02 November 2010

Blog Tour - The Practical Guide to Patchwork


I really like this book.  In some ways this is not surprising, I've been a long time admirer of Elizabeth Hartman's work and when we've had the chance to swap emails--usually because i wanted a pattern or two for a giveaway in the Fresh Modern Quilts flickr group--she's always been prompt and kind and sincere, a voice that comes through clearly in this book.

But in some ways it is surprising that i enjoyed reading this book as much as i did: on the grand spectrum of quilting, the quilts in this book seem to mix the brighter fabrics available today with blocks that are fairly traditional (equal sizes, usually gridded and surrounded by sashing) without pulling much more in.  While i have a deep love for some of Elizabeth's quilts (this and this and this), the patterns in this book didn't shake me up me the way that those one's did.  I think the reason for this lies in something Elizabeth spoke of earlier on the blog tour, “I started planning the quilts for the book with a checklist of design elements, both conventional and modern, that I wanted to include.  Writing the patterns for the book was, to a certain extent, designing patterns around the items on that checklist."

If I think of these quilts as teaching exercises, the fact that none of the individual quilts takes my breath away makes sense.  I've been looking at Elizabeth's quilts for years now and can usually spot one of hers the second it shows up on flickr...if she wrote the book to communicate each of the skills and aesthetics she finds fundamental, then of course they look quintessentially and unsurprisingly like her work.  Duh, me, duh!

At any rate, I highly recommend this book.  Pages 25-44, Step-by-Step Quilt Construction, are worth the purchase price of this book alone.  I have a copy of one of Elizabeth's first patterns, which I keep in my sewing desk because it has become my go to reference for quilt construction (I regularly forget how to sew on binding).   Now, I'll keep this book in my desk, too.

Typically, i wish quilting books and magazines would LEAVE OUT the construction section...I think should be their own "101" books and not included in every gosh darn quilting book (often in tiny font, with few pictures, taking up space where another quilt could be shown!)  But  step-by-step construction is what Elizabeth does best, so i am glad she allotted many pages to this! 

With holiday season coming I think this book would make a great present for oneself or any quilter or would-be quilter on your gift list.  It doesn't cover all of what I would consider modern basics--Elizabeth doesn't do improv piecing, and there isn't much play with negative space--but it does cover a lot and it covers it well. It's a heckuva lot better that the introductory quilting books I consulted when I began quilting!

In point of fact, if I were giving a gift to a new quilter,  The Practical Guide to Patchwork would go in the gift box with a sample of some fabulous fabrics.



Today, one lucky winner--new to quilting or not--has the chance to win those gifts, provided by the lovely Elizabeth Hartman herself!  To enter, comment on this post with an answer to the following question: what is one thing every new quilter needs to know?

I will pick a winner on the 7th. 

For more chances to win, check out the rest of the blog tour:
October 27th – Sew, Mama, Sew!
October 28th – Film in the Fridge
October 29th – I Heart Linen
October 30th – Tallgrass Prairie Studio
October 31st – Handmade by Alissa
November 1st – Connecting Threads 
November 3rd – One Shabby Chick
November 4thTrue Up
November 5thPink Chalk Studio 
November 6th – Whip Up

And of course, you can follow Elizabeth on her blog, Oh, Fransson!

665 comments:

  1. Hmm - interesting question - I will have to come back tonight to see what everyone else wrote.
    My answer - 1/4" - a quilter needs to know that measurement, how to get it on a machine, oh and what it means by SLIM 1/4 inch!

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  2. Actually I am changing my mind - a quilter better be able to recognize a natural fiber versus a synthetic...because a synthetic will shred in nothing flat at 1/4 an inch (or less for appliquers)/.

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  3. "Just breathe" quilting is supposed to be fun and I think a lot of times new quilters in particular can get frustrated trying to do everything just right and that ruins the joy of the process.

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  4. Every quilter should know that it's okay to think outside the box. I learned how to quilt from an old-fashioned store. And we were taught that "this was the way" to do it. It's taken me almost a year to realize I can sew without pinning, use solid fabric and so many other fun things being done on blogland. Definitely feel free to re-think the box!

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  5. Don't over think it and the 1/4" seam.

