As a quilt designer and teacher with 35+ years of experience, Barbara H. Cline knows her quilts. She uses her experience to inspire and instruct fellow quilters on her popular blog, QuiltinGal, gives various lectures at shops throughout the world, and has published four quilting books in the past six years. Her newest book, Amazingly Simple Triangle Stars, focuses on the process behind the creation of a beautiful quilt, including how to impart your own flair on a design and improve your skills as a quilter. We asked Barbara some of our burning questions about Amazingly Simple Triangle Stars and she answered!
I realized when I designed one of the quilts in this book I could see other components of design within one block quilt. I could color different pieces of the blocks different ways and make more background designs. The more I looked and thought, the more shapes I saw. There are more designs in this layout.
How/when did you figure out the one-block tactic for designing quilts?
It was years ago, while playing with a specific block I designed. I placed a square block in a square block layout and then I placed it in a tumbling block layout.
A light bulb experience. Now my question to myself was, ” What could I do with other triangle, lone star, diamond and tumbling block layouts with other block designs.”
How long did it take to put this book together?
It took two or three months to come up with the quilt ideas, then about eight months to make the quilts, and another month and a half to get it published.
What was the process like?
1. Designing and playing on my Electric Quilt 7 program. 2. Have an outline idea for a book. 3. Make a few of the quilts and record important information about making the quilts. 4. Send a proposal to my publisher (this is the scary step since it can get rejected). 5. Finish the quilts. 6. Work with the publisher for about nine months.
What would you consider to be the most important guideline from your book?
I would say there are two important guidelines. Cutting accurately and sewing 1/4″ seams. When teaching a class it always amazes me how there are quilters who think they have a 1/4″ seam but their seam is a scant small or a scant large.
What advice (that isn’t already mentioned in the book) can you give to people looking to buy this book or create something from it? The design possibilities are endless when you start changing colors and values on different pieces of the quilt layout in this book.
How does using a design wall for your projects change the process for putting them together? How does it affect the outcome? When designing on my Electric Quilt 7 program I can see with color in an instant if the value is right or wrong. This gives me an idea when I pick fabrics of the different value placement. I still may change out fabrics after I start piecing.
After more the 35 years of sewing experience, what do you still want to accomplish in your career?
A fifth book will be coming out the end of 2017 which I am so excited about. At this point I don’t have any other ideas in my head. I hope that when I am in my 90s I will still be able to make quilts with my hands, but if I can’t I will still count my blessings.
What’s next for the “QuiltinGal”?
I am super excited to be on The Quilt Show this September. I was interviewed from my home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia last summer and will be on a segment of the show.
To help Barbara celebrate the release of her new book, Connecting Threads is giving away a copy of Amazingly Simple Triangle Stars to one of our readers! To enter for a chance to win this lovely prize, simply comment below with the fabric collection you would use to create your own Amazingly Simple quilt! A winner will be picked next Tuesday, May 5th.