A Batch of QuiltSoup (plus a silly fabric story)

Summer Cottage quilt detail

I’ve been a fan of Barbara Jones for many years and have been eagerly awaiting her first Martingale book, A Batch of QuiltSoup. Why am I so excited? Let me count the ways:

Rose Essential quilt1. Barbara adds simple but unique appliqué motifs to pretty patchwork quilts, with wonderful results! Often whimsical, always beautiful, her appliqué quilt designs are irresistible (as in “Summer Cottage,” above).

2. She’s got a wide range of easy quilt patterns to meet lots of varying tastes (like “Rose Essential,” left).

3. I’ve got a funny little story to share about one of her patterns. Read on for details.

But wait—there’s another reason! There’s a comprehensive section in the book called “QuiltSoup’s Needle-Turn Appliqué.” It’s a complete class on Barbara’s preferred appliqué method, and it includes everything from her favorite supplies and tools to instructions on making a quilter’s knot and executing nearly invisible stitches. If you already have your own favorite appliqué method, you can simply use your method with her designs. If you haven’t yet mastered appliqué, here’s the book for you. Many of the projects have gentle, easy curves, so making the quilts with any appliqué method is a breeze.

Need more reasons why I’m a huge fan? Did I mention the recipes? What’s not to love about Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake? Or Sage and Sausage Risotto? Barbara includes a favorite recipe with almost every project, ranging from soups to desserts and everything in between. Just like her patterns, the recipes are all simple and fantastic.

I love so many of Barbara’s projects that I can’t decide what to make next (see my story below for what I made first). It’s a three-way tie between “Seed Collectors” (below left); a quilt called “Cherry Cioppino” (below center), which would be perfect for some of my big-print fabric; and the very amusing and graphic “Social Networking” (below right)—love the story behind it too!!!!!! (Those exclamation points are a hint to the story!!!!!!). See a slideshow of more projects from A Batch of QuiltSoup at the bottom of this post, and you’ll see why I’m so torn.

Quilt Soup: Seed Collectors, Cherry Cioppino, Social Networking

I was chatting with Barbara last month about how excited I was to blog about her book. I’m lucky enough to see advance copies, and I told her a story about how I’d already made one of the projects from the book, “Petits Fours.” Through her giggling, she made me promise to tell you the story, because most quilters can relate to it. So here goes.

My Silly Story

Petits Fours quilt detailAwhile ago, I went to a local quilt shop with some friends, and I had no projects in mind. The store was having a rare "20% off all fabric" sale, and I was eager to add to my, um, very small stash. I was immediately drawn to a particular wall of pastel florals and started walking around the store with a couple of bolts. Remember, I didn’t have anything in mind. What would I do with this pretty fabric? I noticed an adorable pear pincushion on display and it reminded me of a similar pear pattern I already had at home.

Here goes my fabric purchasing logic: I didn’t have the pincushion yardage requirements with me. So from memory, I concluded that my pear had six or eight gores, with a different fabric in each. So I needed eight different fabrics, right? Moments later, I’m at the cutting counter with my stack of eight different bolts to make this 4″ tall pincushion. I think I must have been caught in some kind of fabric fever. The nice lady at the counter points out that the discount applies only to half-yard cuts. Like an insane person, I say, “Sure, I’ll take half-yard cuts of EIGHT different fabrics to make my 4″ pincushion.” This has never happened to you, has it?

Petits Fours quiltI went home to look at the pattern, only to discover it’s six sections, not eight, and it uses only three fabrics. So there’s a good chance I overbought on the fabric (ya think?!). I eventually made the adorable pincushion, and then began to wonder what I’d do with the extra fabric—nearly four yards!

“Petits Fours” (right) immediately came to mind, because the appliqué is simple and pretty and the piecing looked quick. But of course I wanted it to be a queen-size quilt (don’t try to tell me you don’t alter your patterns!) so I added more blocks and widened the border until it was the right size. I’d gone from having too much fabric to not quite enough, and by now the LQS (local quilt shop) was out of the collection I’d purchased. Several mail-order purchases later, I had enough to make my quilt. It was the most expensive pincushion ever!

Here it is, my “Petits Fours” quilt:

Karen's Petits Fours quilt

And here it is with the adorable, expensive pincushion on top:

Karen J's pear pincushion
You can get the pear pincushion pattern here.

I told you it was a silly story! And guess what? I still have enough fabric to make matching pear pincushions for ALL of my friends.

You can visit Barbara’s blog here.


A Batch of Quilt SoupDo you have a silly fabric story to share? (Don’t worry, you can remain fairly anonymous here!)

Tell your fabric tale in the comments and you could win a copy of the A Batch of QuiltSoup eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won.

Or, you can get Barbara’s book right now, download the eBook for free right away, and make a dent in that stash today.

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Eileen, who writes:

 “This reminds me of the time I fell in love with a multi-colored fabric in a quilt shop, when I had nothing in particular in mind for it, but it was just one of those ‘got to have it’ fabrics. I got home and went to ‘file’ this new prize in the appropriate box in my stash, only to find that I apparently had fallen in love with it before! so, I now have FOUR yards of this wonderful fabric and STILL don’t know what I’m going to do with it!”

Eileen, we’ll email you about your free eBook. Congratulations!


Wow sale: 40% off select books!

Seed Collectors

Seed Collectors

Cherry Cioppino

Cherry Cioppino

Corner Flower Shoppe

Corner Flower Shoppe

Summer Cottage

Summer Cottage

Ellery's Smoothie

Ellery's Smoothie

Summer Runner

Summer Runner


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