 possibilities all in all.

All the quilts are solely made of 60° triangles.
The downside: you need a lot of these triangles – a lot of cutting and a lot of sewing. And every triangle has 2 sides on the bias.
The upside: Ruth Ann Berry explains in every detail how to cut, organize and sew the triangles. And there are no inset seams.

To sew one of these quilts you will need a lot of patience (the quilts consist of 800 to 1000 triangles),
a brand new blade in your rotary cutter and
you have to be prepared to unsew some seams (I think it’s really easy to switch two triangles which will ruin the design).

At the moment I don’t have the peace of mind to tackle such a project but if you do you will soon be the proud owner of a spectacular quilt.

Stunning 3-D Quilts Simplified
by Ruth Ann Berry
C&T Publishing, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-61745-959-7


Book of the Month: Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela

Since I have been quilting for more than 35 years I seldom buy quilting books anymore. Most of them are no longer interesting to me – been there, done that. But browsing Amazon I discovered “Artful Improv” by Cindy Grisdela. I follow her on Instagram and love the quilts she makes and I liked the cover – all these bright and colorful blocks! I ordered the book and I can say it is one of my best purchases of the last year.

The book is a gentle guide to improvisational quilting. By gentle I mean that you start with blocks that still resemble traditional quilting – log cabin blocks, drunkard’s path and even houses. But when you insert angled strips, curved stripes and/or a lot of negative space you suddenly have a beautiful modern quilt.

The book is a treasure chest filled with an abundance of inspiration but also with very clear tips how to cut, sew, quilt and finish a quilt. What I like best are the numerous photos of quilts that show how much you can achieve with fabric and quilting lines.

This book opened up a new way of quilting that I thoroughly enjoy! (You can see my first improv quilt here.)

artful IMPROV
by Cindy Grisdela
C&T Publishing, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61745-261-1


Book of the Month: Inspired by endangered species

My Book of the Month for February is

Inspired by Endangered Species by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto

I discovered this book purely by chance browsing in an online bookstore and after seeing a few pages I just had to buy it. And I’m so happy I did.

After watching volunteers rescue a nest of turtle eggs and provide a safe hatching place for them, Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto started to study endangered species, beginning her research with the Red List of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). As a quilter herself she decided that quilts would be the perfect medium to educate people about endangered plants and animals in a non-threatening way.

This led to 182 quilts by 129 artists, each one 24 x 24 inches, depicting an abundance of endangered animals and flowers – breathtaking quilts on one side and alarming facts on the other. The whole collection premiered at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2019.

And at the same time Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto edited this beautiful coffeetable-book with all the quilts and interesting details concerning the animals and plants.

Since I got the book it’s on my desk and whenever I’m taking a break I’m browsing in it. The quilts are beautiful works of art and the pictures really do them justice. The information provided is interesting but sometimes rather depressing. But then you can always skip to the end of the book where 4 success stories are told.

I am really happy that I found and bought this book and I’m sure that everybody (not only quilters) will love it as well. Don’t forget to put it on your wishlist.

Inspired by Endangered Species
by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2019
ISBN 978-0-7643-5220-1