Sunday, January 08, 2012

Finish Almost Any Quilt - Book Review

As promised, here is the review of Finish Almost Any Quilt  by Marguerita McManus. 

So many readers have asked "How do you join your quilt as you go projects?"  Since the method I use was taken from a copyrighted work,  I  contacted the author to ask about sharing it.  We both agreed that it wasn't a good idea to try to squeeze it in a blog post.  However, after looking at some of my work and some of others who adapted her method, she realized that another book would be great.
Marguerite kindly sent a copy of this book as a gift to me.  She said that I actually helped to inspire the book. (Wow, that made my day.)
I have throughly devoured this book.  I looked at how the information is presented.  I looked at the pictures (I love pictures!)  I enjoyed it. And the best part - I learned even more and got ideas!
Before I get going, I have to say that this book is not for everyone.  Here is some text (used with permission) from the Amazon description:

This book is meant for people who want to make and finish a LOT of quilts and who are not fussy about "perfection". If you want to spend a year making a perfect quilt, this book is NOT for you. 
If you are a brand new quilt maker who has been intimidated by the idea of trying to quilt a huge quilt, I hope that you'll read this book with inspiration and then find a block that you like and make your own quilt, your way, and finish it with me. 

You will be surprised at how quickly you will have a finished quilt on your bed! If you are an intermediate quilt maker who is tired of struggling to machine quilt your own quilts on your home sewing machine, I hope you'll find inspiration in my machine quilting techniques. You'll see how easy it is to put together a finished quilt using the methods in this book. 

If you are an experienced quilt maker, let's turn "I need to finish these quilts" into "I can finish my quilts this way! I like this look and I'm sure I can do it!" 

If you've vowed "No new projects until I finish something," let's finish your quilts together in a whole new way, quickly and easily. 

You loved your quilt projects when you started them, now let's pull them out and fall in love with them again and finish them in lots of new ways! 

If you are a perfectionist, this is not the book for you - I break a lot of "traditional" rules and you may not like it. 

If you want to make award winning, blue ribbon quilts, this is definitely not the book for you because I don't follow traditional rules. If you want to finish lots of quilts easily, I wrote this book just for you! 

If you: 

  • love playing with blocks 
  • want to finish your quilts yourself 
  • like change and adaptations 
  • are open to new ideas 

------------then this is the book for you! 

Now, on to my review.
In this book, many topics are covered.
Planning discusses options for finishing up completed tops (you may have to do some un-sewing!) But it also explains choosing patterns that work well for this method.  She very honestly states that some patterns just won't work for this.  But so many do work for it. Even if some require a little tweaking.
This Chinese Coins quilt (sorry about the lighting problem) 
is one that I made using the method.  It really didn't require any tweaking.  

Other things are settings and there is even a section on tee shirt quilts. (I wish I had that when a friend was having difficulty making one - the tips are excellent!)  Of course the actual construction method is in the book. There is a nice section on "how to quilt" that includes some basic free motion quilting.

Have you ever made a quilt and realized it was a little bit too short or maybe not wide enough?  How about just adding some borders right before  you bind it?  Yes that is in this book too.  I have done this and it works great! Don't believe me?  That Chinese coins quilt has added borders.

Another nice section talks about binding.  This method is "all machine binding" which I use a lot.  But you can still finish the binding on these the traditional way if you wish.  I did that on one quilt I made this way.

If you are looking for a way to quilt larger quilts yourself on a small domestic machine, This just may be the book for you.  I am giving it my  golden thimble rating. (And that is my best rating! Just so  you know.)  I wish that I had found this book when I first started quilting.

Should I have a giveaway for a copy of this book?  What do you think?  (comments will certainly influence me to do it; so speak up.)


Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

Gene, how exciting to have inspired a book! I love reading new craft books especially when they have wonderful pictures. I think it is a great idea to use a quilt as you go method to finish up all those flimsies we all seem to have at one time or another. I haven't tried any quilt as you go techniques because I haven't found a method that works for me and looks the way I want it to. I'll have to check out this book.

LindieLee said...

