‘Quilted New York, Celebrate the City in Fabric and Color’
Does New York City thrill you, or someone you love? Gift them (or yourself) with a spectacular Manhattan view. This book shows you how to stitch 11 structures inspired by some of the city’s most fascinating buildings. The buildings are mostly pieced, using my method for turning raw edges under as you go, developed specifically for the challenge of architectural shapes. Then each building is appliquéd (or pieced) in place, anywhere you want it, by hand or machine.
Use these patterns to make a small wallhanging or pillow; or something larger, like the two quilt patterns in the book (One is about 60” square, and the other is about 70”, but you have the ability to change those dimensions with your choice of background and border size.)
This book is for confident beginners and beyond; but even the most experienced quilters will learn from the unique piecing approach. The directions are detailed, but they’re also improvisation-friendly – you can choose to follow the book’s measurements, or do it your way.
Give your quilt a “modern” look by using mostly solids; or for added fun and texture, choose geometrics, including plaids. For a child's quilt, you can put fun figures cut from novelty fabrics in the windows.
Where to find a copy?
‘Scrap Cities: Joyful Modern Cityscape Quilts’
Ever since I started making cityscapes in 2018, city walks have become a treasure hunt. Every interesting building offers a challenge: Find the quilt technique that best expresses it, in the most fun way possible, with a modern improvisational slant.
This 96-page book contains detailed instructions for 25+ buildings; plus guidance and ideas for infinitely more—especially for you to create your own!
Most are pieced. Some require appliqué. I use only fun quilting techniques, like log cabin towers, and the Hotel Bargello. A couple are Foundation Paper Pieced. I’ll do anything to avoid mitering—in my version of Attic Windows, we skip the “y” seams. Some buildings require templates, which are full-size and easy to print out.
Once you understand the principles, you’re going to have fun making up your own buildings, whether you spin off the book's designs, base it on a real building you love, or create something out of pure imagination.
This book does NOT include a pattern for a specific quilt! Make one or two buildings—or dozens. Then the book helps you audition arrangements; and select background fabric to complement your scene. Put everything together with a combination of piecing and appliqué. Quilting ideas inspired by city walks will help you finish. Book includes:
- My piecing method in which raw edges are turned back DURING piecing rather than afterwards. Even complicated buildings become freestanding turned-edge appliques, which can ultimately be stitched anywhere---whether to a pillow, tote bag, or a large quilt.
- See how improvisation, asymmetry, and even mistakes can make your scene MORE realistic!].
- Choose fabrics, especially geometric prints, that save you from piecing zillions of identical windows.
- Artist’s perspective for Quilters, 101. Learn how to create a 3-D effect -- especially taking advantage of print fabrics --- without the microscopic accuracy required to create perspective in drawing or painting. You only need touches of perspective here and there to give your viewers the delightfully vertiginous feeling of being in the scene.
- For a kid-pleasing quilt, put animals and characters in the windows.
- Show support for the “green cities” movement by planting flowers, vegetables, vines, chickens, or your cat on balconies and rooftops!
- “Modern” in the book’s title has two meanings—the modern quilt movement, with strong graphics and simplification; and modern/contemporary architecture. The projects in this book took inspiration from architecture ranging from elaborate Art Deco structures, to grey Brutalism, to postmodern whimsy!
This book serves as the workbook and background material for people who take my cityscape class. You can purchase a paperback copy from book and quilt shops, as well as my Etsy shop. The paperback version is at https://www.etsy.com/listing/1540871200/scrap-cities-joyful-modern-architecture. The digital edition is at https://www.etsy.com/listing/1483905554/scrap-cities-joyful-modern-cityscapes .
Note: There are many New York City buildings portrayed in this book, along with buildings from other cities. However, if you want a to make a purely NYC quilt, with the city's most iconic architecture, from a detailed quilt pattern, see my OTHER book, "Quilted New York, Celebrate the City with Fabric and Color," described above.
‘Improv Log Cabin Triangle Kaleidoscope Quilts’
PDF only, not in print.
Improvisational log cabin piecing squares is so relaxing: Start with a central square or rectangle, and add longer rectangles to each side. There’s minimal measuring and maximum fun! But when you try to do log cabin piecing with triangles, sharp angles are amplified, and quickly become awkward and confusing.