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  6. That there is no 'right' way to do something. Do it the way YOU want to.
    This is the first refreshingly honest review of Elizabeth's book and I admire you for that.

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  7. Cut your pieces as accurately as possible and keep your seam allowances consistent. It's more fun when things match up! Thanks for the chance to win:)

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  8. I realized recently that there's probably a better way to sew on binding than how I've been doing it. Which would be a really great thing to learn how do to do consistently.

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  9. Mistakes are a part of the learning process. No quilter starts off perfect, we all make mistakes and learn from them and try harder next time. But you have to dig in and just go for it, otherwise you'll spend your whole time too scared to make a mistake. Some of my favorite quilts have mistakes in them, I think that's what makes them so special!

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  10. I know it sounds cheesy, but every new quilter needs to know that it's not that difficult, just get stuck in and do it! :)

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  11. There are no quilt police. You can sew with a skimpy or generous 1/4" as long as you're consistent for that quilt. And most important to me, all seams do not have to be pressed to one side.

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  12. I would love to win this book....the more I read about the book I love the details.

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  13. I am new to quilting, so new that I have yet to make one thing. I have the fabric and the pattern, but I haven't been brave enough to start. I love reading quilting blogs and love all the inspiration out there! Thanks for yours :)

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  14. What a new quilter needs to know - don't get stuck trying to be perfect. The first time I tried to quilt (1983) I thought that I had to hand sew and hand quilt . . . and no rotary cutter. I made ONE log cabin block and didn't try again until this summer.

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  15. As a beginner myself, I'm not sure I have any advice - oh, except that a 1/4" foot for your machine is your friend.

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  16. for me each new quilter should know the grain of the fabric , what is weft & what is warp! :D

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  17. As a fairly new quilter, I wish someone would have shaken me by the shoulders and told me to relax! The world will not end if a quilt is not by-the-book, traditionally perfect. It just has to make you happy. :)

    Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

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  18. No matter how long it takes you to complete your quilt or what it looks like, just finish it. The satisfaction of finishing it-you will be jumping up and down as if you ran a marathon! Have fun with it. And then you will want to do it again. And again.

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  19. I think every new quilter needs to know that it is kind of difficult to make a nonfunctional quilt, so don't be scared!

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  20. How to take out stitches from bias without stretching!!!!

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  21. CONFIDENCE. Quilting isn't about weather or not everything is perfect. Seams, fabric, pattern, and design do NOT need to be perfect, nor the latest and greatest. New quilters should know that the craft should be what they want it to be and trial and error are ok. Great review Rossie. Completely honest!

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  22. I'm just a beginner so I think one of the most important rules is the 1/4" seam allowance.

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  23. Creativity and originality are more important than perfection. Leave perfection to machines and put your heart into your quilts. I'm not saying you should not strive for neatness and quality in your work but do leave room for serendipity and experimentation. Have fun!

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  24. I'm a new quilter and one of the first things I found I need to know ... is how to square up the fabric because it certainly isn't straight coming off the bolt from the store! I had to google a few tutorials to figure out how to do it.
    clark6703 at earthlink dot net

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  25. Enjoy the process! Quilting isn't just about the finished product!

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  26. I'm a new quilter. The women that help me keep reminding me, "It's just fabric" because for some odd reason, I don't have the confidence to cut the fabric. So that's my tip: It's just fabric.

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  27. Step back from your work -if you don't have room, take a picture with your digital camera and see what it really looks like as a complete piece before you sew it all together. You'll be surprised at what you see!

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  28. As a new quilter, I now know the importance of an accurate seam and I wished I'd realised how much ironing was involved :)

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  29. Always close your rotary cutter after every cut! Thanks for sharing about Elizabeth's book. It looks fabulous.

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  30. I'm new to quilting, but I think you need to remember to just go for it and not be afraid to take some chances! And not to fear cutting into your fabric!

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  31. I think that purchasing the best quality of materials...fabric, needles, thread...is crucial to having a sturdy, well constructed end product. That might mean saving a bit to afford those items, but well worth it in the long run!

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  32. Just enjoy every step of quilting.

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  33. You don't need an exact 1/4" as long as you're consistent throughout the quilt.

