Projects from the new book Homestyle Quilts
How much time do you set aside each month, each week, each day to quilt? With schedules, commitments, and responsibilities aplenty, finding moments to devote to creativity—simply for creativity’s sake—can feel like an impossible challenge. Creative pursuits often go missing as we sift through our day-to-day obligations. But there are ways that we can carve out moments to dedicate to our passion—moments that offer benefits far beyond a finished quilt.
Kim Diehl, a six-time bestselling author, and Laurie Baker, a designer and writer who’s also edited many quilting books (including several of Kim’s), feel the same time-crunch in their own lives. The pair became friends while working together on Kim’s book Simple Seasons. Now they’re collaborating in Homestyle Quilts, a book dedicated to not only inspiring you with easy scrappy quilt patterns, but offering you simple dinner recipes to fix and forget. Because although family feedings may be a daily must-do, moments in your sewing space are just as important to create and keep.
Read how Kim and Laurie formed their time-saving alliance, and how they’ve designed patchwork quilts that you—yes, you!—can make in brief bits of time. Their key message? Plan ahead. Make time to quilt. And then, just do it.
See more quilts from the book in the slideshow at the bottom of this post.
Kim Diehl and Laurie Baker
“We” are Kim Diehl, an Idaho quilt and fabric designer and the author of Martingale’s “Simple” series of quilting books, and Laurie Baker, an editor and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the quilting, sewing, and crafting industries, who lives in Illinois. While working together on Kim’s book Simple Seasons several years ago, we became more than just colleagues . . . we became fast friends. And although we live more than a thousand miles apart, we remain in touch almost daily, sharing a passion for quiltmaking and a love of delicious meals—especially meals that can be prepared easily and don’t tear us away from our sewing rooms and busy schedules for long.
Comparing quilting projects and swapping recipes is something we do frequently, and one day as we were visiting, we figuratively put our heads together and realized that there are scads of other quiltmakers who are just like us. We all love gathering up our fabrics and diving into a brand-new quilt project, and we really love quilts that are quick and doable and don’t eat up months of our life. And because we also love delicious meals but don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing them, we create and search out recipes that are tasty and mouthwatering, especially those that can practically cook themselves. What better way to free up time so that we can fit more into our busy days?
Our goal as we worked together on Homestyle Quilts was to create a well-rounded collection of quilts—projects that feature a simple blend of patchwork and appliqué but don’t sacrifice style—only the long-term commitment needed to make them. And yes, we’ve found that even quilts containing appliqué can be “quick quilts.” Our quilts feature appliqué with gentle shapes and a limited number of pieces . . . we’re quite proud to say we used restraint!
With today’s modern piecing techniques and Kim’s easy invisible machine-appliqué method, any quilt in this collection can be made in about a weekend. This means that you can cut out your pieces and sit down to sew on a Friday afternoon and have a completed quilt top as your Sunday afternoon begins to wind down. Of course, stopping to admire your handiwork or taking numerous chocolate breaks may affect your progress, but we’ll leave that entirely up to you.
And while we’ve seldom met a quiltmaker who doesn’t love a good meal after a long day of stitching, we’ve yet to meet one who wants to spend hours preparing it. So what could be better than turning on the slow cooker or throwing together a quick casserole or soup and letting it fill your home with delicious aromas while you stitch? To help you maximize your sewing time and spend a minimum amount of time cooking, we hope you’ll give some of our favorite tried-and-true recipes a whirl. Your family will think you spent hours in the kitchen, and we certainly won’t tell!
It’s our heartfelt wish that you’ll treat yourself to some much-deserved stitching time, some simple but yummy dishes, and a rainbow of beautiful quilts.
Have Kim and Laurie inspired you to make time to quilt? You can start accruing sewing minutes (or even hours) right now with this quick dinner recipe from Homestyle Quilts, taste-tested and approved by the designers themselves!
So, what’s your favorite go-to meal that makes more time for quilting? (Share your recipe if you’ve got it!)
Tell us about your high-speed supper or other dish in the comments for your chance to win a copy of the Homestyle Quilts eBook! We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won.
Order Homestyle Quilts right now and instantly download the eBook for free—whip up a quick recipe from the book and make more time for stitching today.
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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Bonnie, who writes:
“LOL, while I think it is great that some people think far enough ahead to do crockpot meals when it is a ‘sewing day,’ I just run to my sewing room and start on some project that I have been dreaming about. Meals are what you find in the fridge. I would love to be that organized but would rather sew than spend time throwing stuff in a pot… I tend to grab a piece of cheese and munch while I study my board to see what I need to move around this time. My husband works a microwave very well on sewing days. When I am really lucky, I travel to another state and visit my sister; breakfast is the only meal we fix – we head straight to the sewing room after that.”
Bonnie, we’ll email you about your free eBook. Congratulations!