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Quilt Lab-The Creative Side of Science: 12 Clever Projects Paperback – February 1, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

eInsider’s inner science geek was pretty stoked to see this new project book from quilter/author/math teacher Winston, who translates principles of math and science into vibrant, modern quilt designs and projects with 'geek chic' appeal. Each project (nine quilts and three smaller items) includes a story, lesson, and idea that exemplify its scientific design, and detailed directions and diagrams demonstrate the 'scientific process' of quilting. And best of all, these projects prove that geometry can be fun after all. (quilts.com newsletter, 3/14/14)

As a grownup science geek, this book had me smiling from the first moment! Alexandra Winston has designed 12 clever projects inspired by sound waves, molecules, fractals, and more. She provides confident encouragement to readers while sharing her loves of geometry, petri dishes, and video games. Also a middle school math teacher, Ali uses these skills to guide readers and build their confidence with patient understanding. For each project, she shows her initial sketch, her construction method, and the final product. I particularly like the “study hall” boxes, in which she explains the science that inspired her designs. Your science friends and computer whiz family members will surely appreciate the winks and nods to their specialties in these clever projects. Use one of these patterns to create a quilt they will love and appreciate. (Modern Patchwork, Spring 2014)

Who needs remedial math and science classes when you've got a quilt pattern book? Not only did Winston design a series of chic and ultra-modern quilt patterns based on scientific and mathematical concepts, but she also explains the concepts clearly and concisely. The resulting quilts and projects are fresh, fun and totally cool. (Quilters Newsletter, June/July 2014)

This is one of the most fun quilt books we have encountered. Author Alexandra Winston loves math and science as well as quilting, and it is reflected in her very modern designs. You do not need an interest in science to recreate the attractive and fun patterns. There are 12 science-inspired quilt designs, from Petri Dishes to Apertures that will spark your imagination and creativity. The patterns are not always quick or easy, but the clear, concise instructions have you spinning off in your own direction in no time. (Modern Quilts Unlimited, Spring 2014)

This book is filled with twelve geek chic-inspired quilt designs to ignite your intellect and imagination. You'll see scientific disciplines such as chemistry and calculus, transformed into vibrant and quirky quilts. Alexandra also included easy-to-use charts to eliminate those challenging mathematical pattern problems. (Fat Quarter Shop, 9/2/14)

Quilt Lab is unlike any quilting book I have read. Alexandra Winston has written a brilliant book based on maths and made it fun! Never has the words Geometry made me turn a pages, because I get quilting Geometry! Flying Geese, Courthouse steps, drunkard’s path and circles all mathematical in their own way but so not scary. The 12 projects range from a book cover, large cushion to full size quilts, each with full size templates – so important as the desire to make can come at any time and not just when there is a photocopier in sight. Each quilted project has a little written about what inspired Alexandra to make the item and the projects range from straight forward to more tricky – so a great book not just for beginners. The circles are made with an interesting method, not quite portholes – brilliantly explained and each step has good photographic reference. I really like this book, full of interesting designs and really well explained – a must for this years Christmas list if you can wait that long. (Poppy In Stitches, 10/28/14)

About the Author

Alexandra Winston grew up in a sewing family and started sewing for herself in middle school. Drawing upon her art education at an engineering university, she enjoys integrating art into her mathematics classes and mathematics into her sewing projects. Alexandra lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband.
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Kaffe Fassett's Brilliant Little Patchworks by Kaffe Fassett
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: C&T Publishing / Stash Books (February 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607058030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607058038
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.4 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexandra Winston grew up with a very crafty mom. She learned to sew from her mom and grandmother at a yound age and wore their creations throughout the 1980s (mostly in black and neon fabric that she picked out). While sewing clothes didn't always work out for her, Alexandra did always enjoy being able to sew for her bedroom - which was redecorated ever few months.

After college her love of interior design resurfaced and she bought a small, cheap sewing machine to make some pillows. Her husband, Josh, upgraded the machine later that year and although at first Alexandra was taken aback by the gift (a house product as a Christmas present?!) she and Josh now joke that it was the best gift ever. She ventured into quilting shortly thereafter and has been smitten with it ever since.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Shaw on January 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Quilt Lab! A quote from the book's intro: "Science is more than understanding all the theories and rules; science is about communicating these ideas with everyone who is interested... Images and graphs reduce the data to a form that everyone can appreciate and learn from."

That seems to be the theme of Quilt Lab, and it really speaks to me; maybe because I am a geek mom / programmer who loves to quilt and teach her 2 kids (both boys) to love creating and learning.

This book is not a shortcut book. It is more about achieving a really interesting result, and not so much about streamlining the quilting process. And that is okay; there are lots of existing jelly roll books, strip piecing books, and the like. Quilt Lab is about the art of science and communicating it through quilting.

The book contains:
- concepts & techniques
- design process
- 12 patterns/projects
- appendix with some useful measurements

My favorite project is the Aperture Science quilt. I know I am going to make that! The project was inspired by Portal, a video game the author has played. I haven't played it, but my husband and sons have, so they will like the quilt even more. Finished, it will be about 4 feet square.

One project is made to look like a Petrie dish! Isn't that awesome?! Another one is inspired by molecular symbols. Yet another, a mathematical Fractal. There is a quilt called Basic Binary that is lovely, and encoded, but by color rather than "in binary code" which is a good thing (binary code isn't all that appealing).

Not a big issue, but something to note: The project backgrounds kind of have to be solids, because they are often pieced, and a pattern would not look as good as a solid.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sara on February 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
Love this book! I was really curious about it before it came out because, from the cover, I could see that the projects would be related to science. I love my collection of quilting books, but sometimes projects start to look the same (a dresden plate, etc. etc. etc.). I thought the projects were unique, and it was great that different things, like angles of triangles, were explained. There are also text boxes for some of the projects, called 'Study Hall', in which the scientific inspiration for the project is discussed. I thought that was pretty cool.

My favorite projects from the book are States of Matter and Calculus. I'm looking forward to making both of them. Templates needed to make the quilts are in the book, at full size, so I was grateful that they didn't need enlarging. There's also some great instruction for sewing with circles.

Bottom line, pick this book up!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CW on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book really IS the best one I've seen since I started quilting. Like Ali, I am a math and science lover, and this book combines that with my love of quilting. Over the past few years, I have seen many books that take older blocks and "modernize" them. While I love "modern" quilting, there really hasn't been anything NEW until this book. And I love that this isn't just the same "make 12 of the same blocks and sew them together" book. If you are looking for something new, interesting, challenging, and incredibly visually appealing, you have found the right book in Quilt Lab!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on January 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am in love with this book! The concepts of the quilting projects are broken down into elements that are easily understood and I've already made a project from it!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lindsay C on May 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
With scienced-themed quilts and projects, this book is a really unique concept that I've not seen before. The designs are broken up into sections based on their basic elements: rectangles, angles and curves. Each quilt design has a story to tell, relating to themes like calculus and binary code, to bring out the geek in all of us.

I've already sewn the "Echo" quilt featured on the back cover, and I found the piecing method revolutionary! Ali's templates were easy to use and the step-by-step photos were easy to follow. I made this quilt a little bit at a time over the course of four days,
and I especially loved Ali's suggested quilting pattern and how they resemble an echoing sound. I don't normally quilt straight lines or worry much about precision, but I found it completely enjoyable and appropriate for this project. This is a really original, fascinating quilting book that I'm happy to have in my collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen M. Blankenship on July 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I haven't made any of the quilts yet but the patterns are well written. It's fun how they tie in science and math. This patterns would be good for men and women, boys and girls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Kelly on March 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Am excited to begin projects - have looked through most of the book, and directions seem clear and concise. Beautiful photographs. Love this book!
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