Elly Sienkiewicz’s Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts – Book Review

April 30, 2012 § 5 Comments

Elly Sienkiewicz’s Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts

25 Blocks • 12 Quilts • Embellishment Techniques
By Elly Sienkiewicz  with Mary Tozer

If you’ve been quilting for any length of time you’ll have heard of Elly Sienkiewicz. She’s one of the “quilting royalty”. Her Baltimore Album quilts are famous and she has a reputation for being an amazing teacher. I’ve only been quilting for a couple of years and I’ve heard the ladies on the various lists I belong to speak of Elly with both awe and affection but until now I had never read one of her books.  This one is called Elly Sienkiewicz’s Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts and it’s an astounding collaboration of Elly and hundreds of quilters who gave their time and skills to make the stunning quilts that illustrate this book.

How the book works

This book is part history, part gallery, part classroom and part pattern.

First, Elly tells you about the history of Baltimore Album quilts and the women who made them.

Then she follows this with a gallery of quilts she calls Baltimore’s Daughters. The first quilt in the gallery is shown on the left. It’s called Happiness is in the Journey.

Click on the photo to bring up a larger image and you’ll be able to see more of the detail in each block.

The next section is the classroom section where Elly gives you lists of all the supplies you will need if you want to make the Happiness is in the Journey quilt and shows you all the techniques you need to know to make each block.

Techniques include: appliqué with freezer paper inside, needleturn appliqué, cutaway appliqué, layered appliqué and a whole host of embellishment techniques and embroidery stitches.

The last section contains all the patterns you need to make this lovely quilt with instructions on how to transfer the patterns from the book together with enlargement percentages for larger block sizes.

It’s a well-written comprehensive book that leads you by the hand and gives you everything you need, bar the fabrics and notions, to make your own Baltimore style quilt.

Where to buy this book

This book is widely available. You can get it from C&T Publishing as a soft cover book for US$29.95 plus postage. It’s also available from Amazon for $27.10 plus postage (If you live in the US this is eligible for Super Saver shipping). The best deal I’ve found is at the Book Depository (affiliate link – doesn’t cost you anything but gives me a little something towards the upkeep of the blog 🙂 ) where you can get it for US$25.30 including postage.



Is this great value or what?

April 24, 2012 § 5 Comments

You know I showed you the cashmere scarf I made for my daughter here? Well, I’m knitting another one for myself and I’m just amazed at how much I can get from one ball of this 2ply cashmere yarn that I bought.

I took some photos to show you.

Take a look at the length of the current scarf, then check out what’s still left on the ball! And this is still the same ball that I used for the other scarf.

Hopefully I’ll be back to sewing again soon. I’m having to deal with packing up my sewing room ready for painting and new carpet etc. so I’m unwilling to spread stuff everywhere and sort out what I need until it’s finished.

Look what’s arrived!

April 23, 2012 § 4 Comments

Beautiful 2ply, 100% Cashmere Yarn. Isn’t it lovely?  Can’t wait to start knitting with it but I have to finish my second cashmere scarf first.


April 18, 2012 § 4 Comments

I’ve just finished knitting this 2ply cashmere scarf for my daughter. It is so very soft I just want to keep touching it.

Look! A sale!

I bought this lovely Cashmere yarn from Anne at Knitters Addiction. It was $19.80 for a 100g ball which is 1000yds (916m). That is enough for two scarves. Anyway today I received her newsletter saying that she is closing down, which is sad. The good news for knitters though is that all stock is 30% OFF! If you decide to take advantage of this offer then when you go to check out, fill out everything but don’t pay for it. Anne will email you with the final discounted payment amount and adjust postage if necessary. What are you waiting for… (By the way I have no financial dealings in this I’m just a happy shopper that’s sorry to see her go.)

Is this a loving cat or what?

Cutting and getting ready for sewing

April 17, 2012 § 3 Comments

This is what I’ve been up to the last few days. Cutting, marking and sewing. I’m hand-piecing a new quilt.

Here’s a pic of the EQ pattern. I’m sticking to the layout but not the colours.

Inner Creative Prize Winner

Well there were only two entries and the one that made me laugh most was Fran’s. So Fran you’re the winner. I haven’t decided what to send you yet but I hope to finalise it in the next day or so.

Great Writing, Great Reading and Fun Too!

April 13, 2012 § 2 Comments

Out with the old and …

You know how it is when you’re surfing through the blogs in your reader. Some of the blog’s you really used to enjoy have become ho-hum, or totally self-absorbed in a way that’s not interesting or sharing but that’s self-indulgent and I’m on the point of culling some I’ve followed for a while for those reasons.

… in with the new.

But I’m also adding some new ones that are well-written, great to read and fun. The one I want to share with you today was brought to my attention by Doris, a valued member of our little Sewjournal community and list Mom of the Yahoo Group QuiltsByHand. Doris is full of useful advice and very generous at sharing it too. Anyway in a recent post in the list she spoke about a blog post by the Yarn Harlot on her Inner Knitter.

Doris is a little concerned because she has multiple Inner Creatives ( a knitter and a quilter). I followed the Yarn Harlot link to the April 11 2012 post and it is really a great piece of writing. It’s funny, it’s beautifully written and so true. (If you’re wondering about the black nail polish photo* then all will become clear when you read the blog)

Tell me about your Inner Creatives

Please take five minutes and read the Inner Knitter then come back and tell me about your inner creative spirit. I’m going to award a prize to the one that makes me laugh most. Personally I’m a bit like Doris, I have several Inner Creatives – a knitter, a quilter, a writer and a cook. When I was younger and my daughter was small I had many more but I’ve killed them off or retired them over the years. There was the lead lighter, the spinner, the weaver, the dyer, the dressmaker, the tapestry designer and maker, the embroiderer, the mural painter, the gardener and probably more that I can no longer remember. I think The Yarn Harlot is fortunate that she only has one Inner Creative to do battle with. When you have several and they are all yelling “Pick Me! Pick Me! Pick Me!” it can get a little overwhelming.

*Black Nail Polish Photo courtesy of toxic-xx-love

Birthdays abound

April 11, 2012 § 10 Comments

This week is my blog’s 2nd birthday and my ??th birthday. I was very lucky and received thoughtful gifts, money and flowers! Here are the flowers.

I also received The Knitting Book by Frederica Patmore and Vikki Haffenden. I haven’t had a chance to read it in depth yet but I have to say it has the clearest illustrations of knitting I have ever seen. It also seems to be extremely compehensive. I’ve been knitting for many years and have tackled all sorts of projects from knitting Fairisle in the round to Kaffe’s interarsia methods and, more recently, lace and there’s still heaps I can learn from this book.

And speaking of Kaffe, my daughter bought me The Color Guys by Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably. A real feast for knitting eyes! If you’re interested in either of these books, click on the title link (affiliate link but it costs you nothing) and it’ll take you to the Book Depository which I have found has the best prices.

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