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Block Party—The Modern Quilting Bee

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Product Code: 10779
128p, color
Block Party—The Modern Quilting Bee
The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog & 12 Improvisational Projects • Foreword by Denyse Schmidt
Authors: Alissa Haight Carlton, Kristen Lejnieks
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Stash Books logo The quilting bee gets a modern makeover

• From the creators of popular blog, blockpartyquilting.com
• Let go of “the rules” with 12 fun, funky, and improvisational projects
• The fundamental techniques are outlined-from fabric selection to quilt tops to binding
• Projects are perfect for both beginner and experienced quilters

It's hip to be square! In this inspiring book, quilting mavericks Alissa and Kristen chronicle their year-long "virtual" quilting bee. Twelve chapters (one for each month) showcase the designs of today's leading modern quilters along with easy-to-follow guidelines, so you can reinvent their work in your own signature style. Best of all, with this book in hand, you'll have everything you need to start your own online quilting bee and enjoy collaborating with other fabric lovers around the world.

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Review   American Quilt Retailer - May 1, 2011
This Stash book by, Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks shows how whats old is new again. Block Party details the revival of community quilt bees "modern" style through the collective stories of 12 new quilters. Fudamental techniques are included along with a lot of improvisation!

Review   Thimble - May 25, 2011
I have really been looking forward to reading this great new quilting book, Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee and was super thrilled to get a chance to look at a preview copy. Based on the quilting bee the book provides great inspiration for starting your own modern quilting bee, and also 12 lovely quilt patterns that you could make on your own. ach month is a different quilt block chosen by one of the bee ladies, who then sends the fabric and instructions for the block to each of the members. They then each make a block and send it back to the original person, who stitches the top together and completes the quilt. For each month in the book there’s also a write up by each of the contributors about their quilting style and the value they see in participating in the bee. The book has definitely inspired me to think about whether I could start a quilting bee (if only I knew twelve other people who quilted!) But I also love all the quilt pattern ideas – particularly because they’re based on an improvisational piecing style, which is my favorite approach. I found the projects to all be very inspirational, to either make as shown or to use as the basis for your own project – and the photographs throughout the book are lovely as well!

Review By: Anna Luna,    - May 25, 2011
Review Title: This book was written for ME! Book Review: I am the owner of a quickly growing sewing studio and a member of the San Antonio Modern Quilt guild and I think this book was written for ME! It's the perfect combination of a quilts and pattern instructions plus guidance for a beginner and the history behind the blocks. I just love it. Great writing, great photography, I'm so happy to have this to sell in my shop!

Review By: Karen Platt,    - June 8, 2011
Here are fresh ideas, month by month to create blocks and quilts. This book is also about getting together with like-minded people and producing quilts from blocks made by each member of a 'quilting bee'. Instead of cutting on the straight many pieces are cut wonky. The designs include log cabin, squares, triangles, strips, stripes and more. Contemporary fabrics have been used and both the ideas and projects have great wide appeal to a good age range and ability. This book includes clear instructions, good photography, tips and techniques on achieving a professional result.  I really liked this book.

Review   American Patchwork and Quilting - June 16, 2011
Block Party—The Modern Quilting Bee: The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog & 12 Improvisational Projects by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks I love the idea of a quilting bee, but I don’t have many friends outside of work who quilt. Most of my sewing happens alone late at night. That’s why this book about avirtual quilting bee intrigued me. It outlines how 12 quilters from all over the country worked together to make 12 quilts in one year, and how you can too! Here’s how it works: Each quilter picked a month and was responsible for selecting and sending fabric and basic block suggestions to the 11 other members that month. At the end of the month, the other quilters returned their finished blocks to be assembled and quilted. In this book, you’ll find photos and instructions of the 12 finished quilts, along with some thoughts from each member about the experience. If you’re not afraid of improvisational piecing and a design-as-you-go approach, you’ll love the flexibility of the instructions in this book. If you’re used to working with strict cutting requirements and block placement but you’re open to a more free-form, outside-the-box approach, this book would make an excellent tool in achieving that goal. This book has inspired me to participate in quilt challenges to help grow my skills, step out of my comfort zone, and connect with other like-minded quilters. Who knows? Maybe I’ll follow The Hive Mind tips in the book and host my own virtual blog hop someday! On my “to-make” list: Wonky Log Cabin Block (page 12), Wonky Roman Stripe Block (page 50),Polka Dot Block (page 66)