    (karrelle@gmail.com)

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  34. my advice: just do it! and keep your rotary cutter sharp, and cover it when you're not using it, and use up your scraps and don't save your fabric for a special quilt but use it now and most importantly, find a permanent place for your sewing machine so you can sit down at it whenever you have a spare minute. thanks for chance at your giveaway!

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  35. You aren't going to please everyone, so make quilts you love!

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  36. I think a new quilter should know that he/she doesn't have to follow a pattern. Just sew pieces together. If it ends up to big, cut it off. If it is not big enough, add more. He/She will end up with a beautiful and unique quilt.

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  37. My tip is take your time and BREATHE! If something isn't working the best way to fix it is to walk away, take a break and inevitably you come back with a new perspective. Can you tell I get frustrated really easily? Thanks for the chance to win!

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  38. I think every new quilter needs to know that mistakes will happen and about half the time they're wonderful! Some of my favorite quilts are the ones where I messed up and turned a block the wrong way or got a little off with my cutting. Those quilts might not win any prizes but they are a treasure to me because they define me as a quilter.

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  39. New quilters: You are going to make "mistakes." All quilters do, whether they have been quilting for 40 seconds or 40 years. Your next decision is whether the "mistake" needs to be fixed or whether you can work with it. Always remember - it is your quilt.

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  40. I think a new quilter (me!) needs to know that you just need to try it, the quilt probably won't come out perfect and your mistakes make it your own and you shouldn't be intimated because it won't be perfect.

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  41. First, thanks for joining the blog tour, I'm so glad I found this blog! So... what every new quilter should know... its SUPPOSED to take a long time! You're not supposed to be able to finish one in a couple of hours unless you're superhuman! Also, use a walking foot!

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  42. All quilters need to know that the seam ripper is their friend.

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  43. I'm really new to quilting but I know enough to say that quilting takes time. It's not a project you can rush. Have fun with it!

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  44. This probably seems obvious, but I think new quilters need to be introduced to rotary cutters! I've met so many people who, like me, made their first (or second, or third...) quilt by tracing a cardboard template and then cutting out the squares with scissors. These people need to know that there's a better way!

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  45. All new quilters need to know - rotary cutters are sharp. :)

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  46. I have found that quilts are forgiving. Almost every quilt I've done (less than 10) I get worried during the process and question my color choice or placement, but in the end I am happy with the results.

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  47. Making lots and lots of quilts helps you be more carefree about choosing fabrics and designs because it's not the decision of the decade. You can save the other ideas for your next quilt.
    Take chances. Do something bold.
    And pressing is worth the trouble!
    Karen

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  48. I'm a fairly new quilter myself, but I agree with the thoughts of having fun with it! Learn some basics but then don't be afraid to play.

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  49. Measure twice, cut once and have fun!

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  50. Just do it! I took forever to start quilting and now I love it.

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  51. Be FEARLESS! Do what you like and ignore people who don't agree.

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  52. Every new quilter needs to know that she should just dig in and do it. don't wait for the perfect moment, or gadget, or machine, etc. Just start.

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  53. On top of everything else that has been said, my tidbit is a little unconventional.
    Make sure you are comfortable...that means, if you have a bra strap that keeps slipping, your sock is bunched in your shoe, your hair keeps falling in your face, etc., take care of it. Because as soon as you sit down to start piecing or quilting, your focus will shift to that one annoying tic and it will be all you can think about! Happens to me everytime!

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  54. Fresh rotary blades! They cut like butter . . . making life SO much easier.

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  55. Hm. the one thing new quilters need to know? Have fun and make what you love. experiment! dont be afraid to just do it.

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  56. If you must save a "perfect piece" cut a swatch. USE what you love, even if it's the first time trying a new method. Just another way of "enjoying" the process and not taking it too seriously.

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  57. If you will be machine quilting, invest in a walking foot. Quilting was much more enjoyable after I purchased a walking foot (and learned how to use it correctly).

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  58. I would say how to attach binding. You can fudge and experiment with most other techniques, but you really need to know how to apply a secure and nice looking binding. It's the only thing I really needed a tutorial for.

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  59. Experiment... experiment and have fun.

