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One-Block Wonders of the World: New Ideas, Design Advice, A Stunning Collection of Quilts Paperback – November 1, 2017
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About the Author
Maxine Rosenthal started quilting almost 40 years ago. She made her first kaleidoscopic quilt for her daughter's ninth birthday. Her daughter is now 37 and has many quilts - all kaleidoscopic and yes, she still has that very first one. She lives in Minnesota.
Linda Bardes has sewn most of her life. When her 4 children were little, she sewed everything but their socks. One year she toted her sewing machine around the country and bartered her sewing for unoccupied resort rooms. She lives in Minnesota.
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Using Maxine's previous three books, I used a large scale African animal print fabric to make a OBW (actually I made two from the same print) and they turned out great. (Okay, maybe I had a few hexagon blocks that poofed up in the middle a bit...but that was probably from letting the ruler slip when cutting or my sewing was off a bit but they pressed and quilted out okay. Regardless, the quilts still turned out gorgeous.) I initially decided to make a OBW because I wanted to try something that wasn't a pattern...something that would push me into being more creative and result in a quilt/wallhanging that was all my own design. It worked! That is why I'm back at looking at OBWs and planning a great wallhanging for my entry...something that is uniquely mine and that is a jaw dropper when visitors walk in the door.
WARNING: This book doesn't discuss the basics like how to line up fabric repeats or how to cut strips or triangles. For the basics you will need to use one of the earlier OBW books.
A discussion that I found very informative was about which fabric prints (including the use of panels) work and don't work so well for OBW. Then the authors show you how some of the 30 contributors to the book were able to successfully make those prints work in their OBWs.
A very useful technical discussion in the book is about using rulers or a 60 degree template that has or doesn't have the point. It can affect how your blocks fit together. This is also the case if you plan to add cubes to your OBW composition.
One of the great values of this book is in the variety of pictures of completed OBWs from so many contributors. In the earlier two OBW quilts I made, I struggled a bit about what borders I wanted to add. With this book in hand, it is easy to find border ideas that will inspire you.
The nice thing about OBWs is that other than a sewing machine that does a straight stitch, they take very few supplies: one fabric, flower head pins, some kind of ruler that has a 60 degree line (or a 60 degree template), and a rotary cutter with a very sharp blade (otherwise it will push your fabric out of alignment when you're cutting...then your triangles won't match...remember my poofed up block centers?) If you have a design wall of any kind...even if it is just a piece of batting or flannel tacked to a wall, you are all set to go.
Oh, and when you get that OBW quilt finished....the nice thing is that quilting can be very minimal (you don't want the quilting to detract from the OBW blocks) or as complex as you want (although the only place your stitching will show up much is more than likely in the borders). Some contributors did a simple all over design like a meander while some simply stitched around the triangles in the hexagons.
If you are interested in One-Block Wonder quilts then this book is a winner! Just remember that if you are new to this type of quilt then you need to also buy one of Maxine's earlier OBW books. My preference is "One-Block Wonders encore!" because it includes not only full instructions on aligning the fabric repeats, cutting your hexagons, and piecing but it also details making cubes which can take your OBW quilt to a whole new dimension in design. (Cubes can also rescue a OBW quilt if you aren't happy with your original fabric choice...add cubes and viola! it's gorgeous.)
Happy quilting, my friend.