My cure: Piece on top of unmarked paper triangles. Improvisational piecing makes each triangle dance to your unique beat. But the paper’s guidance helps ensure that, in the end, everything will fit. It’s a setup for serendipity, creating unexpected, shimmering kaleidoscopic and dimensional effects!
This 54-page digital book includes more than a dozen improvised triangles and encouragement to invent your own. It includes illustrated start-to-finish directions for table toppers, wallhangings, pillows, bowls, and two large quilts.
Along with a sewing machine and rotary cutting setup, you need an acrylic 60° triangle cutting ruler that’s at least 4” high. Read the description on my Etsy page for recommended brands, which work for these projects, and are inexpensive and easy to find in shops and online. If you already own a cutting ruler with a 60 degree angle, and are uncertain if it will work, email me and we’ll figure it out.
Note: If you learn best from videos, a new on-demand class, with 30+ videos is available here. The digital book comes with that class for no additional charge, so if you decide to sign up for the class, don’t also buy the book on Etsy! However, if you buy the book first here, and later decide to sign up for the class, I will refund your book’s cost.
‘Hexagon Star Quilts, 113 English Paper-Pieced Star Patterns to Piece and Applique’
A comprehensive, scrap-friendly, step-by-step guide to English Paper Piecing (EPP), for beginners to experienced EPPers.
The book has 113 different 6” hexagon-shaped patterns, each a different star. There are illustrated directions for both hand and machine piecing; fussy cutting; basting, finishing and more.
Turn one or more of these blocks into projects small and large – from table mats to large quilts. See some of these projects in my English Paper Piecing Gallery.
This book is not sold in my Etsy shop, but can be found in bookstores and quilt shops, brick and mortar or online!
‘The Uncommon Yarmulke: Fun, Easy and Spiritually Loaded Little Jewish Hats’
Turn any fabric, including family textiles, into kippot (hats) that will be treasured - not just for one simcha (happy occasion), but for a lifetime! Every step is illustrated in this 80-page book, which includes seven different templates for all ages and sizes, from infants to large-headed adults.
There are so many design options. Learn to select and cut fabrics that create spectacular kaleidoscopic stars. Or turn unusual fabrics – including family textiles and silk neckties - into kippot. There’s even a chapter on making quilted kippot, which are cozy and rich in texture. And most of the hats are reversible!
The book is beginner-friendly, whether you're new to sewing, or yarmulkes. There are advanced finishing options for more experienced sewers. Machine sewing is preferred, but they can also be sewn by hand.
One book fits most traditions: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Postdenominational, etc.
Choose between a hard copy (paperback version) to be shipped to you, or a downloadable PDF file of the book. My preference for this book would be to choose the hard copy, although it does cost more. You will have to trace a template, which isn’t difficult, and then you can have the book, with its step-by-step directions at your side as you sew. The hard copy can be purchased here.
With a digital PDF version, you can print out all the pages OR follow most of the directions with your computer or tablet nearby, and print out just the pattern pages. (If you don’t live in the US, please buy the digital version; I don’t ship internationally.)
Find the instant download digital copy of the book here.
'Yarmulke-gami: E-z paper fold Jewish art hats’
Got a wedding or a bar or bat mitzvah coming up? Why buy bulk quantities of boring kippot that your guests will ultimately toss, when, for less money and more artistic fun, you can create them yourself – and maybe recycle them afterwards (or turn them into home décor, like a paper-clip bowl!)
This booklet shows you how to fold almost any paper – handmade paper, maps, newspapers, scrapbooking paper, math tests, vellum, wrapping paper, tax returns, magazines (we used astronomy magazines for my son’s bar mitzvah) -- and more – into sturdy kippot that do stay on heads fairly well (though a bobby pin is always a good idea.)
This 16-page digital booklet includes six different step-by-step folding patterns for kippot, ranging from a simple saucer shape, to hats with unusual folded and/or scored six-pointed stars.
The book also includes inspiration photos of kippot embellished with paint, rubber stamping, decoupage, collage, photos, etc. And there are a variety of ways to customize the inside with names and dates for a special occasion.
