Blog Tour: Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky

on Dec 14, 2010 in Books | 263 comments

Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design & Inspiration is an amazingly beautiful and content rich new book by Malka Dubrawsky. It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Malka’s work. The first time I saw one of her quilts I totally flipped out. Unique, colorful, and yes, Fresh! Her successful Etsy shop is a testament to the popularity of her finished work. Her blog, A Stitch in Dye, is always a visual treat.

I reviewed Malka’s first book, Color Your Cloth, last year. The first book covers her dyeing process and methods. What an amazing follow up! Fresh Quilting shines the spotlight on very cool and worthwhile things to make. Each project also has an ulterior motive: a lesson from Malka’s book of tricks.

A lesson on what happens when you increase the scale of a traditional block. A lesson on mixing different fabrics to take advantage of texture and transparency. A lesson on improvisational piecing. A lesson in color theory. The book is not presented in this way literally but the teaching and opportunity to learn are there throughout. An AMAZING peek into Malka’s creative world. A book with a point of view!

The book is divided into two sections:

  • Patchwork Projects for Home, Family + Friends (includes 14 projects)
  • Fresh Quilts for Wall, Bed + Baby (includes 6 projects)

One thing that really struck me as I did my first read through the book is how practical each project is. In the introduction, Malka shares her joy in creating USABLE items for herself and others. It’s also clear the artist and author is someone who sells their finished work day in and day out. Each project has a road-tested practicality that left me wanting to make all 20.

The book is BRAVE! It features Y-Piecing, English Paper Piecing, and Improvisational Piecing. Topics that I think sometimes get left on the cutting room floor for fear they’re not ‘easy’ enough for the masses to tackle. Malka dives in head first. Small projects perfect for learning a new skill. Difficult projects for fearless sewists who want to challenge themselves. All sprinkled with encouraging words and tips for success. Many of the projects are simple in construction while being complex in design, something every level of sewist can appreciate.

I especially enjoyed studying the design of a project and then reading about the construction. The above pictured quilt, Nate’s Quilt, is a great example of this. I felt like I was in a class with the instructor sharing her wisdom, discussing the sample project, and explaining why each piece of the sample ‘works’. I think this is extremely difficult to accomplish and I’m very excited Malka chose to take this approach with her book.

While Malka uses her own hand dyed fabric in a lot of her work, the book branches out and features a lot of commercially made fabrics. And guess what, it still looks just like Malka! It gives me hope I can achieve similar dramatic combinations of color and texture without having to dye the fabric myself. The above Strips + Stripes quilt uses all Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons.

My Strips + Stripes quilt in progress. I LOVED the color lesson at work in the design. It went together easily and was fun to piece. The baby I’m making this for is due in early January so stay tuned for a finished quilt.

Congratulations to Malka on Fresh Quilting. It’s an important contribution to the body of written knowledge on modern patchwork techniques and design. I’ve already learned a lot and look forward to making more of the projects in this book.


To win a signed copy of Malka’s book leave a comment sharing what sewing item is on your list for Santa! I’ll draw a winner on Friday, December 17.

Be sure to check out interviews with Malka and other reviews on these fabulous blogs:

12/6: Film in the Fridge –

12/7: The Silly BooDilly –

12/8: JCasa Handmade –

12/9: House on Hill Road –

12/10: Tall Grass Prairie Studio –

12/13: Wisecraft –

12/14: You Are Here! I LOVED how Blair and I were that last jump up to the Northwest and then a little jump from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. Too cute.

pink chalk fabrics ~*~ new arrivals ~*~ free patterns ~*~ on sale