Author: Laura Ehrlich

Publisher: Alpha Books – 162 pages

Book Review by:  Laxmi Chaandi

In this book by Laura Ehrlich, who has taught quilting in craft stores, adult schools and recreation programs for 35 years, you learn what tools and supplies you need; how to choose coordinating fabrics and calculate how much you need of each; tips on making templates; how to piece your blocks; the basics of batting, backing, and basting; and how to design, cut and stitch your quilts, make appliqués and add finishing touches.

The book has got photos of finished quilts, as well as lists (with some drawings) of the tools of the trade you’ll need to make the quilts, such as graph paper, hoop, knitting wool, oak tag paper, pencils, pins, poster board, quilting needles, rotary cutter, rubber cement, rulers, seam rippers, sandpaper, scissors, thread, thimbles and other things.

To help you get started with ideas on what to quilt, the book has got diagrams of numerous designs for you to choose from, whether you’re going to quilt with your hand only or a sewing machine or both.

Like other Idiot’s Guides books, this one is organized into a few parts with a broad outline and subject matter, with each part having chapters pertaining to a portion of the subject matter.

This book gives you an overview of its content with five parts.

Part 1 – Getting read to quilt –  outlines the basic types of quilts and the decisions you need to make in choosing the quilt you’re going to create from among the quilt patterns in the book, keeping in mind the size and color scheme of your project.

Part 2 – What you need to get started – teaches you about the equipment and tools, materials and supplies you will need. Many of the items can be found right in your house. In many cases you will need to purchase only the fabric, a hoop and quilting needles and not much else.

Part 3 – We’re home and ready to go – informs you about the qualities of fabrics, the templates and quilt patterns to be made and transfer them on to the fabric, and how to cut your fabric and put pieces of the quilt together.

Part 4 – Let’s put it all together – gives you step-by-step instructions on the stitches that will help make your quilt durable. It informs you of the practicality of machine-made quilts and how quickly they can be made. After making your blocks, this section shows you how to put them together and frame them out into your quilt top.

Part 5 – Assembling your quilt – helps you on the filling, batting and backing aspects of quilting. This includes how much and what types materials to purchase for your quilt. This section also shows you how to hold your “quilt sandwich” together in wrinkle-free layers instructs you on basting and shows you how to make three-dimensional quilts.

This slim book is written in a way that instructions and directions are easy to comprehend. Much of its value is in the illustrations provided in the book, making it easy to follow the written instructions. So if you want to learn quilting quietly, quickly buy this book without further question and quibbling and you can quench your thirst for knowledge and quite likely succeed in your quest to become a quilting queen as long as you do not quit before you reach your goal. Learn from Laura Ehrlich who has been in this field, quilting and teaching quilting for 35 years.