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  60. I second the fresh rotary blade comment! I can't believe how I let myself get stressed trying to cut with a dull blade that bunches up the fabric. Now I replace my blade at the beginning of each new quilt and it's soooo much more enjoyable to cut the fabric.

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  61. As a new quilter, the best advice I have heard so far is to keep your nose out of your quilt - view it from a distance and have fun learning.

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  62. Sometimes it's fun to think outside the box and experiment. My favorite quilt was way outside and so much fun not to be so accurate in cutting!

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  63. As much as I love all the handy things like knowing how to make a perfect 1/4" or how much ironing helps, I would say the one thing quilters need to know is that it's an art, not a science. And like all other art forms, it's personal, so there is no one way or no wrong way to do it.

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  64. Don't get overwhelmed. When I was starting I had in my mind I wanted to make quilts for everyone in my family (which is huge). Just enjoy yourself and enjoy the creative process of quilting.

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  65. When piecing, match seams not edges.
    What a great giveaway! Thanks!

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  66. I am relatively new to quilting and I would say that a new quilter really needs to know how to sew 1/4" on your machine. I love Elizabeth's work! Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  67. every new quilter needs to know that whatever tweeks the quilting jollies of him/her is A-OK and to run with it - and not to be intimidated by the Quilt Police !

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  68. Wonderful give away, thank you!

    Every quilter needs to know that it is okay to make mistakes!!

    SheilaC

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  69. I'm new to quilting but I read somewhere that it isn't a mistake unless you can see it across the room.

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  70. I took my second quilt to my aunt for her to quilt on her long arm machine. She took one look at it and said "did you square your blocks?". I said "umm. . . what?" It was a pinwheel quilt and wow would it ever have been easier to match the points had I squared my blocks!!

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  71. I don't know...i've yet to tackle my first quilt. I'm hoping to start with this book as my inspiration.

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  72. There is not, necessarily a right or wrong way to do something but there usually is an easier way so if something is difficult look around you may be doing it the hard way!

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  73. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be perfect. It DOESN'T have to be perfect.

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  74. thank you for your thoughts on the books ~ it basically sums up what i thought when i looked at the preview pages provided on the publisher's site. anyway, i think it will be a FABULOUS addition to my quilting book library!

    phew, there are many more than 1 thing to know as a new quilter...but to PRACTISE is the key...with every quilt you make you'll learn much more ;)

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  75. 1/4" seams are important and a 1/4" foot for your machine REALLY helps!

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  76. How to make that 1/4" seam. Whether you want to make traditional blocks or totally free - that 1/4" seam will help you translate what's in your mind to the fabric without the frustration of 'something being wrong'.

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  77. *Press* your seams, don't "iron" them, and use starch! It makes working with the fabric easier....

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  78. What 1/4 inch looks like on your machine.
    Thank you for your review of the book. I cannot wait to add it to my collection

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  79. I'm new to quilting and what makes me love it is the attitude that perfection is over-rated, that it's absolutely FINE if my points don't match up perfectly. Having FUN while creating, exploring my creative side and making my creative messes are therapeutic and good.

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  80. Sometimes you just need to step away from the quilt! And practice makes perfect! Can't wait to get my hands on this book!

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  81. I think every new quilter should know that mistakes are what give your quilts character, and not to stress too much. Just enjoy the process and have fun!

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  82. prewash fabrics (esp red) It's heart wrenching to finish a quilt and find one piece of fabric that has bled all over everything!!!

    thanks for the chance to win.

    -dustin

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  83. Chose fabrics that you absolutely love.

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  84. there are so many things that a beginner should know but just one. uuummm it will have to be cutting - be accurate because if it is, everything goes smoothly. a friend learned it the hard way

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  85. Every new quilter should know to have fun and if they dont know something, ask someone out here in blog land! Quilters are the best helpers!
    butler83@aol.com

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  86. Without reading anyone elses comments, I think the one thing a new quilter should know is...how to sew accurate seams. The most frustrating thing for me when I first started was not having pieces line up correctly.

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  87. It's your quilt, make it *your* style. Want seams to match? great! want them offset? great! Do what you like and you'll love the end result.
    ~Rebecka

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  88. Every quilter should know that DONE is far better than PERFECT and mistakes are just new design opportunities. nkadenver at Yahoo.com

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  89. Enjoy it and don't stress out too much on making it perfect, I know if I did that I would hate quilting.

