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Quilter's Academy Vol. 3—Junior Year

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Product Code: 10698
128p, color
Quilter's Academy Vol. 3—Junior Year
A Skill-Building Course in Quiltmaking
Authors: Harriet Hargrave, Carrie Hargrave
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Triangle Perfection

• Welcome to the 3rd volume in the Hargrave's popular quiltmaking series that takes you from the basics to complete mastery!
• Add 8 new methods to your repetoire for creating precise, half-square triangles
• Learn how to make three-triangle unit squares, quarter-square triangles, as well as the Flying Geese and Feathered Stars blocks
• Discover new “internal frame” border ideas to make your quilt designs even more dynamic

Bonus 16 projects! You studied the fundamentals in Volume 1, then you built your design skills and worked with diagonal sets in Volume 2. Now you'll learn how to make a variety of triangle blocks with accuracy, precision and ease. Harriet and Carrie also share creative quilting ideas so you can beautifully complete your quilts.

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Review By: Karen Platt,    - June 8, 2011
If you have got Vol 1 & 2, you'll be welcoming Vol 3 with open arms. The lessons are arranged in classes. It introduces more tools, a review of what you have learned so far, cutting, design, foundation pieces and more. The projects are really good and help you to get to grips with the lessons. The whole book is based on triangles and the variety achieved in the projects is amazing. Think outside the triangle! The instructions are clear and are well illustrated with good photographs. There are professional sewing and cutting tips throughout the book and ideas for your workspace too. I would buy this just for the projects even if I did not need the tutorials. Highly recommended - it does what it says - it is a skill-building course. 

Review   Fabrications Quilting For You - June 1, 2011
This is the third in the series of skill-building courses in quilt-making, which promises to take you from the basics to complete mastery. Add 8 new methods to your repertoire for creating precise half-square triangles and learn how to make three-triangle unit squares, quarter-square triangles, as well as Flying Geese and Feathered Star blocks. There is an added bonus of 16 projects on which to practise your new skills and by the time you are at the end of volume 3 you should be ready for any quilting problem that comes your way.

Review By: Sherida Warner,   gjsentinel.com Grand Junction Sentinel - September 24, 2011
Today's quilters are too much like today's doctors, bemoans renowned instructor and quilting expert Harriet Hargrave. "We're too specialized," says the owner of Harriet's Treadle Arts in the Denver suburb of Wheat Ridge. General practitioners of medicine are scarce these days, and quilters parallel that trend by limiting their areas of expertise. In generations past, quilters had to master all aspects of their needlework - from drafting their own patterns to carding their own sheep's wool to make batting. But today, many of us don't know how to tackle some details of our art. Knowledge is getting lost, Hargrave frets, and she's on a mission to improve workmanship throughout the quilt world. In doing so, she's enlisted her next generation, daughter Carrie, who recently joined the business. Together, the two are writing a series of books titled "Quilt Academy," published by C&T Publishing. These do not contain typical quilt patterns, rather they're full of information, Harriet Hargrave says. Each book is a skill-building course, and Volume 3 - all about triangles - was released earlier this year. As a quilt teacher for 35 years and a quilt shop owner for 30 years, Hargrave has experience in every facet of the business. "I live, sleep and breathe quilting," she says. Hargrave spoke this summer to guilds in Grand Junction and taught a two-day workshop on machine quilting. She'll return to the Grand Valley next month to lecture and teach members of S&B Quilters in Hotchkiss. Her workshop already is full, but guests can attend her Machine Quilting Trunk Show at 9 a.m. Oct. 15 at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss. The fee for nonmembers is $2. Hargrave is most famous for her heirloom quilting by machine. Until she spoke and showed her work in Grand Junction, I didn't fully understand what that meant. Her tiny machine stitches look as though they were laboriously sewn by hand. She defines her technique as "hand quilting with an electric needle," a definition Hargrave has trademarked. To accomplish this dense effect, she uses thin thread and a tiny size 60 needle. A method she calls "warm-up" blocks is important for testing before working on the actual quilt. "Make a sample and try out threads and needles, test your quilting pattern," she advises. "It takes 20 minutes to get warmed up for actual quilting; your brain needs that time to learn the process." Specialty needles, such as microtex (for silk thread only), aren't necessarily needed, Hargrave says. Less-expensive universal needles are fine for piecing fabric together and for some machine quilting. Sharing her disdain for the "hype of marketing," Hargrave says the much-ballyhooed quarter-inch foot and stitch regulator are not essentials. Quarter-inch feet do not work because they don't take into account thread weight and bend of the fabric in the seam allowance, she explains. As for built-in stitch regulators, Hargrave says they don't perform that well either. "You need to learn how to stitch (the design) yourself." Three machine feet most crucial to her work are a walking foot and two darning feet (also referred to as free-motion feet), one with an open toe and another with a closed toe. Finishing a quilt by machine is the best part of the process in Hargrave's opinion. But beginners are over- exposed to the fancy, over-the-top quilts being produced today, which can undermine their confidence. "They think they can never quilt up to those standards," she says. HINTS FROM HARGRAVE Hargrave, however, offers some tips for self-improvement: Gradually build your skills through practice. Don't strive for perfection, but concentrate on precision. There is a happy difference, she says. Starch and press your blocks for easy stitching in the ditch. She starches "every single seam." Cut the quilt border bigger than the pattern calls for. If it suggests 3 inches wide, cut it 5 inches wide, for example. "After quilting, it pulls up and you'll need extra fabric to square it off and make it lie really flat." Having developed two brands of quilt batts - Hobbs Heirloom and Hobbs Tuscany - Hargrave has strong opinions on the 87 types of batting now on the market. "Warm and Natural is not even batting," she says, "it's window shade insulation." Furthermore, bamboo batting is not an ecological choice as advertised. Hargrave says it's one of the most deadly products, because a toxic substance is used to dissolve the wood. It's the advertisement that "makes you think you are doing good." When layering together your quilt top, batting and backing before quilting, do not use spray basting glue. Hargrave says it's not good for your machine needle and it gives off gases and fumes. "Use safety pin basting instead," she recommends. Pin every two inches so the layers don't shift. It should take about 45 minutes to pin a queen-size. This process should be done on a table, not a floor. Clamp the back only, work from the center and radiate out. Make sure your work space is set up ergonomically. You should be able to look down over your work with your machine close to you, 4-5 inches away, "almost in your belly." Stitch in the ditch first to anchor and keep the quilt taut. "It's your first line of defense," Hargrave says. She suggests YLI thread with a walking foot for this technique. Because free-form quilting is difficult on a home machine, it's OK to draw your patterns onto the quilt top and follow them. Quilt to your ability, working on busy prints with nylon thread so your imperfections aren't noticeable. "It won't be wonderful right away, but you'll see progress as you go," she says. Along with these words of encouragement, Hargrave treated the audience to a trunk show. Her own quilting patterns included grid work, continuous curves and clamshells. Despite her reputation for excellence and the quality of the machine stitches she displayed, Hargrave says her work is not flawless. "I quilt because I enjoy it, not for perfection." Such words hearten those of us who still are in practice mode.