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Free-style Quilts: A No Rules Approach Paperback – 1 Aug 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: C&T Publishing, Inc. (1 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571201025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571201027
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 0.5 x 28.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 910,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This quilting guide demonstrates a "no rules" fabric collage technique and shows how to create free-style quilt designs. There are step-by-step instructions and three different patterns for fish designs, as well as advice on making flowers and butterflies. The author's collage technique involves cutting fabric shapes freehand or using a pattern, building up layers as you go. Once the design is in place, you're ready to machine quilt. There are hints on choosing fabric, drawing your own patterns, and finishing as a bound quilt or framing under glass.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Morgan on 3 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Having borrowed this book from my local quilt group for two months and being unwill to return it I knew I need to buy my own copy. It's raw edged applique working on a base fabric which is then stitched onto your main piece of work, but the detailed stitching makes it very special. I used the techniques to create my own picture and found the instructions easy to follow and the detailed pictures inspirational. The book concentrates on ocean scenes (I made a coral reef with lots of fish) but also features flowers and people/faces. I love it and intend making a floral scene next.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Law on 13 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first book I have seen that shows how it is possible to depict faces in fabric. Human, animal, even insect faces, with expression and feeling. Truly art in patchwork. Opens the boundaries until you realise there are no boundaries.
Perhaps would be intimidating for someone new to patching, but for people with the solid grounding in needlework (45 years for me) it shows how much is still possible. Even as a book on art, the pictures are stunning. You can see why these creations hang in collections.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
99 of 99 people found the following review helpful
Only Rule Is: Get This Book! 10 July 2001
By Carole Pivarnik - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after I'd already started a pictorial quilt using techniques I learned about in Focus on Features by Charlotte Warr Andersen (highly recommended, too!). The quilt was coming along nicely and I was glad to see that a couple of techniques I'd worked out for myself are also used by the Author. The coolest thing about this book is its ability to inspire you to loosen up and just try things. I was struggling with the sky portion of my quilt, and following the author's advice, just started free-cutting pieces and layering them. It came together very quickly and I am happy with the results. A fascinating thing about Susan's quilts is this: they LOOK really complicated, but if you examine them very closely, you'll see that they are not. Her choices of fabric and quilting are the key to realistic portrayals and lively artistic qualities. I did find myself wondering how many layers of fabric there were in some areas of her Elements quilt.
This is definitely a book that needs to be on your shelf if you enjoy pictorial quilts! I agree with other reviewers on this, though: techniques are not covered in much depth. That's okay...because in my opinion it encourages people to gravitate toward whatever technique works best for them, whether it's needle turn applique, fusible web applique, complicated piecing, etc. The whole point is to be creative and not get stuck working within the confines of another quilter's approach.
68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
"Freeing" up traditional applique techniques 5 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you like applique, fabric and fish you'll LOVE this book. All photos are colour and a good size so you can see plenty of detail. The majority of the work shown is of FISH, although there are also examples of portraits, flowers, butterflies, animals and "mystic" applique creations by mainly Susan Carlson, but also her students. Susan details her creation process for one of her coral reef commissions which really interesting. It is all very, very inspirational and exciting as her techniques simplify the, at times, labourious traditional applique techniques for a still stunning but much quicker result. Susans use of tulle (net) sewn over the top of a fabric to give it shadow or highlight is an excellent idea.
With lots of photos demonstrating ALL techniques discussed you don't really need to read the text, as the photos "convey" it all. But, it is worth reading the easygoing and consise text as it makes you feel like you are having a conversation with Susan herself! I really liked the layout of this book with the placement of text by the corresponding photo as it is very easy to find any info you want to review.
Beginners this is definitely a book for you as it guides you through the full process from choosing fabric to putting the finishing touches on the completed work. Advanced sewers may feel they already know many of the techniques, but as this book documents the process and Susan's tried and refined methods you will save yourself much time in experimenting and discover many a useful tip.
This is an easy to read and understand book with lots of fabulous photos and would be a worthwhile addition to any bookshelf.
59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Quilting As An Art Form 10 Dec. 2000
By Luann Udell - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fabric artist myself, I've become quite jaded with most of the quilting books out there, but Susan Carlson's book is a truly exciting and innovative exploration of the potential of fabric as an art medium. I'm familiar with Susan's work and have taken her class. This book is a wonderful extension of both. This book not only explains in detail her unique and exciting techniques, it also showcases her astounding fabric artwork. I found the instructions to be well-written and clearly developed, very similar to how Susan actually teaches her class. She is a very patient and encouraging teacher, and those qualities shine forth in her book. Her writing style is warm and personable. The book shows her development as a fabric artist, from early collage works based on snapshots of her family and friends, through beautiful fish collages derived from bookplates in an antique book on tropical fish, and ending with her creating her own images using Adobe Photoshop software. All of these designs are then translated into fabric, using Susan's free-form and organic quilting techniques. A truly inspirational book, from a truly inspirational fabric artist!
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book, very inspiring, great photos! 3 Dec. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved this book -- it's one of my very favorites now. It's easy to read, and the photos are gorgeous. Susan Carlson shows you how to take colorful, textured fabric and turn it into a fabric portait of anything -- from fish, to butterfly, to flowers, people, anything! Her technique is easy. Use templates to cut out fabric, layer it, glue it together, then free style machine quilt over it. Great for embellishing. Then frame and hang your fabric art masterpiece on your wall. Her quilts are vibrant, colorful, rich in texture and detail. Splendid!
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Brings out your artistry 6 Feb. 2003
By Quinbould - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a quilter who hates to spend hours with tiny precision piece work. I like to see results that are inspiring, freeform and fast. This is the book for me. Susan is a gifed artist and her method takes the fear out of attempting what would otherwise be a terrifying project. I like landscapes and her method lends itself beautifully. Although she gives you several projects to work on, I encourage the reader to quickly go out on your own and take a chance on your own design. This method is pure fun.
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