There are also patterns and directions for gifts and party favors that can be made from the kippah’s leftover scraps.
These hats really do stay on heads pretty well because of one secret: using scissors that cut a zigzag pattern. You don’t have to buy an expensive pair of what’s called “pinking shears”; just an inexpensive zigzag scissors from a craft store.
Artists, paper crafters, origami enthusiasts, mixed media artists, scrapbookers, recyclers, rubber stampers, b'nai mitzvahs, people planning weddings, and people who just want to have fun will enjoy making these paper kippot, plus celebration-related scrap paper projects.
This booklet is only available in digital form, as a PDF. One you have the file, it’s easy to download just the folding patterns you want to make and print them out.
'Stitch-a-Hedron, English Paper Pieced Polyhedron Gifts and Accessories to Sew'
This book combines two ancient preoccupations – polyhedra and English Paper Piecing – to create 17+ conversation pieces: Toys (novelty print balls for babies, paperweights for adults); home or office décor (bowls, ornaments, pincushions); and artistic accessories (brooches, small handbags).
You can hand or machine sew; many projects will require an inch or two of hand sewing just at the end. Use any fabric, and you don’t need a lot – the projects are scrap- and precut-friendly. The book shows projects made of everything from beautiful quilting fabrics, to neckties, and to upcycled material, like foil coffee bags and candy wrappers.
The 71-page book is available in paperback or digitally. Which is right for you? It’s a matter of personal taste. For this particular book, I prefer the PDF edition, and here’s why.
With the PDF digital edition, you can read most of it on your computer or tablet, and just print out the full-size template page that you need. You’ll save time if you print onto cardstock. The digital edition is only sold on Etsy.
Alternatively, the paperback version is available from Amazon. With it, you’ll need to use tracing paper, or a copier to scan and print out the (few) template pattern pages that you can cut up. That’s an extra step.
If you are not in the US, please buy the digital edition; I don’t ship internationally. Email me if you have any questions about this decision, or anything else!
‘Spontaneous Stuffies: Small Improvised Animals from Precuts, Scraps and Jeans’
Learn my unique way of creating 3-D stuffed animals that stand on four legs (or two legs and a tush, in the case of the teddy bear; or two flippers and a tail, for the seal, etc.) Anyone who knows how to sew a straight-stitch on their sewing machine can do this.
Most stuffed animal sewing patterns have multiple pieces to precision-fit, and it’s especially tricky to pin and sew in a “gusset” that gives the animal depth and the ability to stand up. But with my intuitive approach, the animals’ gussets are created “automatically,” just by sewing around a paper-cut animal shape, with very little pinning.
The resulting animals are 4” – 8” high. Because they use small amounts of fabric they are scrap- and precut-friendly The smallest animals in this booklet can be made from 5" or larger charm squares.
These projects are not designed to be used with tricky plush fabric or fake fur - they're designed for use with strong woven fabrics, like quilters' cottons. Some of my favorite projects so far include a sitting squirrel made from nut-themed fabric; and a ‘quoll’ made from Jane Austen text fabric. Or, use upcycled garments – old jeans are ideal, and it’s particularly fun to embellish denim animals with embroidery, buttons and beads.
The 39-page digital book (PDF) takes you through the process with step-by-step illustrations, and many inspirational photos. For less than the price of one animal pattern, the book gives you 20+ full-size animal patterns; plus a section on how to design your own.
This approach is great for an adult/child collaborations. If the child is too young to use a sewing machine, the child can draw an animal, (as very young children usually do, showing only two legs); and you can learn to turn it into a standing, 4-leg animal.
Full-size animal patterns in the book include: cats, dogs, elephants, giraffes, hippo, pig, quoll/possum/rodent, rabbits, rhino, seal, unicorn, teddy bears, squirrel, and kangaroos (mother and joey - see photos).
Along with a sewing machine and fabric, you will need a stainless steel curved-head serrated hemostat. I don't sell them, but numerous Etsy vendors do, including 'Jewels and Tools Plus' (no financial affiliation), for a reasonable price (total under $12, including shipping). You also need polyester stuffing, widely available at fabric and craft stores. Please email me if you have any questions about any of this!