Improv Patchwork Blog Hop: a Review and a Chance to Win a Copy!

Maria's New Book -- It's FABULOUS!
I remember walking into a class at the Crow Timber Frame Barn seven years ago.  It was an intermediate class with the famous Nancy Crow, and I was very much a beginning art quilter.  The class was filled with students who were far more advanced than I was, and I was thoroughly intimidated.  Everyone around me was cutting, sewing and pressing at lightening speed. I was literally too scared to move.

Luckily there was Maria Shell, sitting across the room.  She was one of the advanced students, and she took pity on me.  She patted me on the back and encouraged me to leap in and get to work.  She convinced me that I could do it.  And that class turned out to be one of the most exciting classes I’ve ever taken.  I’ve never looked back.

As Maria says in her new book, “A quitter rarely succeeds, and a finisher almost always ends up with something.”  And thanks to her, I did.

Maria does many things well.  She is an innovative quiltmaker, an inventive artist, a creative colorist and a great writer.  But I think one of her greatest strengths is her ability to teach the fundamentals of her art, and to encourage and nurture others to become better quilt makers.
Boulevard by Maria Shell
Her new book, Improv Patchwork: Dynamic Quilts Made With Line and Shape, is quite simply fabulous.  It is full of inspiration, encouragement and some of the clearest instructions I've ever read.  She takes the reader through the whole process of improvisational patchwork, starting with the basics:  selecting equipment, collecting supplies and organizing the workspace, color selection, palette building, rotary cutting (both with and without a ruler!) and pressing.  Then she gets into the really fun part: making prints from solid fabrics.  Stripes, polka dots, plaids, triangles, tracks, chevrons, herringbones  and checks — she shows how to make the pieces that will make quilts dynamic and successful.
Rattlesnake (detail) by Maria Shell, made with short-row stripes and triangles
Confetti (detail) by Maria Shell, made with polka dots
Don't miss the “tips” sections!  They may be my favorite parts of the book.  Read the tips and put them into practice — they will help you become a fearless quiltmaker like Maria!

If you are interested in improvisational piecing, you NEED THIS BOOK!   You can order it on Amazon or at C&T Publishing.


Or you can leave a comment at the end of this post to enter a drawing for a copy of the book!  Leave your comment by midnight Alaska time on October 26 and I will randomly select a winner.  USA residents will receive a hard copy of the book, international residents will receive the digital version.  Winners will be announced on October 27.  Good luck!
Roadrunner by Maria Shell
Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the tour to learn more about Improv Patchwork!

October 16—C&T Publishing
October 18—Yvonne Fuchs at Quilting JetGirl
October 19—Amy Ellis at Amy’s Creative Side
October 20—Deborah Boschert at Deborah’s Journal
October 21—Kathy Doughty at Material Obsession
October 21— Terri Lucas at Generation Q Magazine 
October 22— Wendy Hill at Wendy Hill’s Blog—Fun Quilts Stuff & More 
October 23—Cindy Grisdela at Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts
October 24—Heather Pregger at Heather’s Blog
October 25—Maria Shell at Tales of a Stitcher 
Maria and I at International Quilt Festival, 2015
Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win!
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Comments

Vera Holmgren said…
Thanks för the review, it seems to be a very interesting and inspiring book!
Quilt+Bitch said…
Can't wait to get my hands on this one. Thanks!
Rhonda said…
I love Maria's work and look forward to getting her book.
Karol Kusmaul said…
I'm inspired to get piecing!!! I mostly work with patterned fabrics, but love my solids too. Thanks for this review.
Susan Tresner said…
For me, the art I love best is art that makes me want to start creating art myself. Just looking at the cover of this book makes me want to get the party started! And I'm willing to bet, between those covers is a world of inspiration and a tour guide pointing out the sights. I am ready to hop on this bus!
Sarah S said…
I love Maria's work!! It makes my heart go pitty-pat when I look at it-beautiful!
debby said…
I love Maria's work! I can hardly wait to look at her book--hoping to win it on this blog hop! otherwise I'll put it in my cart at Amazon :)
Stina Blomgren said…
Need inspiration and this one looks filled with a lot of that!! On my wish list!
mjb said…
I'm so excited to see this book coming out.
The improv piecing makes some very interesting looking quilts.
I'm very interested in improv quilts and this books looks very promising. Thank you for the chance to win a copy, Heather!
Laceflower said…
I love this blog hop as I've found new-to-me very inspiring artists. Maria's book looks so intriguing
rosemaryschild said…
Making prints from solid fabrics - how wonderful! Thank you, Susan
I'm intrigued by the concept of making print fabric from solids and from working with parts to make something more.
Pat Hanna said…
I'd love to gain more confidence with improv techniques. It sounds like Maria's book would be just what I need!
pennylanequilts said…
I love Maria and her work, and I am so excited that this book will inspire others to enjoy improvisational techniques. You are right, Maria is a gifted teacher and writer. Here's to the launch of Improv Patchwork!
Patty said…
I'd love to win a copy of this new book by Maria!
Patty K-Z
Wendy said…
What a wonderful looking book with beautiful quilts and colors. Would love to win a copy!
Love Maria's work; winning a copy of the book would be great :-)
Sewgirl said…
Sounds like a great book to add to any quilters library. Thanks for sharing the great giveaway
Jayne said…
Improv Patchwork is something new to me so thank you for the chance to win a copy of the book
Sandy Maxfield said…
Love her vibrant use of solids.
Irene said…
Adding this to my book list ASAP. thanks for the review.
CC said…
I AM interested in improvisational quilting so I do NEED this book! Winning a copy would be awesome!
Kathy E. said…
Improv is my vey favorite quilting technique and I'm always looking for new tips and inspiration! This book would give me plenty of both! I love those dots!
Diane said…
I've followed Maria for awhile. I can't wait to see her book!
Ruth said…
Improv patchwork is interesting.
Jill Spencer said…
These are great. Would love this book!
Jill Spencer said…
These are great. Would love this book!
Sandy Gregg said…
A friend showed me her copy of the book yesterday and I'd love to have one for myself. We had a little group sewing session to continue the work we began when Maria visited our guild in September.
Louise said…
Sounds like a good book for the kind of hand-holding I need to start improv!
Anonymous said…
I love improv
Would like a digital copy
I live in France
Marianne said…
Ce serait super si je gagnais ce livre :)))J'aime beaucoup ces quilts
Best regards of Switzerland
Leslie said…
I have taken one class with Maria, and would love to learn more from her via her book.
Silverthimble said…
I love the images of Maria's quilts!
LynneP said…
This looks like a great book. Thank you for the chance to win.
Dolores Plouffe said…
Can't wait to see this book...thanks for the giveaway
craftdee5atyahoodotcom
I am sad not to be going to Houston but this book gets me inspired nonetheless. Thank you for pointing out that the instructions are well done. I love that in a book with a new concept. I will buy it eventually but winning a copy would really just make my day!! Thanks for the opportunity.
GranChris said…
Looks like such a fun book. Great ideas.
audrey said…
I was so excited to see this book become available! Definitely on my wish list. It sounds like one of those books to refer to over and over again.:)
Kemmo said…
The more I read about this book the more I need it! Definitely on my Christmas wish list
Heather said…
I love her "made" patterns - particularly the use of black. Can't wait to get my hands on this book (one way or another!)
Laura said…
I love the idea of this carefully written book. Can't wait to see a copy. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm.
Heather Pregger said…
I used a random number generator to determine the winner and it is......

Kathy E!

Congratulations!