Book Review: Turning Twenty

Today I thought I’d share with you some information about a great quilting book that I’ve really enjoyed making quilts from. It’s called “Turning Twenty”, and I was able to get the quilt designer and author of the book, Tricia Cribbs to share some of her thoughts with us.

As a ‘Certified, card-carrying Fabric Addict’ I continually find myself faced with the challenge of creating yet another quilt from a new group of marvelous fabrics! I made my first quilt in the 1980’s, and after I’d made just about all the basic quilts – Log Cabin, 9 Patch, Rail Fence, Trip around the World, etc., I tried my hand at designing quilt patterns. To date, we have published a multitude of patterns, had 4 books published by Leisure Arts, and have self-published 15 books (with two new titles being introduced at Spring Quilt Market in May). I’m also happy to have just designed my 7th fabric collection for Northcott Monarch. My “Beez” collection will be introduced at Spring Quilt Market, and YES there will be a book of patterns for making quilts using this collection!

Now about Turning Twenty – a few years ago, in an effort to reduce the time spent cutting out a quilt and also reduce my sewing time, I began to play around with a new idea. My favorite quilts must have several different fabrics, must be outstanding in appearance, and must be fast and easy to make! When I began to cut and piece my first Turning Twenty quilt I thought ‘now THIS is EASY’! The thing that I hear over and over from other quilters about Turning Twenty quilts is how fast, easy, fun, and addicting they are. So, Turning Twenty became a series of quilt books… each one uses the same concept – turning twenty fat quarters into a fabulous quilt. Those who have never made a quilt or even sat in front of a sewing machine will find instant success with Turning Twenty. With all the great fabrics available these days, it’s a shame to buy them, bring them home, only to stack them up and wait until ‘someday’ to make that quilt! It fun knowing you can gather fabrics in the morning and have a finished Turning Twenty quilt top before time to start dinner tonight! I hope you have lots of fun Turning Twenty, Turning Twenty.Again, and Turning Twenty Around the Block!

Blessings, Tricia

Now, I know it sounds too good to be true, but it really IS possible to complete the top of a Turning Twenty quilt in a day if you have everything ready when you get started to work.

Below is a picture of a quilt I made out of the first book, “Turning Twenty”. The concept is very simple, you start with 20 fat quarters, and each fat quarter is cut into into 4 specific shapes.

Mix up the fabrics to make each block have a different combination of fabrics. This quilt is so easy to make, and can be very simple and restful on the eyes or very exciting depending on the 20 fabrics you begin with. If you don’t have your own stash of fat quarters to use – check out the fat quarter singles program that Hancock Fabrics has – it’s a great source of fabrics.

This quilt is always on our guest bed waiting to offer a warm welcome to friends or family who to come to stay. Quilt size is 70½” x 86½” , or you can add an optional 6” border (which I did) and than the quilt is 82½” x 98½”

Many thanks to Tricia for taking the time to give us some insight into what got her started with these great books. If you’d like to learn more about Tricia, or about the Turning Twenty books, her website can be found at FriendFolks, and the books are in Hancock Fabrics stores now. Tomorrow, I’ll show you some pics from the other two books, and tell you about a fabric kit that has been specifically designed for one of these great books.
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

Book Review: Strip Happy by Donna Kinsey

Strip Happy Book
Today I’d like to tell you about a fun new book. It’s called “Strip Happy – Quilting on a Roll”, and the book is by Donna Kinsey.

This book uses 2 ½” strips of fabric to make each of the quilts, and you will find 8 different patterns in the book. This is a great way to use some of those fabrics you already have in your stash, or there are now fabric bundles of 2½” strips that you can purchase. Some people call them “Jelly Rolls” or “Worms”, if you are looking for them at a Hancock Fabrics store, they are called “Noodles”.
When you get a chance, stop by your local Hancock Fabrics to take a look at this book. You will see that it has some simple quilts as well as some exquisite designs anyone would love to make. The quilts are pictured in bright, springy, and fall colors. You will find something for just about any taste in color or design.


I recently made the quilt called ‘Super Stars’ from the “Strip Happy” book to be used as a model for the Nebraska-Iowa quilt retreats that are being held this spring. The quilt I made is in what was called the ‘traditional’ color option, and quilters at the retreats are also given the option for a ‘bright’ quilt. The colors used in the bright quilt were purple, blues, and greens (seen above).

This quilt was made by experienced quilters as well as new quilters, and everyone seemed to enjoy the construction of the project, as well as the camaraderie of being part of a group working on the same quilt. Below are a few pictures from the quilt retreat:

Hurry up, I’ve got a quilt to finish! Grin 5


Can you find Joyce hidden in this picture?
Friends at the retreat

Mother and Daughter, quilting together

It really was amazing how fast this quilt was to make. There was one change made from the book instructions, when we cut the piece for the star we used the Marti Michel ‘Wonder Ruler’, instead of the pattern provided in the book. Having the ruler for a template made things much easier, particularly since we didn’t have to worry about the stability of a paper copy.One person decided to make the strips around the star all in blues and the star in shades of brown – this made the quilt look like starfish in the ocean.

Please note, all of the Spring quilting retreats have been held already for this area.  Stay tuned for other events!
Note: when I was looking for a bio on Donna Kinsley for this blog, I found something that you will probably enjoy even more – a free glimpse into the book, courtesy of Design Originals. This link will lead you to a free copy of the ‘My Home Town’ quilt pattern from the “Strip Happy” book. I don’t know how long this free pattern will remain on their website, please let me know if the link is ever broken.
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

Book Review: Born to Shop – Life Lessons

Book Image
Born to Shop – Life Lessons

Two things that I have always enjoyed are hand stitching, and chocolate. Well, I’ve finally found a book that let’s me combine both of these loves together. And isn’t that saying on the cover just perfect?

There are ten humorous cross-stitch designs just waiting for you to stitch them into fun projects for your home, or as gifts for friends. This book puts a humorous spin on all of life’s little lessons that we learn as adults. There are great sayings about your first cup of coffee, the dreaded exercise we ‘gotta’ do, stress, friendship, our opinions, our love of chocolate, and more. This book will be new in HancocK Fabric stores this March, most stores will probably receive by the end of the month.

Even if you don’t do a lot of cross-stitch, the book is worth having in your library of crafts just for a laugh when you need one!

The picture below may not be easy to read – the stitching had already been placed in a glass frame when I took the picture.

Saying reads: There is nothing better than a good friend – except a good friend with chocolate
I know I can agree with that – how about you?

This design was first stitched on regular aida cloth, then a border of fabric was added. Finally, it was put into a 12” square picture frame. The fabric used to border the cross stitch is one of the candy calico fabrics that have just started to arrive in the quilting departments at Hancock Fabrics. This spring I’ve seen several different fabrics that have chocolates. The best part is – they’re fat free!

While I’ve pictured a framed piece for my review, I can see these sayings worked into all sorts of things – pillows, totebags, wall hangings, or all ten sayings would look great on a quilt.

And if this book doesn’t give you enough chocolate humor – check out this site: Chocolate Humor. For all you quilters out there – tell me what you think of #18 on the second list from the top: Quilting is my passion, but chocolate comes in a close second. Does that describe you?
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing