Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Bamboo Batting

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

While wandering around JoAnn’s yesterday, I noticed a new product: Bamboo quilt batting. Actually it is 50% bamboo and 50% organic cotton. It was more expensive than some–$13.99 for a 60″ by 60″ crib quilt/art quilt size.

I found some more info on the Fairfield website ( The quilting distance is listed at 8″ and the shrinkage is 2-3%. There are instructions about pre-shrinking the batting. The major drawback is that the pre-shrinking does not include the washing machine or the dryer.

I expect we will find some information about this at the Chicago Quilt Festival. In the meantime, the few reviews I found through Google were positive.

Magazine Review: Quilts And More

Monday, May 15th, 2006

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been getting progressively less-inspired by the quilts in Quiltmaker magazine lately. I’m still subscribed, but I’m just getting less out of it than I was a few years ago – maybe I’ve matured as a quilter since then? Who knows.

Cover of Quilts And More magazine
Anyway, I was looking for some light reading in, of all places, the grocery store a few weeks ago, when this magazine jumped out at me from the magazine rack. It’s produced by Better Homes and Gardens, and I’m not sure it’s a “real” magazine – with regularly-published issues and so forth. It might be some kind of irregular one-off, like their “home storage” magazine that comes out twice a year or some such (and which I’ve also gotten sucked into at least once).

It immediately caught my eye because of the eye-popping color on the front cover (and the feature quilt is even cooler than it first appears, see below). And the advertised “T-shirt quilt” drew my attention because I have a huge box of old T-shirts that someday I intend to do something with; the finished quilt they showed wasn’t particularly inspiring, but they included some useful instructions on stabilizing the jersey fabric before you cut and sew it. There are a few additional cool things that I noticed:

  • There are a lot of projects in this issue! They’re not kidding about 32 projects.
  • Very few of the projects are full-sized bed quilts. This is in stark contrast to Quiltmaker, which might feature a few smaller wall quilts, and maybe one not-quilt project per issue. Most of the projects in here are much smaller and more manageable, including things like table runners, and some cute purses.
  • The instructions are fairly comprehensive, including several sections at the end that deal with tricky topics, like binding and applique.
  • Patterns (like for applique pieces) are included on separate fold-out sheets, which can be pulled out and unfolded. This strikes me as a better system than Quiltmaker’s, which prints the patterns on the regular pages, forcing you to make photocopies to avoid cutting up the magazine.

In particular, two projects really leapt out at me: the cover quilt (click for a larger version):
Polka Dots quilt
Because I love bright colors and scrappy quilts. I think the designer made some poor choices in a few places (using a too-colorful print as a “background” fabric in one place) but in general I think it’s really clever and fun.

And this Kaleidoscope pattern:
Kaleidoscope wall quilt
Which I think could be much cooler with different color placements, in order to emphasize some of the secondary patterns. Plus, they included piecing instructions for this block that don’t involve partial seams!

So anyway, I got a lot out of this magazine. I’ll definitely be keeping it on the shelf next to my Quiltmakers, but I don’t think it’ll replace them, nor will I look into subscribing. I’ll also happily loan it to any Crackpots who are curious!