Book Review + Giveaway – Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee

on Jun 29, 2011 in Books | 224 comments

Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks features 12 women and the quilts that emerge from their participation in a year-long virtual quilting bee.

The book is organized by month from January to December. Each month includes a short profile of a bee member, a description of the block they requested the other bee members make for them, a discussion of the fabric selected and detailed instructions on the block’s construction.

I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of a short rundown on the traditional block from which the modern version is based. It’s a clever vehicle to demonstrate how one thing becomes another. The visual side-by-side images got me thinking about my favorite traditional blocks and how I might interpret them in a fresh way. For those new to quilting I think it’s a great introduction to understanding how the whole traditional thing relates to the whole modern thing. They’re neighbors living on the same block and the houses are pretty close together!

The book takes shape as an engaging journey through 12 modern quilt designs that deconstruct the mystery behind the parts. It’s an excellent method to teach modern quilting techniques. Each month features a description of the bee member’s selected block, construction tips and design considerations. The result is the block being interpreted 12 different ways by each member in the group. The reader can see each unique take and how choices in color, layout, and fabric make the block different.

I highly recommend the book for new quilter’s that are looking for an understandable demonstration of how to construct some of the most popular modern quilt blocks. Experienced quilters are certain to pick up some enlightening tricks. My first one was on Page 36, it never occurred to me to cut the background squares for a wonky triangle block by slicing up a large piece of background fabric into a grid that could piece back together. Very clever!

The book culminates with tips on starting a virtual quilting bee and keeping it on track along with basic quilt making techniques that include specific references to piecing modern blocks.

Congrats to Alissa, Kristen, and all the bee members on a beautiful book filled with well written technique instructions and chock full of modern quilting inspiration.

The full blog tour line up:

• June 20th – Film in the Fridge
• June 21st – A Quilt is Nice
• June 22nd – I Heart Linen
• June 23rd – Tallgrass Prairie Studio
• June 24th – Oh, Fransson
• June 25th – All Buttoned Up
• June 26th – West Coast Crafty
• June 27th – Connecting Threads Blog
• June 28th – Crafty Girls Workshop
• June 29th – Whip Up
• June 30th – Pink Chalk Studio (you’re here!)
• July 1st – True Up
Break for the holiday weekend
• July 5th – Block Party Blog
• July 6th – Anna Maria Horner
• July 7th – Craftzine

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To enter the giveaway for a copy of Block Party leave a comment sharing what you like most about virtual quilting bees, your own bee tips, or questions you have about participating in a virtual quilting bee. I’ll invite Alissa and Kristen back to the blog later this summer to answer the questions! A winner will be selected on Sunday, July 3.

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