Blog Hop – I Love Precuts Book

I was recently given the opportunity to review a newly released book by Tricia Maloney. Having already published two quilting books, Maloney just authored her third, I Love Precut Quilts.  Like many other quilters, I enjoy the ease of creating with precuts. Using a bundle of fat quarters or fat eighths, a set of charm squares or mini charms, or maybe a jelly roll makes fabric choice a quick decision. Using the bundle means you will have scale and color variation as the designer of that line meant it to be. Sometimes I do add a few solids or prints to the bundle and sometimes I use it as is. Precuts can be a lot of fun. Just take a look in my closet and you will find a large stack of charm squares, several fat quarter bundles, one fat eighth bundle and (just) one jelly roll.

Since I have never published a book, I posed a few questions to Tricia. I thought it might be interesting to hear about her experiences with the three books she has penned.

Q. How did you come up with the precut theme? What inspired this?

A. I originally pitched a slightly different idea, but with some give and take with C&T, we tweaked my original concept and came up with I Love Precut Quilts!. I did have to rework several designs, but it was definitely worth it because I am very proud of the final product.  It wasn’t really a hard transition for me though because I was already in love with precuts.

Q. What is your writing process? Do you design the quilts first? How much direction does the publisher give you?

A. Once I have my design direction (basically my idea or focus) then I sit down in front of my computer and rev up my Electric Quilt 7 software because most of the time I start with a design first, add fabrics, make the project (taking notes as I make it), and then write the full instructions.  Of course, there are times that my approach can vary like when I find an awesome fabric collection that really inspires me and I just have to create a quilt around the fabric (like Cocktail Party in my book).

I don’t know how my experiences translate to other designers as a whole, but by the time I’m working actively with a publisher I have already designed all of the quilts, selected the fabrics, probably already started making quilts and possibly writing basic instructions.

Q. How long does it take to write a book, from first pitching it to the publisher to release? You’ve got three under your belt so I bet you have a good idea here.

A. I would estimate about a year or so from beginning to end, more if there are any bumps along the way.  Writing a quilt book is not for the feint of heart because you really have to be committed 100% to the project for a long period of time.  It can be very stressful when you’re trying to balance your book project with family, work, and everything else.

Q.  What is the best and worst part of a project like this?

A. The best part of writing a book is sharing your love of quilting with a broad spectrum of people.  I also really love creating the concept and the designs, picking out the fabrics (who wouldn’t love that part?), and making the quilts.  The “worst” part of the process is how long it takes from beginning to end.

Q.  Any words of wisdom to a wanna-be writer out there?

A. If you think you’d like to be a writer, I would suggest you try out working with magazines and smaller publications before tackling “the book.”  Find out if working within deadlines is for you.  Can you write instructions that others can understand? Do you enjoy the whole process?

Once you’ve determined that YES! you want to write your own quilt book, find something that you’re passionate about that hasn’t been done before or a different way of doing something and then start researching possible publishers.  When researching publishers, the first place to start is your own bookshelf — who publishes your favorite books?  Once you have some publishers in mind, visit their websites to learn more about them.  If they have submission guidelines available, follow them to create your book proposal.

I think Tricia provides valuable insight into the process of authoring a book. It gives me a solid appreciation for the designers out there who take the time to write books and patterns for us, the quilty consumers.

When I was reviewing the book, I decided I would make something with a set of Basic Grey mini-charms by Moda. They have been languishing on the shelf for a while now. Placemats or a tablecloth are used at our house each night. I chose to make the placemats from the Serenity Table Set. Rather than making two placemats and a table runner as the pattern suggests, I made four placemats. I think I will use them more often if I have more placemats. Actually, I have enough fabric for two more placemats so hopefully, I will get those done at some point for a total of six mats.

I think they are so pretty. This simple project took me very little time at all and gives the table a fresh look.

I did try something different. I wanted a thinner placemat so rather than batting, I chose to use a fusible interfacing which I fused to the top of the placemat. Next, I sewed the top and bottom with rights sides together, leaving a small (approximately three inch) opening to turn it right side out. After making sure the corners were crisp and everything was nicely pressed, I topstitched around the edge with a generous 1/8″ allowance. Using a narrow seam allowance ensured I caught both sides of the opening at the bottom of the mat. I also topstitched along both sides of the column of pieced mini charms. I think this gave the placemat a very polished look.

I Love Precut Quilts has a number of projects to be enjoyed by both the beginner and intermediate quilter. The instructions are clear enough for a novice and the designs are such that an intermediate quilter could build on them, making the quilt uniquely her own. Finally, I appreciate that Tricia shows her designs not only in the colorway she used but also in one or two other palettes that provide inspiration to the reader.

