Our (my) guild has recently started a library (thanks to the generosity of Lucky Spoon). The choice was not easy, but this month I went for Savor Each Stitch by Carolyn Friedlander. I really like Carolyn Friedlander's aesthetic. It's clean, soft, almost minimalist.
The book explores design principles (Line, Contrast, Scale, Color...). Each chapter is constructed like a lesson , followed by workshops which invite you to explore different ideas, then illustrated by 3 variations of the same project, and finally the instructions for the project itself. There's a techniques section at the end of the book and of course the patterns.
The book has a very nice clean feel, simple and aesthetic pictures, no distractions, just beautiful quilts. I really like it, it is not overload by technical stuff and I'm sure can appeal to quilters of any skills' level.
I also love that Carolyn advocates for slow sewing. The vast majority of the projects are hand appliquéed. I do believe in the benefits of taking time for each stitches. Until I became 'Modern', I was a hand quilter - tiny needles, tiny stitches and long hours rocking the needle up and down. I loved the process of making memories whilst quilting - so many hours spent by the pool while the kids were training, or in the car waiting for the end of ballet lessons, soccer trainings... I don't really miss the bleeding fingers after hours of poking myself. I’m not sure why I never really tried hand-appliqué.
Some time ago, I've been inspired by Cheryl Arkinson and her version of Carolyn's Alturas pattern. It's been on my radar and when I found a charm pack of batiks (I normally don't like quilting batik, still I bought 3 packs!), I started working on it.
So far I have 20 squares done, it is a very slow process – the cutting, the basting, and those little curves, but it’s the perfect portable project for travels.