Review By: Howard J. Katz,   Library Journal - July 1, 2011
Twelve quilters, most from different parts of the United States, got together online for a virtual quilting bee. Carlton and Lejnieks, who organized the bee, decided to chronicle the group’s quilting year in a book. To several of these quilters, “modern” seems to mean “wonky”—most of the patterns feature purposely crooked cutting and off-center piecing. A few of the projects veer into interesting territory, including a striking modern Dresden Plate and some intriguing appliqué projects. Although the patterns leave something to be desired, social networking–savvy quilters will be inspired and will enjoy reading about each quilter’s creative process.  

Review   Craft - July 21, 2011
Block Party is a lovely book for those who want to start quilting, but feel somewhat intimidated by the scale and precision of the craft. Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks, both lovers of modern quilting, formed a virtual quilting bee, where twelve quilters from all over the U.S. shared the process of making twelve quilts over the course of a year. The book shares the patterns, color stories, and processes of making for all of the quilts, along with stories of how these quilters helped each other grow new skills and feel connected through making. Block Party encompasses relaxed approaches to a number of time-honored quilt block designs, including the Nine Patch, Roman Stripe, and Dresden Plate. Step-by-step photos explain how to make each block, and an illustrated chapter on basic assembly covers backing, binding, and various quilting methods. Beginners should find everything they need to dive into quilting. What's perhaps most interesting here, though, is the collective story of how these monthly block exchanges pushed the group to learn techniques and use colors they would have never attempted otherwise, and how these "out of the comfort zone" projects deepened their quilting practice. The quilting bee is a time-honored idea, and it's nice to see it play out in the online space.

Review   Australian Homespun - August 1, 2011
The Modern Quilting Bee Block Party by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks There's been a lot of discussion in quiltmaking circles of late about whether the wave of young women who have discovered the craft in recent years and who come to it without a strong background in the classic skills should learn how to do it "properly": their points don't match; there's a strong emphasis on "quick and easy"; and a pinwheel block is considered advanced because it involves half-square triangles that all need to meet in the centre. At Homespun, we are strong advocates of the "live and let live" philosophy. That there are women making quilts that give them enormous joy and provide them with a much-needed creative outlet is surely to be celebrated, even if they don't know what a Mariner's Compass is and have no interest in making a traditional sampler quilt. These women (and admittedly, some men) are very much the future of quiltmaking and their enthusiasm is playing a significant role in energising fabric companies, local quilt shops and - with books such as this one - even craft publishers. This book is a must have for all those who aspire to call themselves "modern quilters". It offers instructions for 12 blocks and the quilts made from them, including the log cabin - much loved by traditional and modern quilters alike - and four blocks that are called "wonky". In addition, there's an overview of basic quiltmaking techniques and tips on how to join, and happily participate in, an online quilting group.

Review   Quilters Newsletter - October 1, 2011
"The Modern Quilt Movement goes from its online origins to print in this book from C&T's Stash Books imprint. It's equal parts how-to and a record of how the Block Party Bee did it. Each of the 12 chapters patterns one block - many improvisational or wonky - and a quilt constructed from the bee members' contributions. Block Party includes tips on adapting the time-honored collaborative approach to quilting to modern media, aesthetics and techniques."

Review   International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene - October 1, 2011
“If you've been curious about how a virtual quilting bee works, or are looking for fresh ideas to make your quilting group more vibrant, look no further. Block Party chronicles the yearlong quilting adventures of a virtual quilting bee and includes not only the quilters' individual perspectives on the process, but also ides and tips to help you start your own virtual quilting bee. This is not just a look at how quilters can use technology to come together, but a realistic approach on how to create a quilting community that can bridge distances to create beautiful, collaborative works of textile art and enduring friendships. The book is broken into chapters, each including patterns with detailed piecing instructions and in-process photographs.”