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  90. I couldn't agree with you more with your 101 sections. But the problem is that the book generally needs to stand on its own. That is, could a beginning quilter pick it up and make a quilt from it? Not a lot of quilt books are written for the experienced quilter.

    One thing every quilter needs to know? How to relax. it won't be perfect, nor does it have to be. But if you relax and enjoy the process then you, the quilt, and the potential recipient all get something out of it.

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  91. This was a great review! And I have read a lot of them now... wink wink.

    I'm totally new to quilting. I'm working on my first one now, so my advice for a new quilter is to have SOMEWHAT of a plan. I like being spontaneous and impromptu - not knowing exactly how the end will end up, but now I realise it's a good idea to at least have some idea of how to get to the finished product.

    I fell in love with hexagons and started making flower blocks. I have 20 made so far. I know I want a queen sized quilt! This is going to take a ton more blocks! And how do I plan on quilting it when I'm finally finished?! And I can't decide how to construct this quilt in my brain. Sorry for the ramble! Thanks for the give away!

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  92. 1/4inch is a good start however enjoy what you do and don't feel guilty for starting another quilt without finishing your current work in progress!!!! UFO's are everywhere!!!!!!!!

    Christine

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  93. Well I am a new quilter so I am going to read all the comments! Thank you for the chance to win this wonderful book.

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  94. Having only made one quilt, my advice is limited, but I guess I'd say that quilting isn't as hard as it looks from afar. It's worth a try and easy to get hooked.

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  95. A QUILTER NEEDS TO KNOW THAT IT'S ALL ABOUT ACCURACY! THANKS FOR SHARING,LOVE,LINDA

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  96. Every new quilter needs to know that it's the tedious stuff (ironing, pinning, basting, cutting) that makes a big difference. It may feel like it takes forever and it is brain numbing, but you won't be disappointed in the final result.

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  97. The art of ironing seams the right way

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  98. I think every new quilter should know about accuracy and patience. My first quilt is terribly made but having done it without any instruction at all, I'm still proud of it.

    I also wish I'd known a bit more about batting. In the beginning I was always trying to get the thickest stuff I could but that led to a lot of problems.

    Thanks for your honest opinion about the book! I'm really enjoying the tour.

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  99. "Be open to outcome, but not attached to outcome." This is a maxim I try to apply to everything, but it really helps in quilting. i.e. it's good to be careful and precise, but not so helpful to anguish over every stitch.
    Also, know your machine.
    Thanks for the blog stop. I've been enjoying your (and Elizabeth's) work for a long while. Best!

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  100. I try to remember what the quilt is for - snuggling babies, keeping feet warm, getting comfy on the couch with a book, or like I'm doing now, surfing the net and entering contests! A wobbly seam or "misplaced" piece of patchwork will not change the warmth it creates, literally or figuratively!

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  101. The design isn't done until the quilter says so. Quilts are often started with a pattern, or idea and evolve as they are pieced. Don't be afraid to allow the quilt to evolve as it is being constructed! The end result will be more original and their own.

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  102. Learn the basics, then don't be afraid to go beyond them.

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  103. Learn how to get an accurate 1/4 inch on your machine and relax, dive in and remember that there are no quilt police looking over your shoulder. Don't sweat the small stuff! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  104. Accurate seams are important, and anything that help you get them seam rippers and 1/4" foot are your (and my) friends!

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  105. Get a quiltng buddy to help you solve problems.

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  106. Its part of the process to make mistakes, and some of them are ok to leave in the quilt (as long as they dont compromise the structure, seam allowance, etc)

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  107. Just do it! Cut that pretty fabric that you spent so much money on!

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  108. It's about having fun, not being perfect...and use that pretty fabric!

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  109. One thing they need to know: if you love it, there's no right or wrong!

    Cheers,
    Christine

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  110. Well I just started quilting so I'm just trying to soak up everyone else's tips! Thanks for the chance to win. Love the fabric she picked out!

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  111. Relax at the machine, I still have to watch my shoulders coming up to my ears! Everything else works out eventually don't be hard on yourself.

