Welcome to a new Main Crush Monday! Another week has flown by, and it’s the beginning of a new week. For those of us in the states, it’s a holiday week with Thanksgiving on Thursday and many of us will be shopping on Friday. That makes for a short week, and a busy one at that. For me, this week is always the beginning of the holiday season, and it is such a fun (and a bit stressful) time. So I’m looking forward to the end of the week when I’ll spend time with family and friends. Hopefully I’ll also find time to do more piecing on the gifts I’m making.

This week I added two books to my collection of quilting books and I thought it would be good to share them with you.

Judi Madsen Books

Both of the books are written by Judi Madsen They are “Quilting Wide Open Spaces” and “Secondary Designs”. I had a chance to glance through the books when Tish brought them with her to our retreat in October. I liked what I saw and knew that  these books would be useful for me to have. I immediately ordered them.

Judi is very open in her writing. She has an easy to read writing style; it sounds as if she is sitting in my sewing room talking directly to me. I really related to a lot of what she said. For instance, here’s a quote from Quilting Wide Open Spaces:

“I will let you in on a little secret – I never practiced a quilting design on paper, not ever. I have always practiced quilting designs on quilts.”

This just made so much sense to me! I have been drawing designs on paper for the last couple of years. And I have always been disappointed when going to the machine to stitch that design. It would look great on paper but crappy on the sample quilt! I couldn’t figure out what my problem was – why wasn’t this drawing thing, this muscle memory thing, working for me? What was I doing wrong?

So to read that Judi does all her practicing on her machine filled me with relief. I’m not doing anything wrong. The paper thing just doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t suit my style of learning. That little tidbit was worth every penny I spent on that book!

In Secondary Quilting Designs, Judi shared pictures of her quilting over an eight year period. It was inspiring and motivational to see her progression over the years. While I don’t expect to ever be a quilter of her caliber, it is good to see that she started at the beginning like the rest of us, and with lots of practice and patience grew to be the excellent quilter that she is. Judi talks about being sure the only person you are comparing your work to is yourself. I thought this was great advice, as I find it too easy to compare my work to that of more experienced and much better quilters.

Each book comes with quilt patterns, instructions to quilt the designs Judi used, and a CD with all the info you need to complete the projects. I am still reading – there’s a lot of information to digest, and it is best for me to do that in small bites of time. I like to read quilting books before I go to bed, and then I can dream of quilting designs all night long! 🙂  When do you like to do your reading?

Adding a couple of great books to my collection is my crush for this week. I’m excited to practice stitching using the tips that Judi gives and plan to do a bit of practice each day. I hope you have a wonderful week. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, have a great one. Eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie!

Now it’s your turn to share your projects – what has you excited to be in your sewing space this week? Are you going to have any extra time for quilting? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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