If you’re Rhinebeck-bound, we would love to see youΒ at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night–details here.

Saturday Morning Book Find

Dear Ann,
Our lovely publisher sent me a copy of a new quilting book. (Isn’t that considerate? Do you think it has anything to do with how many times I’ve said, “By the way, I quilt, too!” [stage wink]) This one is right up my alley. It arrived yesterday and I’ve already given it a thorough going-over.
Modern Log Cabin Quilting, by Susan Beal.
Quick review: Beginner quilters sometimes ask me to recommend a starter book, and this is the book I am going to recommend from now on. The basic quilting instructions at the beginning of the book are clear. Everything you need is covered, with great tips. The tips are neatly tucked into boxes, so a new quilter will not be overwhelmed with advice that is not yet needed, but an intermediate quilter who is skimming the stuff she already knows can find the tips easily. (I loved the detailed how-to on machine-tying a quilt; a small thing, I know, but if one is self-taught, one cherishes such nuggets.)
The designs are fresh and beautiful. There is not a lot of variety in the blocks or the layouts–no new ground is broken. But to a journeyman quilter like me, who wants books to give solid instruction and a blast of inspiration and then leave me to it, this book is Just Right.
The author’s taste is wonderful. This is the first album/scrapbook type quilt I’ve seen, that I would want to make.
And of course, for me, this is a knitting book. I am in love with the “crosses” quilt on the cover; the construction of a knitted version sprang into my head immediately and won’t let me go. I’m trying–really trying–to finish the second sleeve on Joseph’s Mr. Boy sweater, which has been a WIP for over a year now and is in serious danger of being outgrown, before I start it. But 4 skeins of crisp new Noro Silk Garden are calling to me from the windowsill.
Help. Me.




  1. Hmm, I am trying to finish up a cardigan, grown-up-lady sized, in Noro sock yarn (what was I thinking?) before moving on to more thrilling things. I bet you finish your boy-sized thing first…. That quilt book looks very pretty. I have just given away my sewing machine, hand-me-downed from my MIL, but need to sew a lining for a knitted bag… Log cabins of old cotton shirts are calling to me!

  2. What if you reward yourself by knitting a log cabin block for each part of the Mr. Boy sweater you finish?
    Delayed gratification is over-rated. πŸ™‚
    Another quilt book that’s really a knitting book: City Quilts by Cherri House. I’m knitting the cover quilt for Husband on size 10 needles. Will probably end up a queen-sized blanket.

  3. there’s nothing quite like a new book to distract the attention with the excuse of being inspired at the same time. looks gorgeous.

  4. Those are beautiful! I love quilts and the colors on those are beautiful.

  5. Kay, when you bought your Janome Jem Gold, did you purchase the Quilting accessories kit (and if so, do you use it?) I’m about to take the plunge as a beginner; haven’t touched a sewing machine since about 1973 junior high home ec.

  6. I’m a quilter too – how I love the quilt on the book cover! Great colors. One of the nice things about quilting is that I can finish a quilt much quicker than a knitted object.

  7. Noro Silk Garden has a call like no other. It’s best one heeds it.
    Of course, I want to go right out and get that quilt book – my knitting mojo needs a break and this looks like the kick in the rear my quilting mojo needs!

  8. How about a pillow with the quilt crosses on one side and the knit crosses on the other?
    (A pillow would be like a quilt-swatch, and therefore not a real “project.”)

  9. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been hoping something would respark quilting for me — this might be the book.

  10. This is MY kind of quilting (and knitting). Going to look for this book next week. It’s (nearly) spring, and time for a new quilt.

  11. Dear Kay: I pre-ordered the book based on your recommendation even though I have never quilted. I implore you to create a knitting pattern for the crosses quilt (I’d buy it, as would your other loyal MDK followers, I’m sure). Lately I’ve been knitting log cabin squares for a baby blanket and I’m addicted to the art form (My commute is much more Zen since I brought yarn into the car too. I only knit at pesky long red lights and highway-turned-parking-lot situations, but this is Miami, so I get a lot done). Those crosses are soooo appealing! Pretty please?

  12. Help you? You don’t need any help, darlin’; you’re doin’ just fine!
    Cast on for Joseph’s sweater, knit a bit, then start work on one square. Move between the two projects as your mood dictates.
    Caveat: Add a third (or more) project(s) at your peril!

  13. How beautiful! Love that idea!

  14. Oh, I have been curious about that cover quilt since it went up for pre-order. It’s quite lovely. I hope you do knit a version of it.

  15. Mmmmm, I think I have this on my wish list. I do love that quilt on the cover. When I saw a thumbnail of it on Safari’s “don’t you want to go visit these people?” teaser screens, I did think it was a knitted item. I await your Noro interpretation. No pressure. πŸ™‚

  16. Kay – I like the idea of working one log cabin block for each part of the sweater you finish. (Include the seaming…) Little-by-little works well, when you look up all of the sudden and realize – the Mr. Boy sweater is finished!

  17. The second sleeve is a menace to one’s sanity. Bruno has outgrown the one I started for him after the pattern was published–but it’s still not too small for Elio!
    I like the crosses quilt, too! So outside the…log to think of forming a cross using that construction method. Yes, we can!
    We got together to sew up squares and embroider the felted sweater patches today. She’s a beaut in the making. Will need a linen border.

  18. i like the idea of knitted blocks
    and the book– you will be knitting
    in the seats of the yankee baseball park soon
    spring training is on full swing here in fl

  19. Me? I just want to make the circles baby quilt posted up on the Purl Bee recently. All I can think of are 1930s prints on it.

  20. Speaking of quilts, what sort of edging did you decide on for the shrunken plaids kit quilt?
    The book looks inspiring.

  21. Can’t wait to see the knitted quilt. Hey, thanks for keeping this blog going. I love watching your knitting life.

  22. Stay strong Kay! I’ve go startitis pretty badly and every new pattern distracts me like crazy right now! Beautiful book!

  23. I was going to say just give in to the call of the Noro, but it’s been several days, so you must have already.
    Agree with the good looks of the quilt book – the one on the cover looks like a vintage 30’s palette, and the album quilt is more tasteful than many.
    I’m getting stung with quilt-guilt…. poor neglected fabric blocks in my sewing room.

  24. From the department of ‘too late to the party’ (again!) we made a Hungarian pork stew this Wed. at the boys’ school’s cafeteria and it was a huge hit. I am stewing the rest of the pork right now at home in the slow cooker. Thought of you as I jazzed it up with some roasted red pepper puree. When it comes to good solid comfort food, you don’t really have to re-invent the wheel, you know?

  25. Oh Kay, we so like the same things! The book looks awesome, and I’ve been thinking about knitting a cross blanket too. Actually I started one (it’s on Ravelry if you’re interested: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/mustaavillaa/three-crosses) but my yarn choice was wrong and it turned out a cowl instead. But I’m eagerly waiting what you’re gonna do. πŸ™‚


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)