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

Quilting Book Review – Crazy for Baby

Are there times in your life when you fill like everyone around you is expecting a baby? It seems like that’s the case for me right now. Pretty exciting! But now I need to make baby gifts.

When you love to sew and make things as gifts for people, the most natural gift for a new baby is a quilt. At a time like this, I find that I need quick baby quilts, that will still have a great look. I found a great book called “Crazy for Baby” by Me & My Sister Designs. The book features four fast and fun quilt ideas with 10 color variations.

It seems that when I’m in the fabric store, I always find lots of great juvenile theme fabrics. The only problem with these fabrics is that you won’t want to cut them into small pieces for quilt blocks – the whole look of the fabric would be lost. What I really like about this book is that you can take a juvenile fabric and use for a center panel. You than sew pieced blocks around the large picture. How easy and fast is that? You’ll probably want to make more than one project out of this book!

My granddaughter got a Care Bear for Christmas, and when I found this cute fabric at Hancock Fabrics I thought her Care Bear might need a blanket.

For the pinwheel quilt blocks, I went to the section in the store where they have the Fat Quarter single program. This is a great program, fat quarters arranged on an upright rack by color and shade. Shopping through these is always fun and inspiring. It was so simple to pick-up 5 different fat quarters to complete my color selection.

You can complete this quilt top in a day easily. Perfect for a quick gift for a new baby (or bear) in the family! My finished quilt was 45″ x 50″, yours may be different if you change the borders on the quilt.

After I finished this quilt, I looked around Hancock Fabrics for some other fabrics that would work for this type of quilt. There are so many fun theme fabrics out there! Here are just a few of the other fabrics I may have to consider some day.

And look what came with the Care Bear fabrics. . . a fabric book panel. Make this up and give to the newcomer!

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing