The ABCs of Quiltmaking by Janet Lundholm Workman is an amazing book for several reasons. It is an instructional quilt book that teaches beginning to more advanced skills in the context of 26 blocks representing each letter of the alphabet. Each pieced block is accompanied by an appliqué block with the corresponding letter; the unusual font is very appealing and suits the style of the quilt. The blocks are introduced in a skill progression from easy to more challenging. The pieced blocks and alphabet blocks are combined into a stunning Quilter’s Primer sampler quilt with sashing, cornerstones, and borders. Instructions for clever smaller quilts highlighting individual blocks are also provided. Wait there’s more! The fabrics used throughout the book are gorgeous Japanese Taupes – my favorite! If Japanese Taupes are not your style, alternate colorways are shown for each block and the smaller projects are made with a variety of fabrics.
It has been a long time since I read a quilt book that makes me want to drop all my other projects and make every block in the book from cover-to-cover. I am drawn to the fabrics, the blocks, the alphabet font, the finished sampler quilt – all of it. As for the skills, the author covers the basics of general quilt instruction and then introduces new techniques with each block: sewing accurate seams, Log Cabin assembly, strip piecing, half-square triangles, Flying Geese, stitch and flip, working with triangles, and paper piecing. More advanced blocks toward the end of the book emphasize organization, accuracy, and thoughtful color value placement. Skills include: working with templates, smaller units, set-in seams, Bargello piecing, curved piecing, appliqué, reverse appliqué, crazy quilt, English Paper Piecing (EPP) and making Yo-yos. Wow! I can’t wait to start!