Today it is my great pleasure to share with you a new book by Amanda Leins. I first met Mandy at Quilt Market in fall, 2013, although I had been familiar with her longarm quilting work and Craftsy Class before then. When I found out that she had followed an academic path similar to mine before beginning her quilting career, I knew she was someone I had to meet. Fast forward to today, when I feel so lucky to count Mandy as a good friend and colleague. However, even if I didn’t know her personally, I would be excited about her first book, Wanderlust Quilts.
Wanderlust Quilts features the clear instructions and beautiful photography and page design that I’ve come to expect from Stash Books. Despite these similarities, it also stands apart from many of the quilting books I’ve read recently. In her book Mandy details how she translated inspiration from her work as a classical archaeologist into the medium of quilting. She examines both the sources of her designs and the more advanced quilting techniques that she used to make these designs a reality. At its core, her book is not only a testament to her love of classical art and architecture, but also a technical road map for those who wish to translate their own memories and inspirations into functional quilted works of art.
I learned a lot from reading the interesting and enjoyable project openers that described both Mandy’s creative process and the the history of the ancient monuments that inspired her. I also learned from the clear and detailed project instructions, which walk the reader through the steps necessary to master such advanced techniques as scalloped binding, Y-seams, and translating photos into original quilt designs. In fact, the table of contents lists a special technique for each project in the book, allowing the reader to focus on projects that will further the skills he or she wants to build.
The projects cover myriad quilt making techniques, from precision piecing to improvisational composition, with handy tips liberally scattered throughout to aid readers in successful completion. In addition to some projects that allow the reader to follow a set pattern, there are plenty of projects that encourage exploration and experimentation; the instructions focus on grounding readers in techniques that will allow them to make each project their own. If you want to further explore particular concept or technique, Mandy makes ample references to helpful books and tools, which are collected at the end of the book in a useful reference section.
If you’re familiar with my blog and approach to quilting, it will come as no surprise that I seek to learn at least as much about writing, page layout, and instruction from a quilting book as I do about quilting itself. Wanderlust Quilts delivers on all of these counts. But you don’t have to take my word for it–C&T is generously giving away a copy to one lucky reader. To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment telling me about what inspire you to design a quilt. Alternatively, take a guess at Where in the World you think Wanderlust Quilts appears below (hint: it’s one of my favorite places, and I’ve made my own quilt inspired by it). Comment by midnight on November 16 (my birthday!) to enter, and I’ll draw and announce a random winner on November 17.
Make sure to check out the other stops along the blog tour, too!