Book Review: Block Party The Modern Quilting Bee

I just recieved three copies of this hot new book to carry in my shop but I only have one left! (I kept one for myself/shop use and sold one the first night I had them in stock.) I think I should have bought more! I barely glanced through the pages and I knew this book was written for me. For my aesthetic. For my tastes. It’s bold, the patterns are fresh, they are modern, and most of all, most of the are WONKY!! (You know I love wonky.) Funny thing, since wonky is not an especially new concept, but when presented in this book, paired with fresh solids and even some vintage fabrics, it seems brand new. Compiled by two women who just wanted to find other women with the same tastes as themselves, Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks, they started a flicker group and found others who has the same quilting style. Eventually a group of 12 was gathered, although virtually, to create a Virtual Quilting Bee. Each month a different member sent out bundles of fabrics in her color choices with as little or as much direction to the bee members as she wanted. Each month the other bee members got a chance to learn to make a different type of block (all modern in aesthetic although a few had very traditional roots.) Here it was, a modern way for women to gather, online, they had never met each other, and share thier stories and lives and collaborate to create quilts for each other, something that women have been doing for generations. Each chapter features the quilts created by each bee member, plus instructions for creating your own quilt, plus color guidance and finishing suggestions. The end of the chapter also includes some thoughts from each bee member about the bee, about quilting, about connecting with women over the Internet. I thought I was just going to start reading the book last night, I read the ENTIRE thing!

Now, I have to share that for my “day job” I spend my time writing instructions, planning training for people, and figuring out the best way to teach content. So when I see a new quilting pattern, or a book, it’s a natural inclination of mine to give it the “Anna Test” to see if I think the instructions are well written, especially for a beginner. This book passed the Anna Test with flying colors! The instructions are easy to follow, especially for a beginner. Even though the block designs are a little wonky or non-traditional, the chapters also show examples of the traditional blocks that the new blocks were inspired from. (My favorite is the Wonky Nine Patch, which is the second chapter, but you already know I LOVE the wonky log cabin, featured in chapter one.)

I think I could keep going on, but this will be a LOOOONG post with not many other pictures. Let me just say that it’s completely worth the money to buy the printed version of this book. I don’t think it would have the same feeling to it if it was digital (and I just got my new Tab and I do LOVE it!)

Oh and the last thing is that there is already a Flickr group set up for projects made from this book, and to encourage people to start their own virtual quilting bees (the forum on Flickr groups is pretty awesome.) If I could put one of those really cool slide shows on WordPress, I’d show you, but you can just go here and see it instead. I think this book was meant for me because I’m also going to be the Block of the Month coordinator for the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild this fall! Perfect timing, right?



  1. michelle tripp says:

    Totally want this book!!!


  1. […] for a beginner. This book passed the Anna Test with flying … … Continue reading here: Book Review: Block Party The Modern Quilting Bee – Crafty Girls … ← Kay Harmon: New Free Quilt Pattern Free Stenciling Patterns for Quilting […]

  2. […] SO excited to get the book that I wrote a review right away! You can hop over and read that review here. Then come back and watch this awesome video to get an idea of what it’s all […]

  3. […] first book I totally fell in love with this year and had a chance to review and give away a copy is called Block Party, A Modern Quilting Bee (C&T […]

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