Books – Block Party

by KateG on 29/06/2011

in Books, Quilting

Block Party–The Modern Quilting Bee: The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog, & 12 Improvisational Projects. Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks. 2011, Stash Books.

I know that there are a lot of how-to crafting books on the market, and many of them very excellent books at that.  But this book is a how-to story that is sewn together with a common thread, following a journey of twelve women and twelve quilts across the United States, and bound together online by a love of colour, design, quilting and friendship.

Sewing and quilting has a long tradition of people working together to create an item together, as well as being a social event and an opportunity for collaboration and learning.  Lots of quilters have evolved this traditional Quilting Bee into an online experience, where people from diverse backgrounds and locations collaborate on quilts, using the postal service and the internet to share and connect.

Block Party; The Modern Quilting Bee follows the journey of an online quilting bee ‘Block Party’ established by Kristen Lejnieks and Alissa Haight Carlton.  Over the course of a year, the twelve women who belong to this online group each designed a quilt and made a block for each of these quilts.  You can have a look at the blog that started it all at

Each quilt in this book is presented as a finished object, clearly describes the design process and the process of coordinating the other quilters in the book, and provides instructions and photographs for the reader to use the techniques to make a similar quilt block.  How great is that, to have a finished quilt, a story, techniques and instructions, all in one place!

Apart from the well formatted, clear, well photographed and easy to understand techniques and projects in this book, I think that my favourite part is reading about the people behind each quilt, and the decisions each one made when she was designing the quilt.  I also really love reading about the challenges that each quilter had and has overcome, some quilters were really pushed out of their comfort zone when asked to use a certain technique or colour palette, but each one felt that they had learned and become better quilters for being nudged by understanding friends.  I also love the story of community, and how online friendships can be started by a common crafting interest, and can help people to create the most amazing things.

So if you are a beginner or an experienced quilter, interested in crafting groups, interested in online groups, interested in process and learning and growth and creativity, Block Party will likely give you the warm fuzzy feeling in your belly and your brain like it does to me.

Meet the quilters:

Follow on the rest of the blog tour:

About the reviewer: Kate is a busy mother of four with many craft projects on the go, including, but not limited to, crochet, knitting, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.

Disclosure: Stash Books provided reviewer Kate with a free review copy of this book. The Amazon links are Affiliate links.
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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 charlotte June 29, 2011 at 7:11 pm

very creative book. looks like lots of good ideas.

2 Heidi June 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I can’t wait to get this book. I’d love to win it , but if I don’t it’s sure to be put on my wish list.

3 erin June 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm

would love to win this book!

4 Margaret June 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I got to see a copy of the book at my MQG meeting last night. It is definitely on my must-have list.

5 Krystina June 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm

This looks like a great nook, I hope I win!

6 VickiT June 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I just love what everyone has been saying about this book and the quilts are just gorgeous. Definitely on my wish list already in case I’m not lucky enough to win one.

7 Tamie June 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm

There are so many cool quilts in this book that I’d love to try.

8 kate C. June 29, 2011 at 9:13 pm

This is probably the first book tour that has actually convinced me to buy the book! It looks and sounds so cool!

9 beth lehman June 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

this is a great resource for virtual quilting bees!! i like having some ideas going forward!

10 lee June 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Thanks for the great review of the book!

11 Arita June 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Thanks for a great review. Some really good ideas that I will be trying.

12 Lisa LeBlanc June 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I just love the cover quilt..the fabrics are so lovely! Lisa in Texas

13 kath_red June 29, 2011 at 10:27 pm

We are not giving away a copy of this book this time around – sorry gals if there was any confusion about a giveaway. I know others on the blog tour are giving away copies but as its US addresses only able to win I didn’t think it was fair to offer a giveaway here.

14 Marcia W. June 29, 2011 at 10:49 pm

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for posting the review.

15 Rhonda June 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm

What a great idea. I hope to get my hands on this book. Thanks for sharing.

16 Lindsay June 29, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Thanks for listing all the bloggers featured in the book!

17 Jill June 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I’m so hoping to win one of these from the tour. It looks so full of cheerful inspiration! Thanks for the chance.

18 Linda June 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Would love to win this book! I need more patterns to eat up the stash lurking behind me as I write this! 8-)

19 Jennifer June 30, 2011 at 12:25 am

This book looks fun.

20 anne June 30, 2011 at 12:59 am

Love this idea. What a great book, and I am having fun on the blog tour! Thanks for the post and the fab review. Have a great day.

21 Heather June 30, 2011 at 1:50 am

As a newish quilter, you can only imagine how drooly I get over quilt pictures, patterns, tips, etc. I would LOVE this book!

22 Leigh June 30, 2011 at 3:27 am

I love all the quilts in this book! Can’t wait to get it!

23 Tracie M June 30, 2011 at 3:29 am

I want to win this book….pretty please!

24 Beverley L June 30, 2011 at 4:03 am

Would love to make several but how to choose … I am liking the cover quilt and the colours but I also like Dresden Plate blocks. Thank you.

25 Pam June 30, 2011 at 6:53 am

I want to look through this book to get inspiration for a contemporary quilt I want to make.

26 Addie June 30, 2011 at 8:11 am

This looks like a great book!

27 Deb June 30, 2011 at 8:33 am

If I’m not lucky enough to win a copy of this book, I will definitely buy it!

28 lori June 30, 2011 at 8:41 am

the quilts look great! I love the one on the bed….

29 Marianne June 30, 2011 at 8:44 am

I love the concept of this book and it looks to be filled with lots of wonderful quilts. Thanks for the review!

30 Elizabeth R June 30, 2011 at 8:45 am

Great book, and I’m having fun discovering new blogs to follow during this party.

31 elsa June 30, 2011 at 9:08 am

I’m really interested in this book ~ looks like it has a lot of great ideas and I really like the idea of a ‘virtual bee’. I’m doing my first in a couple of months.
Thanks for the review and the opportunity to ‘win’.

32 Katrina June 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

I love the concept of the book and all of those who participated in that bee. Thanks for the review – it’s probably the most interesting one I’ve read yet!

33 Karen June 30, 2011 at 9:16 am

Thanks for the book review it was great!

34 Patti June 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

Looks like a very inspiring book. Would love to win a copy.

35 Allison C June 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

I can’t wait to see this book in person! I love all of the sneak peeks we are getting on the tour.

36 Athena Knibbs June 30, 2011 at 9:35 am

I really love the snippets of this book that I have seen! Beautiful book!

37 Inger June 30, 2011 at 10:01 am

so many neat quilts!

38 Josée June 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

Nice quilts. I love the cover quilt.

39 Clarissa June 30, 2011 at 10:15 am

Such an inspiring book full of great projects!!! Thanks for the lovely give-away.

40 Deserae Fiedler June 30, 2011 at 10:34 am

This book looks awesome!

41 Tara M June 30, 2011 at 11:13 am

This book looks amazing-what a fun way to have a quilting bee!

42 katie r June 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

its on my christmas list. Can’t wait- looks so inspiring.

43 Patricia June 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

The book looks amazing. Definitely adding it to my wish list!

44 bruinbr June 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm

This book looks fantastic! I love that you have guidelines to make the quilts, but freedom to put your own spin on it. So much eye candy too!

45 charlotte June 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

This book sounds amazing! Great review too :)

46 Ellen Ban June 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Enjoyed the review! Looks like a great book to have.

47 Sallie June 30, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Enjoyed reading your review!

48 Rachel Carter June 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm

the more i see of this book, the more i want it!

49 heather June 30, 2011 at 11:31 pm

This book looks like so much fun! I love how the art of quilting has changed and grown with our generation. Im hoping to start my first quilt soon, I’m gathering fabrics! So this books would be a big help!~

50 Deb July 1, 2011 at 12:14 am

i enjoyed your post and would love to win a book of this caliber.

51 Tamar July 1, 2011 at 1:31 am

Such a beautiful book by veery talented quilters!

52 Heather K July 1, 2011 at 7:25 am

About the warm fuzzies – I totally agree! I have met the best people through my bees. One in particular has become a good friend. I’m flying across the country next week to see her!

53 Herta July 1, 2011 at 7:49 am

Looks like a great book; always love agood book tour!

54 Jackie H July 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

What a great collaboration of quilters! :)

55 Tricia C. July 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I love the story behind the journey of these women and their work. Love the variety of wonderful projects.

56 WhitneyBryce July 2, 2011 at 6:41 am

So many neat quilts; so little time!! Luv the story and the creativity!

57 Sammie July 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! I’m so glad that age-old traditions are coming back strong

58 Jeanne July 2, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I hope to be lucky enough to win this book. Am really enjoying the reviews, everyone has a little something different to add. Thanks to all of you.

59 Deb July 3, 2011 at 7:15 am

This book sounds so good – thanks for such a great review! I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one!

60 traceyp. July 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm

i want this book so bad! it is full of beautiful quilts.. thank you for the chance and good luck to all!

61 Laurie July 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Beautiful and inspiring on so many levels. Cannot wait to read it! I am a beginning quilter in desperate need of something like this for inspiration :)

62 Elizabeth McDonald July 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm

This book looks wonderful! The designs are so fresh looking!

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