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  112. Every new quilter should know not to panic when she/he reads the directions with the pattern/tutorial the first time. Don't read ahead; take it one step at a time. And, if it gets frustrating, put it down and walk away for awhile. My mother told me this when I was a teenager, and, of course, I didn't believe her; but, now that I'm older, and I hope, wiser, I know it's true! 8-] Thanks for the chance to win.

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  113. Be patient with yourself as you learn something new.
    Be accurate with your cutting and your 1/4" seams. Be kind to yourself when you make a mistake.
    A world of endless creativity awaits you....

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  114. If you really want something to look good, don't settle for the bodge, unpick it and keep going till you learn how to do it right

    - my own advice that I curse myself for every day, but follow religiously now because I HAVE learned a lot from this!

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  115. The difference between pressing and ironing, and the pros and cons of prewashing.

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  116. Know how to use your sewing machine. That will take you a long way.

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  117. I am a new quilter and I have even cut my first squares with scissors. They were not squares as you can imagine. So I think it's very important that you know taht cutting your fabric with scissors is wrong!!!!!

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  118. this book looks beautiful!

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  119. as elizabeth said in an earlier comment, making a quilt takes a long time, dont give up on yourself or your quilting project! thanks for a chance, would love this book.

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  120. It's about the journey to finishing the quilt and not about how fast you finish.

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  121. Have fun with it! Not every piece will be a masterpiece but if you learned something new in the process, you've succeeded.

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  122. I couldn't believe how precise all of my measurements needed to be! A rotary cutter and mat are essential for me to maget the precision I need--it took me a lot of difficulty with my first quilting project to learn that they really are worth the cost!

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  123. i am a new quilter so i need to know everything! after taking my first beginning quilting class, i think learning how to iron seems flat and tricks to cutting more efficiently were most helpful.

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  124. Cotton, cotton, cotton - makes the best quilts! Be sure to pre-wash all fabric!

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  125. I am a wannabe quilter..and so I have no answer yet. but am going to be reading all the comments!

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  126. Every new quilter needs to know that imperfections are ok and expected. Enjoy what you learned and learn to live with the wrinkles and folds and seams that don't quite match, even as you learn better crafting skills.

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  127. Pictures? I like pictures. :-) Usually I can figure things out with just words, but pictures make it SO much easier. I love all of Elizabeth's quilts, too.

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  128. I'm new to quilting, and one thing I've had to learn, (which I think is essential to every quilter), is that in quilting there are no mistakes that you can't incorporate somewhere, so you should not be afraid to try something new because you are afraid of messing it up. If you mess it up, save it for another project! You should see my quilt that I'm making for thanksgiving for myself, it's quite the mess of sloppy blocks and whatnots. I used the same fabrics while learning to make all sorts of blocks for the first time. Those blocks aren't perfect, they are rather a mess, but thrown all together they are quite cute in the end! So, yeah, what I'm saying is that there are no mistakes in quilting, you can use it somewhere and you'll love it! :) jody.edwards@yahoo.com

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  129. Quilting is a process, and you get better as you go. Don't get hung up on perfection, or you won't enjoy it. We all learn as we go and get better, so make another quilt!

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  130. Your mistakes aren't as terrible as you think.

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  131. I'm still trying for this one! Has this already been added "measure twice, cut once" - I remind myself of this daily....

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  132. every one gets better at quilting with practice!

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  133. Accurate cutting and piecing.

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  134. Every new quilter needs to know that even experienced quilters don't always have perfectly aligned seams.

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  135. Learn how to make a consistent 1/4" seam! Follow the rules you want too.:)

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  136. Um - that's a hard question because I'm so new at it myself. I would have to say "be gentle with yourself and don't expect perfection". I guess that's what I'll be telling myself. ha.

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  137. I'm pretty new, and I think "Be Patient" is what I have to remember. Quilting takes time, and if you want it to line up right, sometimes you might have to rip out some seams!

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  138. How to cut fabric properly with a rotary cutter.

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  139. Don't be afraid of color. It is your friend. And sometimes rearranging a block or two here or there can make all the difference in the world!