Review   Fabrications: Quilts for You - October 1, 2011
“In this interesting book, quilting mavericks Alissa and Kristen chronicle their year-long 'virtual' quilting bee with twelve chapters (one for each month of the year), showcasing the designs of today's leading modern quilters along with easy-to-follow guidelines, so that you can reinvent their work in your own signature style. This is from the creators of the popular blog ww.blockpartyquilting.come and, with this book in hand, you will have everything you need to start your own quilting bee and enjoy collaborating with other fabric lovers around the world.”

Review   Austrialian Quilters Companion - January 1, 2012
“Be inspired to start your own quilting bee with the modern interpretation of a quilting tradition. Learn how 12 modern quilters swapped fabrics and made blocks for each other over a year. Learn how you too can conduct a modern quilting bee.”

Review By: Judy Bowers,   Creative Troupe - March 23, 2012
The Modern Quilting Bee: Block Party by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks came out of a virtual quilting bee that Carlton and Lerjnieks co-hosted.  They chose 10 other women to join them each month in making a block each month, assigned each month to a different member.   The Modern Quilting Bee is written to help other quilters form virtual bees online, instructions for forming the groups, and how to help them run smoothly.  Since quilting bees have a long history with quilters, online groups are now the easiest form of the bees now.  Carlton and Lejnieks have written the book, so that if you don’t have a bee, you can still make quilts for yourself. The blocks in the book are listed by month, as each member chooses for their month.  The blocks, that are written with instructions, include the Wonky Log Cabin, the Quartered Log Cabin, the Wonky Nine-Patch block, the String X block, the Wonky Roman Stripe block, the Modern Dresden Plate block, the Polka Dot block, the Uneven Coins block, the Hexagon block, the Wonky Stripe block and the Confetti block. This book is great if you want to quilt with a group of friends, but it also contains twelve free-form quilt patterns that look like they would be a lot of fun to make! http://www.ctpub.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=2236

Review By: Tammy Lineman,   Creative Troupe - August 29, 2012
I made my first quilt about six years ago. It was a basic 4x5 block quilt for my daughter... I was so overwhelmed I would not call it a "quilt". I had to call it a blanket, it did'nt overwhelm me when I thought of it that way.I have done about five since. I was still intimidated by the feeling of needing to get things perfect and was frustrated when they didn't turn out "the way they should". I have been holding onto some fabric that I loved for a years now, not finding the right pattern to make a quilt with it. I decided to make two quilts with it for my nieces. In trying to find the perfect pattern, I ran across your Block Party book. I was fascinated. I had to buy it, that was four days ago. I have been reading it intently since. I have decided to use the Wonky Nine Patch for my neices quilt. But I haven't stopped at that. I have plans to use the Wonky Roman Stripe pattern for a quilt for my 12 year old using black and white patterns and solids and the Confetti pattern for my oldest daughter using leftover pieces from my granddaughters (her daughters) quilt. She loved it so much, I knew this was the pattern I needed to make her one like it.  I showed your book to a friend at work who was a big encouragement in my start to quilting and she looked at me after pouring over the book and said, "This is the permission you needed to go outside of lines."  I absolutely love, love, love what you ladies have done and I have affirmed to myself that I am a modern quilter.  Thank you for making this book!  Looking forward to the next one and coming up with new ideas of my own with this new found permission!  

Review   florasfabrics.com - September 30, 2012
I’ve been so used to trying to get all my seams straight and corners to match that I was a little challenged at first by the free-form concepts in this book about 12 women who had a virtual quilting bee through a blog.But I loved the freedom and economy of string piecing and wanted to go further. This book helped me get past my need for compulsive measuring.They each designed their own project (one was done each month) and mailed packets of fabrics and instructions to the others, who made a block for them and returned it to the designer and eventual quilt owner. That person put the blocks into settings and finished the quilts with stunning results.They experimented with a number of techniques from free-form triangles to paper-pieced hexagons and squares off kilter. Each block maker did a different variation on the theme, played up certain fabrics over others, and the variety makes the quilts very appealing. Besides each being a work of art, every one looks good to curl up under for “Casablanca.”The instructions are all here, but more importantly, there are concepts that can be taken and expanded upon. And there are great ways to clear out your scrap tub.