Book Review + Project Excerpt: Block Party, by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks

Book Review + Project Excerpt: Block Party, by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks

Block Party – The Modern Quilting Bee, by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks
Book Site: Block Party!
Block Party is a lovely book for those who want to start quilting, but feel somewhat intimidated by the scale and precision of the craft. Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks, both lovers of modern quilting, formed a virtual quilting bee, where twelve quilters from all over the U.S. shared the process of making twelve quilts over the course of a year. The book shares the patterns, color stories, and processes of making for all of the quilts, along with stories of how these quilters helped each other grow new skills and feel connected through making.
We’ll have more pictures and details from the book after the jump. Below, you can find a PDF project excerpt from Block Party – the Wonky Log Cabin quilt pictured above. It’s a beautiful, accessible project for new or experienced quilters.
Edited to add:Sorry, everyone – we aren’t actually hosting a giveaway for this book, although other stops on the Block Party blog tour were.

Download PDF Download the Project PDF
Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. Directions on downloading PDFs.

For each month’s quilt, one member of the virtual quilting bee mailed a selection of fabrics to the rest of the group, and requested the style of block she wanted them to make. Everyone mailed back their finished blocks, and these were then assembled and quilted. At the end of the year, each of the members had a lovely quilt representing the whole group’s talents.
The group settled ahead of time on a modern style of quilting (Alissa is a founding member of The Modern Quilt Guild), and they agreed to work in what the book refers to as a “wonky” mode. The quilts in the book use a lot of improvisational piecing, which involves not worrying so much about straight lines or precise angles. While traditional quilters may find this style a little too loose, the resulting quilts have a nice freshness and energy to them.
Block Party encompasses relaxed approaches to a number of time-honored quilt block designs, including the Nine Patch, Roman Stripe, and Dresden Plate. Step-by-step photos explain how to make each block, and an illustrated chapter on basic assembly covers backing, binding, and various quilting methods. Beginners should find everything they need to dive into quilting.
What’s perhaps most interesting here, though, is the collective story of how these monthly block exchanges pushed the group to learn techniques and use colors they would have never attempted otherwise, and how these “out of the comfort zone” projects deepened their quilting practice. The quilting bee is a time-honored idea, and it’s nice to see it play out in the online space.

38 thoughts on “Book Review + Project Excerpt: Block Party, by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks

  1. Marcia W. says:

    If we are so fortunate as to win a copy of this book, my mother and I may hold our own mini block party! Now that would be fun. Thanks for the chance.

  2. Heidi says:

    Thanks for the excerpt! Its such a great teaser for the book. I can’t wait to get this book. Thanks for the chance.

  3. Nicole Gendy says:

    I like how the chapter gives you guidelines to follow and then make it your own. So liberating!

  4. Tamar w says:

    Such a wonderful idea. I’d like to be part of a bee myself! This would be great inspiration!

  5. anne says:

    Love the book. Fresh contemporary quilts and a fun story behind each. THANK YOU!

  6. Patti says:

    What a wonderful modern quilting book. There are so many great ideas and I want to try them all!

  7. Joanne says:

    What a terrific idea to post an excerpt from the book – i am seriously smitten by the desire to try quilting and the book would be a huge help! i really do love the modern look of the featured designs. Thanks!

  8. Beth T. says:

    The more I see of this book, the more I want a copy of my own!

  9. MBMeadows says:

    Love this book!

  10. Jody says:

    Oh how I wish I could win a copy of this book!! Thanks for a great giveaway:)

  11. Elizabeth Gower says:

    Looks like a great book!

  12. lee says:

    Thank you for the review of the book. I love the confetti quilt.

  13. Deserae Fiedler says:

    This book looks awesome! :)

  14. Sharon says:

    I love these quilts more each time I see them.

  15. patty says:

    Such beautiful quilts!

  16. Leigh says:

    I am loving every single one of these quilts!

  17. Krystina says:

    Thanks for the chance to win this awesome book!

  18. jeanettesquiltin says:

    Fingers Crossed!!!!

  19. jody says:

    OOOh…how I would love to win this book:)

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