Among the new titles by Martingale is one that immediately appealed to me: My Enchanted Garden by award-winning quilt designer Gretchen Gibbons. The bulk of the book is dedicated to helping you create a nine-block quilt featuring the happy birds, animals, trees, and flowers that are her trademark. This is followed by eight smaller projects that show you additional ways to combine the plant and animal motifs.
Getchen works in both wool and cotton applique, and she goes over all the techniques for working with these materials prior to starting the quilt instructions. She covers felting your wool, doing both needle-turned and fused applique with your cottons, adding embroidery stitches, and basic quilt construction. The image shown above is called "Zen Bird," and he is part of the first project, the nine-block "My Enchanted Garden" quilt. The block shown below is from this same quilt, and is called "Happy Bouquet." Each block has a pattern, which includes an embroidery guide, a fabric list and measurements, and directions for making the block. This is followed by assembly instructions.
The additional projects walk you through making smaller quilts, a pillow, and a purse. Each of these projects has the same attention to details as the nine-block quilt, with easy to follow step-by-step instructions, patterns, and fabric lists. If you feel that you would like to try this type of applique quilting and haven't done it before, this may just be a good first book for you!
Photo credits: Martingale, photographer Brent Kane
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