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Allie Aller's Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined


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Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter One: Design Sources and Strategies How to find, enlarge, and transfer designs to suit your needs A small stained glass project, from start to finish Chapter Two: Glass and Leading: Supplies and Approaches Fabrics, tools, and notions to use Couching, appliqued ribbon, and iron-on leading Chapter Three: Glass and leading techniques, with practice exercises Detailed explanations and practice sessions lead you through the three techniques How to set up your workspace for best results Gallery Chapter Four: Workflow and Good Habits Project One: Windy Sunshine; a summer throw Project Two: Leaf Vine; a bed quilt Project Three: Mondrian's Window; a couch quilt Project Four: Window for Frank; an improvisational couch quilt Project Five: Welcome Wreath; a wool and cotton wallhanging Project Six: Tiffany's Peacock; a classic stained glass wallhanging Conclusion Resources About the Author

About the Author

Allie Aller has been a fiber girl all her life. Ever since she was a design student in college, she has been exploring many genres in quilting. She lives in a lovely rural area of Washington.


May 17

A couple of months ago, I was on a visit to Chichester Cathedral and saw the stained glass window by Marc Chagall in all its glowing ruby-red splendour, backlit by the afternoon sun. I stood transfixed. Allie Aller draws inspiration for her stained glass quilts from many sources, but the landscape windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany are a particular favourite and inspired the Tiffany's Peacock quilt on the cover of her book. This is the most advanced project and comes with a full-sized pull out template to create a wall hanging. Whilst you could jump right in with this one, anyone new to stained glass quilting might want to work through the opening chapters, which outline the different leading techniques, fabric selection, and developing your own pattern. Allie describes in her introduction how she spent several years in the 1990s developing ideas for stained glass quilts and then moved into crazy quilting and hand stitching. Her recent return to the technique was inspired by the Modern Quilt movement and the graphic nature of stained glass quilting with its focus on composition, colour, line, shape, and fabric. This is evident in the Mondrian's Window couch quilt project using different thicknesses of leading to outline bold colour blocks. If I ever get around to making this, it'll go on my wall!

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Stained glass quilts have been around for a long time, but here is a book that "reimagines" them by updating the whole idea and making it more versatile. Why only use traditional materials when there are so many other choices, and why only use traditional methods when there are all sorts of other options?

One of the reasons why handcrafts are currently so popular is the way so many of them have been reinvented for modern people's time, tools and tastes. While traditional quilts are lovely mixing it up a bit and coming up with something fresh and new is the best way of keeping things up to date and this book manages all that well. The book begins by looking at patterns and ways of being inspired by them such as coloring books, old embroidery transfers and searching the Internet. The next chapter talks you through the process of making a typical stained glass pattern, from simplifying a drawing to resizing it, making into a set of templates and transferring the pattern to a background fabric. Then there is a look at "leading" options from basic iron-on to less conventional choices such as yarn and ribbons and how to use them complete with practice exercises. When you are ready there are six projects to make with patterns on a sheet at the back for a throw, bed and couch quilts and wallhangings. Everything you need is listed and most of the steps have a photograph so you can see what your work should look like. This is not a book on how to quilt for beginners; there are many of those around (check out the Search Press catalog) but a book that shows quilters how to do this particular style. Basic quilting knowledge is assumed but you don't have to be too advanced to be able to tackle these projects. Subjects for the projects include a Tiffany style peacock, floral welcome wreath, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mondrian windows, leafy vines and abstract shapes inspired by wind and sun. There is a list of suppliers at the back if you are in the US and even a helpful look at good work habits including organizing a work table and keeping things tidy. To sum up a lovely book that will have quilters itching to get started.

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Creating a stained glass effect in quilting is fascinating. There are only 6 projects in this book from quilts to wall decor. There are also 3 ways to create the 'leading' without bias tape. The front cover shows a beautiful peacock and typical stained glass colours in the border of the cover that belong to another quilt called 'Mondrian's Window'. The back cover shows a beautiful 'vine' in gorgeous greens. These form the best three projects in the book in my opinion. Chapter One deals with design sources and strategies; the sources might surprise you, Chapter Two with Glass and Leading supplies and approaches - any experienced quilter will probably already have tried these methods, especially if they do applique. In the close-up of Frank's Window you can see how far out the leading is (and again twice in the instructions) and Chapter Three with Techniques and Exercises including a Gallery with some superb samples and Chapter Four with Work Flow plus Projects. The instructions for making the projects are clear.

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