It’s with great pleasure and excitement that I get to introduce you today to a new book by Debbie Grifka. When I first started searching for modern appliqué designs, Debbie’s patterns, published under her Esch House Quilts brand, immediately caught my eye. As I began designing my own patterns and teaching around the country, Debbie and I became acquainted and even roomed together during sewing events. I feel so lucky today to count Debbie as a dear friend and I am so proud to be able to share her new book with you!
Debbie’s style, both in appliqué and in piecing, has always struck me with its graphic simplicity and clarity–she can take a single shape or design element and, by repeating it strategically over the field of a quilt, create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The concept behind her book, Lines by Design, distills this strength into seventeen projects that focus on line to achieve striking impact. Despite the tight focus on line as a primary design element, the techniques in this book are wide ranging–from piecing to raw-edge and bias appliqué. In addition to guiding readers through this variety of techniques, Debbie encourages them throughout the book to learn and apply the techniques that they find most comfortable and pleasing.
I was thrilled to get to see several of the quilts from Lines by Design at the recent Quilt Con West show in Pasadena. While I loved the architectural motifs of Clerestory and the whimsical circles of Road Work, I was especially taken with Forever, a subtle yet powerful bias-appliqué piece that references Celtic Knot appliqué and traditional patchwork patterns such as the Double Wedding Ring and Orange Peel.
I have to back up here for a moment and note that Debbie also contributed a project featuring bias appliqué to my new compilation, The Appliqué Book. The process of editing that book and talking with Debbie about her love of bias- and Celtic-style appliqué techniques made it fun and satisfying to read her clear instructions for Forever and other bias appliqué projects in Lines by Design. I love her technique for using freezer paper templates to mark the appliqué placement, as well as her clear diagrams detailing how to manipulate the bias tape so that it weaves over and under itself in a pleasing way that hides any raw edges.
Debbie’s experience as a successful teacher shines through in the instructions for her projects, as well as in the encouraging tone she takes throughout her book. However, what I love most about this book is the way it allows the reader to see inside her design methods and mentality, giving them a behind-the-scenes peek at the thought processes that drive her unique style while inspiring and liberating them to follow their own quilting paths.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Debbie and her publisher, F&W, have generously offered to give away a copy of Lines by Design to a lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment below about your current favorite design element or motif–it could be lines, a shape, or even a pattern you see in art or nature. I’ll leave entries open until midnight on Thursday, March 10, and draw a random winner on Friday, March 11. US winners will receive a paper copy of the book, and international winners will receive an electronic copy.
For an in depth look at some of the other projects in Lines by Design, as well as additional chances to win, please also visit the rest of the stops in this blog tour.
Wed., March 2: Christa Watson/Christa Quilts
Thurs., March 3: Casey York/The Studiolo
Fri., March 4: Heather Jones/Heather Jones Studio
Mon., March 7: Kate Colleran/Seams Like A Dream
Tues., March 8: Rossie Hutchinson/Rossie Crafts
Wed., March 9: Amanda Jean Nyberg/Crazy Mom Quilts
Thurs., March 10: Amy Ellis/Amy’s Creative Side
Fri., March 11: Lynn Krawczyk/Smudge Design Studio
Mon., March 14: Debbie Grifka/Esch House Quilts
Thanks so much for reading, and have a great weekend!