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

Recent Events

I’ve been involved in the planning of two different events recently and have some pictures for you, so you can see what’s been going on!

carol-prettyman.jpgFirst, there was a series of quilt retreats in the Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska areas, Hancock Fabrics Demonstrator Carol Prettyman and Mary Ourecky hosted these. The quilt made at the retreats was a Tennessee Waltz quilt, and over 120 women made this quilt up at the various retreats. One more retreat in the Minnesota area is planned for this quilt (see event schedule for information). As you can see from the pictures, everyone had a lot of fun working on their projects, and they took home a beautiful quilt top at the end!

I’ve always enjoyed being involved in quilt retreats, they are a great way to get three days of intense teaching as well as a chance to make new friends that share the same love of sewing. (Not to mention the joy of getting away from all those other excuses that keep us from quilting!) Some of the retreats I’ve been involved with have a ‘core’ group of participants that return year after year – and they look forward to seeing faces from past retreats.

Sewing Machines Everywhere!
Quick Break then back to work!
Finished Project – Job Well Done Ladies!

mary-ourecky.jpgThe next event was in Nebraska, at the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island. I attended this event with Mary Ourecky, another Hancock Fabrics Demonstrator. This was our fourth year at this event, and we had a great time with the participants there.

We had several great models on display. The first photo shows several quilts: (starting at the left) is the quilt from the book Turning Twenty Around the Block (Hancock’s has a fabric kit for this quilt), next is Turning Twenty made from fat quarters, the next quilt was made using the fancy frame ruler from June Tailor to make the scalloped edge (see closeup of this quilt further down) and the 4th quilt was from the book “7-day Quilts” the name of the quilt is “Let’s Play Ball” I made it with space fabric instead. The next photo is a quilt made from fat quarters from the store’s Fat Quarter Singles program. The quilt pattern is called Rose Trellis.

Angel Micro
We took some great new fabrics with us such as this 60 inch fabric called “Angel Micro Solid”. It’s soft and fun to touch – would make a great backing for a baby quilt (I suggest using a tiny bit of quilt basting spray to hold it together while quilting).

We had a great day demonstrating some tools – this is Mary with the Clover Yo-Yo Maker.

scallop quilt
We also taught about some of the different types of quilts and how you could use something like the June Tailor scallop ruler to dress up a quilt edging and make it unique to you.

All in all, it was a lot of fun to help with planning these events. But of course it’s even more fun to attend, and I’ve always loved being able to teach – so the Museum trip was a lot of fun for me. If you’re interested in some of the other upcoming events I’ll be involved in, check out my events calendar at the top of the blog.

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing