I first “met” Elizabeth Hartman a few years ago after I had posted a “help wanted” on Craigslist. Elizabeth saw it and said, “I already have a job, but if you ever need a hand, let me know.” Well, who can resist a offer like that?! We were already fans of Elizabeth’s Oh, Fransson! blog, so it wasn’t long before I said, “you know, we need someone to write a monthly fabric focus tutorial.”  A deal was struck and Elizabeth ended up writing a dozen fabulous tutorials for us.  (Click here for the last one, which has links to all the others.)

Earlier this year Elizabeth joined our local Sewing Circle, so I’ve had the opportunity to get to know her in real life too. She is kind, generous, a bit of a goof (in the nicest sense, E). And AMAZINGLY TALENTED! As I’ve told her, I am very Mama-Hen proud of her and all she has accomplished, including the release of her new book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork (Stash Books.) I see a lot of sewing books come across my dining room table desk and I will tell you very honestly, this one is a must-have. It is organized, well-written, easy to follow and inspiring.

Practical Guide to Patchwork

Just a few of the things that I love about it:

  • It contains great information about choosing fabrics, including definitions of value, intensity, monochromatic schemes, analogous schemes and more. Real, practical advice you can use to achieve a look you love.
    choosing fabric
  • Easy-to-understand instructions and images for everything from cutting to piecing to quilting to binding. Even if you’ve never made a quilt in your life, you can get from point A to point Q(uilt!) with this book.
    A to Q
  • Beautiful, unique quilt designs that aren’t intimidating.
    Quilt Patterns
  • Every quilt pattern has an idea for the back!
    Quilt Back
  • Each pattern has images of a finished quilt, plus 2 alternate ideas with different fabric choices that almost make it look like completely different designs.
    Quilt Alternate Ideas
  • The graphics are plentiful, in color and clear.
    Quilt Graphics

It really is a wonderful book and I’m thrilled to have it on my shelf. Now is the perfect time to start writing your holiday wishlist, if you know what I’m sayin’. (And if you’re going to be at Quilt Market, Elizabeth will be signing books at 1pm in the Stash booth.)

3 things

To kick off the tour, we thought it would be fun to ask Elizabeth to tell us some things that you probably don’t know about her. We call it the “3 things” interview.

3 jobs you’ve held

  • Commercial Mortgage Closer
  • Marketing & PR Coordinator
  • Seamstress

3 things you loved as a child

  • The movie and soundtrack of Annie
  • Swimming
  • Making, building, drawing, and/or designing anything

3 most recent books

  • The Tenant of Wildfeld Hall by Anne Bronte
  • The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
  • Design-it-Yourself Clothes by Cal Patch

3 favorite cookies

3 favorite fabric collections

  • Etsuko Furuya’s Echino collections for Kokka
  • Robert Kaufman’s Kona Solids
  • This isn’t really a collection, but a lot of the abstract, geometric, and large floral prints from Alexander Henry are among my all-time favorites.

3 favorite things you’ve sewn

  • Years ago, some friends and I dressed up as the people from Clue for Halloween and I used thrift store prom dresses, random craft supplies and tacky fabric to make Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock and Miss Scarlet costumes. I wish I still had a photo of them, because it was amazing. We even carried around our weapons all night. (I was shocked by how easy it was to find a giant brass candlestick at Goodwill. They had, like, 20 of them!)
  • Also years ago, I made a quilt for my father that was a reproduction of the Periodic Table. It employed some really questionable supplies and construction techniques, but I love the concept and would love to remake it “the right way.”
  • Is it cheating if I say, collectively, all the quilts for my book?

3 places you want to visit

  • The Knittn Kitten (vintage fabric store) on Glisan
  • Tokyo (I went when I was 16, but I want to go as an adult.)
  • Anywhere in Europe, because I’ve never been

3 tips for quilters and wanna-be quilters

  • Making a quilt takes longer than many other sewing projects. Embrace this and take your time, completing each step at your own pace.
  • If you make a mistake, you can choose to take your work apart and start over, or you can choose to keep working and just try not to make the same mistake next time. What’s important is that you’re happy with your work, not that you’re meeting someone else’s arbitrary standards of quality. (Remember that you’re basically making a blanket. There are few things you can do to make a non-functional blanket!)
  • If you find yourself hating the project you’re working on, walk away for a couple of hours or a couple of days. A little distance can make a lot of problems disappear.

Thank you, Elizabeth!

Be sure to catch the rest of Elizabeth’s Blog Tour. There will be tons of great information and inspiration from Elizabeth, plus ten more chances to win the book!

October 28th – Ashley Newcomb – Film in the Fridge
October 29th – Rashida Coleman-Hale – I heart Linen
October 30th – Jacquie Gering – Tall Grass Prairie Studio
October 31st – Alissa Haight-Carlton – Handmade by Alissa
November 1st – Melissa Burt – Connecting Threads Blog
November 2nd – Rossie Hutchinson – R0ssie’s Blog
November 3rd – Amber Carrillo – One Shabby Chick
November 4th – Kim Kight – True Up
November 5th – Kathy Mack – Pink Chalk Studio
November 6th – Kathreen Ricketson – Whip Up

Now, for a chance to win your own copy of The Practical Guide to Patchwork, answer ONE of the “3 things” questions in the comments.

  • 3 jobs you’ve held
  • 3 things you loved as a child
  • 3 most recent books
  • 3 favorite cookies
  • 3 favorite fabric collections
  • 3 favorite things you’ve sewn
  • 3 places you want to visit
  • 3 tips for quilters and wanna-be quilters

Finally, Elizabeth has compiled a fat quarter pack inspired by the Kitchen Window Quilt in her book. Hop on over to that post for more details and a chance to win the 12 gorgeous fat quarters!

Kitchen Window Pack