Today I am so excited to welcome my son Kevin to my blog to tell you a little about his new applique book. But first a little Mommy bragging is in order, after all how many dedicated quilters can say their son has just
had his first quilting book published. Kevin has always been a gifted writer, with a keen wit and easy to read writing style that truly makes his book stand out. Sure it is filled with great tips and interesting projects but reading along you are sure to be amused by his unique sense of humor. He was always interested in drawing as a child and by the time he was in 5th grade he was illustrating a brochure for his school using his, at the time, signature Cinder dog character. So I guess it should be no surprise that he combined his love of writing and design when he started quilting and and was soon publishing his patterns in magazines. But it was surprising. He certainly had no love of quilts while he lived at home and never touched a sewing machine or needle and thread until he was living across the country in his own apartment. But somehow the seed must have been planted because the quilting bug took hold of him and he has never looked back.
I know I am biased but this really is a super applique book. For those of you that regularly read my blog, I can assure you that the techniques Kevin discusses in his book are the techniques I use. And so it is my great pleasure to turn my blog over to my talented son Kevin.
The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop
By Kevin Kosbab
Interweave/F+W Media; $26.99
If you’re a regular reader of my mom’s blog, hello! Thanks for letting me interrupt your regularly scheduled programming. If the Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop Blog Tour brought you here for the first time, meet my mom, Heather! Have a look round at all her fantastic work. Appliqué must be in the blood.
Neither of us knew while I was growing up that she was nurturing a nascent interest in quiltmaking. If you told my high school self that in 15 years I’d be making my living with quilts, I’d have thought you needed significant psychiatric intervention. In fact, I wanted no part of the quilt Mom was planning for my graduation, fearing that my college friends wouldn’t think it was very cool. (Teenagers are such ingrates.) Even when she bought me a sewing machine to make curtains for my first apartment, quilting didn’t seem to be on the horizon…nevertheless, I ended up making several quilts before I ever attempted the curtains, and I haven’t stopped since.
I’ve got a lot from my mom since I started quilting, and not just free sewing machines, long-arm quilting, and sample sewing. I’ve lost track of all the tips and “have you tried…” conversations we’ve had. Even living on opposite sides of the country, it’s fun to have a sort of fabric buddy who can share in the delight of tracking down that absolutely perfect piece of fabric to complete a block. When I know Mom’s looking for a particular color combination or style of fabric for a project, I can keep an eye out for it while I’m making the quilt-shop rounds, and she often spots new lines that are perfect for me. If we lived closer, we’d probably be raiding each other’s stashes regularly—though with her head start of a decade or two, she has a little more to offer!
Of course, if you compare our quilting styles, you might wonder what we have in common. While our styles are pretty different, we work in much the same way, generally preferring needle-turn appliqué for the streamlined process and minimal preparation. We both love a good fussy cut and, in our own ways, have been playing with broderie perse lately, Mom for a mystery quilt she just showed (among other recent projects) and me in the Garden Allotments Quilt from my book.
Rather than being a barrier to our quilting camaraderie, the difference in our styles is actually an extra benefit. We each get to see quilts through each other’s eyes, which gives me ideas I wouldn’t have thought of on my own (and I’d like to think I’ve given Mom a few ideas, too). If our quilts looked the same, we wouldn’t stretch each other in unexpected ways—the quilts might inspire us to imitate, but not to innovate. Diversity is far more fruitful than homogeneity.
In the book, I mention my mom’s teacup quilt as inspiration for one of my projects, so I asked her to take a photo of it to show you here. Some of her teacups are fussy cut to resemble actual teacups from her mother and grandmother, which I thought was cool even as a teenage ingrate.
Her quilt planted the seed for the book’s China Cupboard Wall Quilt, which depicts dishes in a way that reflects my graphic quiltmaking style and the more mid-century tableware I collect. I suspect the fun for both of us was mainly picking the fabric: Mom in finding just the right prints for each teacup, and me in searching out dish prints related by style and color. (For both of us, a love of dishes is second only to a love of fabric.)
I’m lucky enough to benefit from my mom’s quilting experience, and I also love to browse through non-quilting needlework books, read up on historical processes, and see what quilters of other ages and perspectives are doing—I’m always asking, “How could I adapt that technique or design element?” I hope that, whatever your personal style, you’ll look at my book that way. More than just putting together a book of nice appliqué projects, I wanted to suggest ways to use appliqué that readers might not have thought of. I can't wait to see what people sew up from the book, whether they just change the fabrics of a pattern or jump off from a basic idea to go in a totally new direction. The best part of appliqué is its freedom, so I hope the book will help people open up new possibilities in their quiltmaking that I haven’t even dreamed up.
Thanks Kevin. We really do have fun together in our quilting journey. In honor of the publication of the book I am having a giveaway here in addition to the one on Kevin's blog. Just leave a comment on this blog post and on Monday I will draw for a copy of Kevin's book. Please make sure you are not a No Reply blogger or leave your email address so that I can contact you.
Follow along with the rest of the blog tour, and you can also go to Kevin's blog for another chance to enter to win a signed copy of the book, a bunch of appliqué patterns, and more!