Sew first, plan second

When Kathleen Loomis sat down to write her book about designing quilts she must have had a lot of fun because this book is chock-a-block full of hints and happiness. She has taken a simple traditional block, the Rail Fence block, and turned it on its ear. Never will you see so many variations of striped blocks.

Not only is Kathleen a master quilter, she is also a seasoned teacher and writer. She speaks to my heart when she says Sew First, Plan Second. I've never been patient enough to sit down and plan, map and build a quilt. The few times that I did that the life went out of my studio. I felt like I was a prisoner wrapped in freezer paper. Just can't do it. Kathleen's experimental layouts and clear diagrams of different settings make thinking about your own design as simple as, well, jumping a fence.

But wait! There are bonus sections. Kathleen generously gives us some very sage advise on choosing colors, mixing values and using focus fabrics. Hints for assembly give us a hint on how she approaches her own work. Her questions and answers will serve beginners and experienced quilters alike.

So, if you are also impatient to get it going, take a look at this book. Through easy to follow diagrams, samples and questions, Kathleen will make designing your own quilt an easy and exciting new venture.

See Kathleen's blog here.
See her award-winning work here.

 Reading through Kathleen's book these past couple of days made me get out some of those scrap rail fence blocks in my stash. I think I may have moved too fast! Maybe I need to re-read a couple of chapters.

Reading through Kathleen's book these past couple of days made me get out some of those scrap rail fence blocks in my stash. I think I may have moved too fast! Maybe I need to re-read a couple of chapters.

 Here is one of Kathleen's rail fence quilts, this one all in plaid.

Here is one of Kathleen's rail fence quilts, this one all in plaid.