This is a quilt pattern from "Crazy Short Cut Quilts" that was a Christmas present for my Mother-in-law. Marguerite McManus is an awesome teacher, I have watched her videos many times over and have found emailing her questions to pick her brain very helpful and personable. Yes do give a book away. I would absolutely love a copy.

Pat said...

I'd love for you to have a giveaway of this book...although I doubt I'd be lucky enough to win it! It sounds like something I really need to learn as it gets costly to send things out to be quilted. Thanks for taking the time to read this and review it so nicely for us.

Cyndi said...

Great review, Gene, and very helpful. Still being a new "quilter", I will probably continue sending to my quilter the ones that I want/need to be perfect. But, I would love to actually quilt something for myself, and this sounds like the way to go. (I love the piecing of a quilt, but I am intimidated by the quilting part!)

So thank you so much for the review, and yes, please, have a give away! :o)



Melissa ;-) said...

Gene, just about the last thing I need is another book on my shelf. However, I am very intrigued by the tips on quilting large quilts. I got a Barnes and Noble gift certificate for Christmas, maybe I'll have to see if they can get this book for me!!

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

By all means have a giveaway. I'm intrigued with this idea. Very good review!

Barb said...

Wonderful book review....

Snoodles said...

Great review, Gene, and congratulations -- how wonderful to be singled out as an inspiration for the author! Hey, we all know you're super...glad others recognize it, too! LOL
And yes, puh-leeze, have a giveaway, and I will cross my fingers that I win! Heehee!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

You know I have two sets of blocks finished from Moose on the Porch and another set on its way....hmmm maybe this book will work for those....grin. Still time for you to join the lastest GAL (giggle). Just kidding.

I would love to win, but you know that!

Good Review Gene!

Sallie said...

Yes, please! Congratulations for being an inspiration for the book - it looks like a very helpful one!

Jeanne in Ohio said...

I'm really intrigues by qayg and even have one started (from 5-6 years ago) that I haven't finished. Maybe this technique would work for me. I'd love to see this book and a giveaway would be wonderful!

Jennifer said...

Yes Gene you should:)

Mom C said...

Yes you should. This sound like a book I would really, really use. I sound like every one of those people except the perfectionist!

JJ said...

I think after reading your review, I may just have to buy this book. Work doesn't leave me much time to finish quilts and I need all the help I can get. Thanks for sharing, there are so many books out there it is hard to decide which ones are worth buying.

kinter said...

I can certainly see why you would be a source of inspiration for the writer. Apparently, she recognizes great talent!
This book looks so wonderful. I HATE struggling with a giant quilt top in my tiny machine. I say go with a GIVEAWAY! Hooray!

Quiltin' Sandy said...

Hi, Gene! I loved the comments in the book. As someone with plenty of ufo's it really appeals to me. I have never done a quilt as you go, or all machine binding, any machine quilting at all, and I have a hand pieced "Storm at Sea" top that is not long enough and have been procrastinating over it- even thought of trying to "unsew" the centre part and add a medallion, didn't even occur to me about the borders.
I hope you can have a giveaway of this book! Sandy. :)

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

I think a giveaway would be great! You did a wonderful review of her book, I've visited her blog where she has a lot of great information too!

Norma's Place said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norma's Place said...

love the idea... and I have been a follower of your for a year or two now Gene.

Norma's Place said...

Love the idea of learning a new skill, and way of finishing of some of my quilt as you go's so I can get them off to grandkids or the local nursing home as soon as I can. You did a great review and it would lovely to have a chance to win the second book inspired by yourself.

Norma's Place said...

I posted about your giveaway on my blog too! :)

Mary C said...

I love Marguerita's techniques. I plan to do several quilts this year and think her ideas will give me a great way to accomplish my goal. I hope to be able to adapt some of the quilts I have in progress to finished projects. Thank you for the giveaway!

Cindy said...

I think a giveaway is a stupendous idea. I could certainly use the book. Thanks Gene!

Jane said...

I really like her first book and would like her newest one. Sounds like you should have a give away, I know I would love to win one.

Linda said...

A giveaway would be a great idea. Who wouldn't love and use the book?!