Wanderlust Quilts

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.

AmandaLeins_WanderlustQuiltsWanderlust 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.

Architectural Sketch translates Mandy's sketches of the Roman Pantheon and includes instructions on how to translate your own photos into quilt patterns

Architectural Sketch translates Mandy’s sketches of the Roman Pantheon and includes instructions on how to translate your own photos into quilt patterns (Photo by Nissa Brehmer, courtesy of C&T Publishing)

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.

Inspired by the drapery of ancient statues, Flowing Fabric features improvisational piecing and a freeform shape

Inspired by the drapery of ancient statues, Flowing Fabric features improvisational piecing and a freeform shape (Photo by Nissa Brehmer, courtesy of C&T Publishing.)

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.

Lovely Fishbourne serves as a capstone project of sorts, incorporating many of the advanced techniques covered in the book

Lovely Fishbourne serves as a capstone project of sorts, incorporating many of the advanced techniques covered in the book (Photo by Nissa Brehmer, courtesy of C&T Publishing.)

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.

Week-end au château de Versailles

Make sure to check out the other stops along the blog tour, too!

November 5: Gen Q
November 6: You’re Here!
November 7: Bill Volckening
November 8: Angela Walters
November 12: Rose Hughes
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

21 thoughts on “Wanderlust Quilts

  1. When in Rome…do as the Romans. I am not sure where this photo is taken. I am sure my daughter who is also an Archeologist could tell it in a second. Love the blog hop and can’t wait to get my hands on this book! My inspiration comes from alot of different elements from GIS, to nature, to architecture to moden quilt elements.

  2. This book sounds terrific. I am inspired by everyday views that catch my idea and other people’s work gives me expanded idea of what is possible

  3. I am usually inspired by the person I’m sewing for (all my quilts so far have been gifted to someone!). I also love to draw inspiration from nature and quilts from the past!

  4. It looks like Greece to me or it could be Italy. Professional bicycle racing inspires me especially when you see the aerial shots of the races thru the towns and villages in France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

  5. Nature, architecture, fabric, magazine photos….so many things have inspired me over the years. I don’t know where your photo was taken, but it looks like a beautiful place!

  6. I am inspired by the person for whom I am making the quilt…after thoughts of them I am inspired by the works of others. I think the place in the photo is in northern Europe and I am looking forward to finding out where it is.

  7. Beautiful fabric is a great inspiration. Some of my favorite quilts were made because I fell in love with some fabric, then discovered a pattern that would show it off.

  8. I am often inspired by the fabric that I have (or feel I must buy), or by the person for whom I am making the quilt. I also draw inspiration from the other quilters I watch online who are so amazing and creative!

    • And as far as what inspires me, honestly right now it’s seeing the work of other quilters…I hope someday to be inspired by non-quilty things, but I’m not there yet.

  9. I live in the oldest city in Iowa and it is filled with history. The architecture, especially, inspires me and the cobblestone walkways and streets are wonderful for creative minds! duchick at gmail dot com

    My guess is the last photo is somewhere in Rome…such a beautiful place!

  10. I haven’t designed many quilts yet (with an underscore) two that I have, the first was inspired by the ‘made fabric’ the other was inspired by a winter ‘sun dog’. I have two other’s rolling around in my brain….my grandmother’s potato salad……….round hay bales……….

  11. Pingback: Wanderlust Quilts Winner! |

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