C&T Publishing and Tricia Maloney have generously provided a copy of this book as a giveaway! To enter the giveaway, please tell me about a certain precut you have been hoarding (we all do it!). Maybe now is the time to create something with it! The giveaway will remain open through Sunday, February 5th with the winner announced on Monday, February 6th. Domestic winner will receive a hard copy book, while international winners will receive an e-book.  So, this is open to all!

Remember that all Needle and Foot readers are invited to shop for fabric, yardage or precuts, at my shop. Use the code NANDFREADERS15 and receive 15% off your purchase of $5.00 or more. This code expires on February 13, 2017.

Here is the schedule for the blog hop. If you hop over to some of the other sites, you will find not only quilty inspiration, but also more chances to win a copy of Tricia’s new book.


Monday, January 30th

C&T Publishing

Quilt With a View

Tuesday, January 31st

Mark Lipinski’s Blog 

The Crafty Quilter


Wednesday, February 1st

Upstairs Hobby Room

Camelot Fabrics


Thursday, February 2nd

Am I Shouting Yet?

Needle and Foot  (You’re here!!)

Generation Q Magazine   

Friday, February 3rd

Quilt With a View



Note: I was provided a copy of the book, I Love Precut Quilts, for this review. The opinions stated are my own. I am an affiliate of C&T Publishing which means if you make a purchase after clicking over to their site from my blog, I will receive a small compensation for purchases made.

49 thoughts on “Blog Hop – I Love Precuts Book

  1. Wendy

    Precuts are perfect for those times when you just want to get a project done without having to fuss with all the cutting. I just finished a quilt top with some precuts that I had been “saving”. It was so much fun, and the colors were perfect for these dreary Minnesota days. Nice review on the book, and your placemats are really nice!

  2. Susan Spiers

    You are so right-I have some fat quarter pre-cuts in batiks that are begging to be a quilt! Your placemats are so pretty-love the colors! Thank you, Susan

  3. Debbie Miller

    I have a large stash of hand dyed fat quarters that really need to be made into a project-maybe the idea for the “right” one is in this book! I really like your placemats.

  4. Linda

    The book sounds very interesting and I love your placemats! The photo is sooooo inviting. 🙂
    Precuts I’m hoarding? A Gooseberry fat-eighth bundle, an Atelier 1/2-yard bundle, and a PB&J by Basic Grey fat-quarter bundle. They will all become quilts “someday” !!

  5. KJ

    Your placemats look great, and elegant. Thank you for telling us how you changed the pattern slightly with the interfacing and turning. I like fat quarters as they give me options but I seem to be buying full meters these days. That gives me even more options.

  6. Kim

    I have been hoarding jelly rolls for years ? If there is a quilting class that I have signed up for that requires a jelly roll no I don’t use one from my stash I purchase another one. Love all precuts ❤ the book would help me to put my stash to use here in my home

  7. Sarah J

    I have a few FQ bundles and I keep saving them for a “special” project– perhaps I could find such a project in this book!

  8. Gloria Cotten

    I have a HUGE stash of 5″ squares. I do use them frequently but the pile seems to never diminish. On the other hand, I buy a lot of fat quarters but use them up pretty quickly. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Lori Morton

    I have some fat quarters of “Marmalade”… LOOOOVE this Collection!!! 🙂 REALLY NEED to make something Special with it! :/

    Thank you for chance to win this Awesome book! 😀

  10. Rina

    I have a jelly roll and layer cake of Hello Darling that I need to use but just can’t find the right pattern. Maybe it’s that I don’t want to cut into it but I think it’s about tie I at least used the jelly roll.

  11. Kristine Clay

    I was given some charm squares (5 inches) that I just can’t decide how to use. I love jelly rolls and the versatility of making different sizes but the squares seem too limiting for me. I’d be very interested in using this book!

  12. Allison

    Interesting post! Thanks for sharing! I have been hoarding some five inch preecuts – several bundles worth so those placemats look like a great place to start using them!!!

  13. carolyn montgomery

    i am hoarding a tula pink fat qtr bundle, it is so hard to cut into those gorgeous fabrics.

  14. Janet T

    I have a jelly roll that I won a couple years ago. I finally found a pattern to make something with it, then had to search for the fabric line to have enough fabric to finish it. I have been thinking about cutting the pattern out. Maybe sometime this spring…..

  15. Tac

    Your placemats look very elegant. I have several jelly rolls I am just enjoying as they are. One is a Kona dusty sunset…just love looking at the colors together.

