Today, I’m pleased to offer you a wonderful book called Quilt Blocks Around America by Debra Gabel of Zebra Designs. This book features applique patterns (which can be done by hand or with fusible adhesive) for 50 states and Washington, D.C. It comes with a CD so that you can print the patterns in any size you choose, and each design is shown in color on a separate page in the book.
The first part of the book explains exactly how to use the CD to enlarge the designs and print out one you want. It also shows how you can mix and match Debra’s design elements to create a custom block. (You can take a barn from Wisconsin and put it on Illinois. A bird from Ohio and put it on Virginia.)
Debra also explains her technique of raw-edge sewing the pieces in place to minimize fraying. She recommends using Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, which is also the fusible adhesive that I find works best for my process. (It offers a very firm hold, but with less glue than regular Steam-a-Seam or other fusible adhesives, so you don’t gunk up your sewing machine needle when you are stitching through multiple layers of fabric and adhesive.)
Finally, the Gallery section shows how you can use Debra’s state designs in other projects, including banners, purses, tote bags, and other small quilts.
|Debra at Quilt Market several years ago|
I met Debra several years ago at Quilt Market; at that point, she had just started designing quilt designs honoring different states and cities that were framed to look like stamps. Debra’s training as a graphic designer really comes through on her designs. (I have also worked as a graphic designer, so maybe that is part of what attracted me.) I also ran into Debra while shooting episodes of Quilting Arts TV this summer. Look for Debra in the 900 Series of Quilting Arts TV, which starts airing on many U.S. public television stations this fall.
In the years since then, Debra’s been mighty busy! She’s designed and released tons of new designs, written two books, and created some of her designs in fabric panels.
Debra’s follow-up to her first book is coming soon. It is Quilt Blocks Around the World (C&T Publishing, $21.95). This sequel – available in January 2012 – features new patterns for 50 locales such as Tokyo, Puerto Vallarta, Venice and Sydney.
Here’s your chance to win. First, take a look at Debra’s blog here: bloghttp://zebrapatterns.wordpress.com/. Then leave a comment after this post and tell me which of her recent designs you like best. A bird? A flower? Or maybe that hilarious Quilt Police Doll panel? I’ll pull one name at random at 9 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 20, and send you the book! WE HAVE A WINNER: Mom2four has won the book.