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  140. Don't be afraid and don't expect perfection. More than likely you'll be the only one to spot the trouble spots (they're smaller than you think!) and those things add character to the quilt and make it uniquely yours.

    I also agree with @debbie - when basting a quilt if you think you have enough pins, add a few more.

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  141. I'm a new quilter too so the only advice I can offer is what I've learned from my own mistakes:

    1. Ask questions, often. Everyone I have asked for help has been incredibly nice. I even emailed Elizabeth once!
    2. Slow down. My first quilt, I was so excited to finish it and be able to say I made it that I rushed through it. My boyfriend loves it but all I can see are the mistakes!

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  142. To not be afraid to make mistakes!

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  143. I think that if you're a visual learning, taking a class (whether it be formal, or just getting together with a knowledgeable friend) will help tremendously... but if you can figure things out from online tutorials, skip the class and spend your pennies on fabric instead!

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  144. I think every new quilter should know quilts are very personal - no right or wrong, no perfect way to do any of it, just have fun with it and enjoy the process as much as you enjoy the quilt!

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  145. every quilter should make sure they love the projects they're working on. if not, work on something else!

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  146. One thing every quilter needs to know:
    Even the beautiful quilts in Amish quilt museums do not line up 100% perfectly on every block and its OK! Practice practice practice and love each item you make :)

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  147. Rotary cutters are a dream come true...and well worth the investment!

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  148. Every quilter should remember that it's a creative outlet for a reason - it's ok to mess up, try something truly wonky or get crazy with color! That and the 1/4" seam foot is your friend!!!

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  149. cutting accurately and pinning ...1/4" seam allowance too

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  150. Cut accurately!!! Measure twice - cut once!!

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  151. I'm a new quilter, but I guess I would tell a friend not to be intimidated, just jump in and go! Pick beautiful fabrics and it will be lovely.

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  152. Every new quilter should know that finished is better than perfect! Be happy to be creating, love what you make, and have fun!

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  153. Never underestimate the value (power) of squaring up your blocks. My piecing improved 100% once I started doing this.

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  154. Go for it!!
    There are no Quilt Police!!!
    Gill

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  155. Every new quilter should know how to finish their creation with a french/double fold binding. It's beautiful and sturdy.

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  156. Do what you love, not what other people think or say you should do. If it's not fun, it's not worth it.
    steeplechaser29 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  157. a quilting ruler comes in handy

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  158. How to make a consistent scant 1/4 inch seam! Or at least consistent ... everything else grows from there ... Thank you for the giveaway!!

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  159. Even if it doesn't look good cut up, just keep piecing. When it is all put together it always looks amazing!

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  160. As a new quilter, I learned the hard way how important it is to press seams properly. It makes a huge difference in the overall look and size of each block - and the quilt in general!

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  161. Have fun and don't worry about points matching

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  162. I think every new quilter should know that there is no one right way to piece, quilt or bind. find what works for you. Try different techniques until you find what works best for you.

    :)

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  163. That no quilt is EVER perfect. When I finished my first quilt I initially could only see the mistakes. Now I can enjoy the colors & patterns - and rarely notice the imperfectsion.

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  164. New quilters need to remember to keep their fingers out of the way of the rotary cutter blade! (Actually, all quilters need to remember to do that!) Ouch.

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  165. I'm not reading any other comments so I at least have something to say here. *S*
    My one big advice to a new quilter would be to RELAX and have FUN. That's it.

    Thx for the chance to win these great prizes.

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  166. Sqaure and resquare your blocks! It might save you a pucker!

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  167. Always buy more fabric than you think you need! You sure don't want to run out of that special one at the end!!

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  168. Measure twice, but once. Thank you for the chance to win this wonderful book!

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  169. oops it should read CUT! once, sorry.

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  170. Buy what you love, and make what you like.

    thanks for the giveaway!
    alli b

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  171. You get better by doing. Go for it and you will learn through the process.

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  172. Every new quilter needs to know that there is not just ONE way of doing things. Make it your own, don't let the RULE MAKERS discourage you!

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  173. I haven't finished my first quilt yet, but I have learned the necessity of consistent seam allowances. Several of my nine-patch squares were smaller than the majority, but I've decided to go with my mistakes and use them for part of the quilt back! So, advice: roll with the punches. Just because you didn't do it perfectly doesn't mean it's wrong.

