As a patchwork teacher and quilt designer, I have quite a few friends who work in the same industry, and it’s so exciting when they launch something new.
My lovely friend Sarah Ashford recently released her first book Jump Into Patchwork & Quilting. Designed for beginners, the book walks you through essential patchwork and quilting skills, and then you can put these skills to use with six projects including three smaller projects and three gorgeous quilt patterns. The book is full of clear, step-by-step instructions and lots of photos to help you along the way too. Sarah also has an Aurifil thread collection to accompany the book with five small 50wt spools (the perfect thread weight for patchwork piecing and quilting) with three neutral colours, a must-have for all patchwork quilters, plus Sarah’s favourite colours, pink and aqua, which work beautifully for quilting and top stitching.
You can buy the book on it’s own or get the book and thread collection bundle…just add fabric and you’re ready to start!
Sarah took some time away from her sewing machine to answer a few questions I had about the book and her plans for the future…
1. What inspired you to write this book?
Quilting is my passion and it’s my mission to convert anyone with even a vague interest in sewing to becoming a quilter! When I was asked by C & T Publishing to write a beginner book for quilters I jumped at the chance. It was the ideal time, because so many people had rushed out and bought sewing machines to make masks during the pandemic. I’m so excited to show people some of the creative possibilities of sewing, through small projects and beautiful quilts.
2. As the book is for beginner patchworkers, do you recommend they start with the first project and work their way through, or start with whichever project inspires them the most?
I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning and working your way through the projects. I designed it as a progressive book, with each project teaching a new skill, and culminating in a sampler quilt at the end that incorporates all the skills learnt throughout the book. However, if you did want to dive in and stitch the project that takes your fancy, you can refer to the ’technique sections’ within each project if you wanted to jump in and make the sampler quilt first.
3. Which is your favourite project and why?
Without a doubt my favourite project in the book is the Cherished Sampler Quilt. I had a vision for this quilt right from the beginning and I knew that I wanted it to feature on the front cover of the book. I love hearts, so I wanted a heart block to be included, and I love traditional quilt blocks so I knew I wanted to design a sampler quilt. I spent a long time deciding on the perfect fabric collection for this quilt, and I decided on True Kisses by Heather Bailey, paired with some of the pink ’stitches’ fabric from my own Back to Basics Collection. I have sashed it with white and cornerstones to make the colours really pop. I used one of my favourite walking foot quilting designs to quilt this quilt, and it gives it wonderful texture as well.
4. Can we expect more books from you in the future?
It’s funny you should ask that as my second book, Rotary Cutting Basics is due out in November 2021! This is also a beginners book, sharing everything you need to know about the tools and equipment needed to get quilting, easily and safely. It’s the perfect companion book to Jump into Patchwork and Quilting and ideal for the beginner quilter.
5. Tell me about your upcoming book tour.
I’m really excited about my book tour and I’m lucky to have so many talented quilting friends joining in with the fun. It starts on Monday 15th November, and every day one of my quilting friends (including you) is going to be making and sharing one of the projects or part of a project from my book. I can’t wait to see their versions, with different fabric choices and quilting styles! Each quilter will also have an e-copy of the book to give away, and at the end of the tour on Sunday 28th November there will be a giveaway on my account @sarahashfordstudio to win a hardcopy of the book as well. I hope it inspires those new to quilting to give it a go!
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