The I Really Fancy This Book Book Review …

Do you ever get that feeling when you read a book, that this is just the book you always wished someone had written? I feel that way about Laura Wasilowski’s latest book “Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts” from C & T Publishing. This 64-page book will get you acquainted with her unique, easy, colorful and whimsical point of view about creating small art quilts.

Quilters of all ability levels will be successful with the instructions and patterns in this book. Don’t be afraid of the Dreaded A-word (for Appliqué) that appears on the cover. You’ll never be afraid of that word ever again as you let Laura take you through the simple steps of how to be successful with an appliqué process that involves working with paper-backed fusible web.

The embroidery Laura teaches in her book might be familiar to many. Just look at the cute little cottage on the cover of the book to see how the embroidery is livening up the scene. Using a series of simple stitches to embellish these quilts certainly doesn’t look like your grandmother’s hand-embroidered tablecloth! Laura shares a wealth of information about the needles and threads to use for the Fanciful Stitches. (I know I’m not the only one who has wondered what size needle to use with which size thread for embroidering by hand!) There are excellent diagrams of how to make the stitches, too. For readers who might be feeling not-so-confident about their designing skills, Laura provides full-sized patterns for 11 charming house-themed quilts!

Each page of this book – and I do mean each - is filled with colorful photos and great illustrations as well as friendly text in which Laura’s terrific sense of humor shines through.

Since I live near the Puget Sound waters in Washington state, I am particularly fond of Laura's Houseboat Quilt.


Thank you Laura, for taking time to answer a couple of questions:

JM: How did you learn about dyeing fabric and threads?

LW: As a young lass I had a work/study job in the costuming department of my college where we dyed fabrics for the costumes. As an older lass, I took a formal dying course with Michelle Whipplinger. There I learned to weigh and measure all the ingredients for direct application of the dye to the fabric so I can get repeatable color. I have developed over 250 color formulas but usually stick to the 30 needed for Artfabrik colorways. But my greatest joy is Random Acts of Dyeing when you're just pouring color on fabric without a care.

JM: Apart from creating art quilts, teaching, writing books, doing DVDs and running your business Artfabrik, what else do you like to do?

LW: As a self-employed person working out of my house, I've discovered that work is always lurking around the next corner. The best way for me to relax is to leave my studio and visit family or friends. A good murder mystery is my secret vice. Throughout the day I'll sneak 20 minutes here and there for reading. And if I can combine reading with lunch, I'm in heaven! Yes this is also how I spend my free time: making little embroideries. It takes forever but they are little treasures I make just for myself. A sinful pleasure. Here is a detail of a small embroidery. It measures about 3 x 3 inches in total and was free stitched on black fabric. It's called Apple Basket.

Book Giveaway for North American Residents!!!!

Please leave a comment with an email address. A lucky North American winner will be chosen at random to receive a copy of this lovely colorful and fanciful book!


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