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  174. That a walking foot is pretty essential for quilting. thank you! (anita@monery.net)

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  175. I'm a newbie, so I read every comment.
    My one thing is - yes, a thimble IS necessary if you hand quilt. It might take a while to find the perfect one for you, but it's worth it.

    shanghaicowgirl.m@gmail.com

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  176. Have fun! Quilting should be about the creativity and relaxing, not a super stressful undertaking.

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  177. Oh I know!! Make sure you dont have your fingers in the way while cutting fabric!!! A must know!!

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  178. I have no clue what every quilter should know because I am a brand new quilter. I think I'll read through the comments and see what everyone else says! :)

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  179. Every beginning quilter needs to know how to properly thread and CLEAN their sewing machine, as well as change the needle. This is so essential it seems hardly worth mentioning but I can't tell you how many people I know get frustrated with their machine and don't realize that with a little TLC it will be good to them!

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  180. One of Elizabth's suggestions that I really appreciate is pressing seams open. I never liked the seams pressed to one side and my machine quilter has told me that my quilts are easy for her because the tops are so flat. I also think new quilters should just dive in and take a chance! Thanks for the giveaway--I would love to own Elizabeth's book. More fabric is always nice to have!

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  181. My tip would be to just have fun with quilting and make up the "rules" as you go along. Do what works for you and develop your own style!

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  182. I'm very new to quilting -- 1.5 quilts so far -- and I would guess the 1/4" seam is the most important thing. But I love all the advice to relax! That is a little hard for a beginner. I really would love this book. It looks overflowing with great ideas and instruction.

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  183. Just do it! It gets easier, better, more fun the more you make!

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  184. I am a new quilter and I feel like there is so much to know! But I would say the 1/4" seam is very important. Also (this may sound dumb) but right sides together is very essential too. Before I started, I didn't even picture that I would be sewing right sides together.

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  185. Unless you are planning to enter your quilt into a competition, mistakes are okay. Let them be, and have fun creating.

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  186. Don't force it! Follow your instincts! And identify your own style.

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  187. Every quilter needs to know that a quilt is just a blanket really and there is no mistake or error that is going to keep it from being a blanket! Loosen up and enjoy the process!

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  188. As an intermediate quilter, I think that the most valuable thing my beginner self learnt was that it's worth ripping out the occasional goofy seam to get it just right. You can totally see when points don't match up, it's worth the extra time and effort to at least try and get it right! But then not to beat yourself up too much if even after ripping and trying your best it's still not perfect!

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  189. A quilts first wash and tumble sorts out a lot of minor niggles and mistakes. I learn more each quilt I make

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  190. Quilting and patchwork are only cutting up fabric and stitching it back together again.

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  191. I think it's important to recognize that you'll make some mistakes, and what matters is how you feel about them. Do you need to rip something out and do it over again so it's perfect? Only if YOU care about it! I came to love some of the small mistakes in my quilts (and ripped out and re-did some that bothered me), and mistakes remind me to appreciate that these are handmade, one of a kind items.

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  192. Choose colors you love for your first quilt because you'll enjoy working with those fabrics through the various steps in making a quilt. Wash all the fabric before it's cut or sewn.

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  193. Freezer paper is an amazing tool! Also, spend the bucks to get a big cutting mat. It will make cutting fabrics so much more pleasant!-Andrea

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  194. Every new quilter should know that it doesn't have to be perfect! It's the thought and feeling that went it to making it that is so much more important.

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  195. Being a new quilter myself--I'm currently piecing my first)--I can't say I have much of an answer. Step-by-step instructions that don't assume you know certain things already have really helped me though, so I'm looking forward to getting a copy of this book (it's already on my Amazon wishlist.)

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  196. Fundamentals are important, and then break out of the box and be creative.

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  197. The old adage of measure twice, cut once.
    Accuracy, not speed, is the goal. Careful, accurate cutting will make the over-all process a much "happier" experience.

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  198. I think the fewer rules given to a person the better so they can create without feeling restricted. I agree though that knowing fabric makeups and quality is important so that you get the results you expect.

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