"Quilts from Concept to Contest, Advice from a Hand Quilter,” by Suzanne Marshall, published by AQS.Finally got my copy of Suzanne Marshall’s newest book!
Annoyingly, my book arrived damaged. As I was basting a quilt in my front room, I heard something hit my front door hard – BAM! When I opened the door, the USPS postal carrier was picking up the box from my lawn (about 15 feet from my porch!) He said he dropped it. Uh huh, yeah, that’s it. That’s why the box (and the book) had a huge dent in it. Amazon will replace my damaged book, but they shouldn’t have to. ‘Nuff said.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading the book, however bent and torn the pages were. I have admired Suzanne’s hand appliqué and hand quilted quilts at shows. I once attended a hand quilting workshop with her in Lancaster PA. In her workshop, I learned a great tip (but it’s not in the book): Keep a snippet of quarter inch masking tape on the tip of your thumbnail to help estimate that quarter inch distance – great for echo quilting!
Suzanne hand bastes her large quilts on a Berber carpet – great if you can work on the floor. She quilts by hand with no frame or hoop. A photo shows the position of both hands using see-through fabric.
You can also see how she handles the quilt in her YouTube videos. I didn’t quite understand her three methods for ending quilting threads without a knot. Maybe a drawing (or three) would have helped make that clear.
Lots of photos with closeups show Suzanne’s competition quilts.
Judge’s comments are included, some quite humorous. Her signature style of appliqué is emphasized with outline embroidery on blocks framed with appliqué sashing. With inspirations from various art and antiques, she explains her design process from idea to finished product. Several pages illustrate ideas and offer sources for background hand quilting designs. Suzanne’s husband, Garland comments frequently; he recommends that we “... always buy more fabric than you anticipate needing.”
Instructions for Suzanne’s method of Take-Away Appliqué are included, and there are many tips sprinkled throughout for hand appliqué and hand quilting. I will be looking for a pair of “Revlon scissors made for baby fingernails or nose hairs” that can be used on an airplane.
Barbara M. Burnham