  16. LINDA

    Hi, keeping back a FQB of “Snowman Gatherings”, so attractive and can’t bear to cut into it! Love all precuts! Thanks for your Blog+Giveaway!

  17. Susan Stanton

    I have several jelly rolls that are just waiting for the right project to come along. I like using collections for the coordinated fabrics just look so pretty!

  18. Kathy E.

    I do love your placemats, Bernie! I made a similar one to carry in my lunch bag. Eating at a big table where who-knows-who sat last requires a nice placemat! Fat quarters seem to always find their way into my sewing room. They offer so many options to cut them up and use!

  19. Susan L.

    I think “hoarding” is a perfect word for my charm pack collection! 😉 I really need to get working on using some of them up. This book just might be the ticket!

  20. Anita Jackson

    I generally use all the fat quarters I find. Although, there is one fantastic bundle that I spent way too much money on with a beautiful wintery scene in blues that I just can’t seem to touch for fear of wasting my money. Yes, I know I’m wasting by not using! I’m still searching for the perfect pattern! wink wink

  21. Laura

    Thanks for the interesting post. I do admit to two sets of custom FQs that I picked up at a vendors market at a quilt show. The motifs are adorable and I am waiting for just the right quilt. Hopefully I will find it in this fabulous new book.

  22. Cindy

    I have a fat quarter bundle that I’ve been holding until I can come up with a pattern that’s more on the masculine side. I’m thinking this book might just solve that problem!

  23. karen s

    I have a mini-charm of Jol by Wenche Wolff Hatling that I love–but always wait too long to get started on Christmas sewing, so haven’t used it yet. BTW–any table set with candles and a glass of wine is terrific in my book–AND I love your placemats. Thanks for the tip about substituting interfacing for batting.

  24. Kaye Walker

    I use my precuts as soon as possible, but my sister is a different story. She loves far quarter bundles! Love to just look at them and ponder their fate!

  25. Lisa Marie

    Love your take on the placemats! I have a hard time cutting into FQ bundles, so pretty all tied up with a ribbon! I am mostly a yardage buyer, but I’ve been buying more precuts lately. Sometimes I use them quickly and sometimes they sit and wait. I’m all over the place!

  26. Nancy

    Your pieces turned out great. I have several jelly rolls, but lots of charm packs. I have ideas for them, just need the time! Thanks for sharing the giveaway.

  27. Jen Rosin

    I love the colors you chose for the placemats. Very classy. 🙂
    I happen to have a charm pack that I just pulled out of the closet last night (I kid you not!). I bought it years ago. It is all black and white. I don’t know why I have never used it, I guess I just forget it is there an the right project hasn’t spoken to me.

  28. Becky

    I have a few charm packs that I’ve had for a while. You’re right…I need to do something with them. 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win.

  29. Dawn F

    I am hoarding several jelly rolls right now! This would be great to give me motivation to open them up and make something 🙂

  30. Linda Williamson

    I have some charm packs from Blossom that I’ve been saving to make a nine patch quilt. Just need more time to work it into my to do list.

  31. Sandra Walker

    Mini charms languishing on a shelf…yup! I bought a set of 4 from FQS last year on a flash sale, gave one away and used half of one to make a makeup pouch as a gift…still have the other 2 and the half! This is a great idea, and yes, I do like the polished look of yours! Gotta add that I love the polished wine glass…actually let’s be honest, filled with that lush red!! 😉 I said it on Instagram but congrats! on your new shop expansion.

  32. Tina

    I have a Tula Pink Chipper fat quarter pack I really need to use so I can look at it and admire it everyday instead of petting it in my fabric storage drawer. Also, I always wanted to know what to do with those jelly rolls! Thank you!

  33. Cecilia

    I have a few Bonnie $ Camille charm packs and a layer cake I’ve been saving. This book may have the exact pattern I’ve been waiting for. ?

  34. Mary @ Fleur de Lis Quilts

    I have a charm pack of Moda Solids. In fact, I have a couple of those! The original idea was to mix them in as needed with other charms…but they are just so pretty , I haven’t been able to split them up. Tricia’s book could be the push I need.

  35. Ellee

    Batiks are one of my favorite fabrics. I’ve been gathering a collection of batik fat quarters and have yet to decide what to do with them. Well, I decide and then change my mind and then change my mind again. One of these days those yummy pretty batiks will be transformed into a yummy pretty quilt — I promise!

  36. Kaholly

    I have one jelly roll that I have admired and fondled for a few years. It adorns my shelf and calls my name often, but I have no idea what to do with it. It’s pretty just the way it is! Great review! Love your placemats! XO


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