Remember last years Pillow Collective posts? I made the most adorable patchwork bear pillow that still sits in our living room, and is loved by all. This year Amy organized us for another round of the Pillow Collective (with a giveaway) and we are all making pillows from her new book Think Big. It’s a really great book for making quilts any size you want. The blocks are all 18″ square and each quilt has a chart that helps you with the math to determine the yardage you need for the size quilt top you want to make, as well as the number of pieces you will need to cut. The charts can go from pillow, to table runner all the way up to a king size quilt. I think the beauty of 18″ blocks is how quickly a quilt can grow.
I grabbed this image from Amy’s post, and in it she shows you an example of how to figure out all the pieces you need. The spots in red are blank in the book so you can write in your own numbers as needed for the size quilt you will be making. At the beginning of the book she explains using these charts in detail. I didn’t have any trouble following along and figuring out the math for a quilt. She also has quilt top diagrams showing you the number of blocks and the layout of each size, which is very handy for visualizing the final quilt and to help you with the math portion. There’s diagrams for all of the quilts and photography of multiple projects for each of the patterns. I was really impressed with the book layout and information provided. Martingales books must have gone through a recent design revamp. I have just been very impressed with the quilt books they are publishing. Something else I’ve noticed lately is that the template pieces for the projects are with the patterns, rather than at the back of the book. There’s no guessing what pieces you need to print off, because they are right there for you.
There were several blocks that appealed to me in Think Big, but the cover quilt was one of my favorites. It was a simple pattern that really allows you to show off some favorite fabrics. I had a few fat quarters that I just adored and hadn’t found the right project for yet (I have completely forgotten what this line was, it’s a few years old now and I think it was by Dear Stella…). I love these bigger blocks when it comes to pillows for my front room, and that was exactly where this pillow was going. I have been meaning to redo the pillows in the living room for a year now and just haven’t found the time. Well, I now have one pillow done and three more to go.
The block went together really fast and this will be a pattern I turn to again when I need to quickly put a quilt together for a last minute gift. I have had this pillow top done for a few weeks, but hadn’t gotten around to quilting it yet. Even small projects like this I load onto my longarm, but I’ve been busy with client quilts and then I loaded my own Birchen quilt this weekend so I had to settle for some simple quilting on my domestic machine – strictly straight stitching for me. I did my usual pillow with an envelope back. Simple and efficient. Although now i’m wishing I would have done the hidden zippered closer like last year.
Amy is linking to the Pillow Collective posts each day and i’ve really enjoyed seeing what everyone has made. She also has a giveaway going on for several fat quarters bundles as well as a quilt she made last year (you can see photos and get more information here).
To enter to win you need to pin an image of one of the pillows from the Pillow Collective blog hop to Pinterest with the tags #thinkbigbook and #pillowcollective. There is no limit to the number of pins you can add for chances to win. Amy will use the tags to search for her winners, so don’t forget to enter both of those into your pin description. She will select winners over the weekend and post them on Monday, March 2nd.
Amy is also offering a discount on her book at her online shop through March 1st. Use the discount code “ILovePillows” for 30% off a signed copy of her book. It really is fantastic and I think it’s great for an advanced beginner, and that’s really only because of the quilt math. I think it would be good to have a basic knowledge of quilting before you tackle that, but really it’s so simple to figure out!
Be sure to check out the other Pillow Collective participants to see the pillows they made! Amy will be sharing the links to the new posters each day on her blog.