Quilting: From Little Things by Sarah Fielke – Book Review

Quilting: From Little Things is the first solo book from well-known author, designer, and quiltmaker extraordinaire Sarah Fielke. I, like many of you, fell in love with Sarah’s work through her Material Obsession books. I was excited to see what she went out and did on her own. Goodness, it’s spectacular!

Sarah’s amazing fabric combinations, color recipes, and clever twists on traditional techniques make Quilting: From Little Things an inspiring and practical book on how to make quilts. The quilt designs come bundled with well-told personal stories, easy-to-follow instructions and a sprinkling of heart and soul that leave you wanting to immediately start pulling fabric from your stash and planning a quilt from the book!

Organized by technique, the projects progress as follows: Row by Row, Strip Piecing, Desconstructed Piecing, Applique with Bias Strips, Inset Piecing, Needle-Turn Applique, Using Wedges, Step-Down Piecing, and Feathered Blocks.

Each technique is demonstrated by two projects: a dolly quilt (LOVE her use of that term) and a full-sized quilt. The dolly quilts allow you to move in slowly, play with fabric combinations, and learn the technique while at the same time finishing a small project suitable for use as a wall hanging, pillow cover, or doll quilt.

Think the dolly quilt looks just like the big quilt? Of course not. Sarah would never stand for such nonsense. She mixes it up in a way that each quilt in the book stands on its own batting. Very fun. Above is the Rebel with a Rotary Dolly Quilt next to the Sandwich Short of  a Picnic full-sized quilt. Both appear in the Strip Piecing section.

Sarah shares wonderful peeks into her quilting philosophy, process, and fabric combining. I liked the inclusion of why she thought the color combinations were successful on the quilts in the book. It allowed me to see things I might not have noticed otherwise.

Her advice on buying fabrics: “Buy fabrics because you love them and because they make your heart sing, not because they have a specific purpose.” This girl loves her stash and her references to it will make you laugh.

Geese Around the World demonstrates Flying Geese construction and Foundation Piecing.

On display in Sarah’s Fall 2011 Quilt Market booth: The Night Garden hanging to the left, Whirligig center, and dolly quilt Spring on the right.

“… every quilt you make should be an adventure, and every new project should be a project in self-awareness and discovery.” Sarah’s heart and passion for quilts and the process of making them leaps from the pages of Quiltmaking: From Little Things. It’s such a personal and engaging book, it left me feeling inspired and motivated to think about my quilts in a fresh way and reminded me how much joy I get from the process itself. Having some new techniques to learn with such kind and expert guidance is icing on the cake.


Many of the people on this blog tour made projects from the book (yes, the book really makes you want to do that and if I hadn’t started so late I’d have something to show too!). You can visit them here:

Monday 28th November: Fat Quarterly and Amy Ellis

Tuesday 29th November: Thomas Knauer

Wednesday 30th November: Camp Follower Bags and Ryan Walsh

Thursday 1st December: The Happy Zombie and Moda Lissa

Friday 2nd December: Mrs Schmenkman Quilts and True Up

Saturday 3rd December: Pink Chalk Studio (yay, you’re here!) and Pam Kitty Morning

Sunday 4th December: Sew Mama Sew and Pat Sloan

15 Responses to Quilting: From Little Things by Sarah Fielke – Book Review
  1. Beth T.
    December 3, 2011 | 12:45 am

    I love the idea that each new quilt should be an adventure!

  2. Melissa
    December 3, 2011 | 1:21 am

    I’m excited for this book! Loved the Material Obsessions ones, and this looks just as great!

  3. Mary C in WA
    December 3, 2011 | 2:30 am

    I love the Flying Geese one and Hope to win the Book so I can make that wall hanging.

  4. Danielle
    December 3, 2011 | 3:35 am

    A fabulous review of a fantastic book which I’ve owned for several months now and never tire of looking at!

  5. Katy
    December 3, 2011 | 3:36 am

    I just love the idea behind this book, may have to add it to my Amazon wish list!

  6. Suzanne
    December 3, 2011 | 5:34 am

    It’s a good rule to buy fabric that makes the heart sing!

  7. Carrie P.
    December 3, 2011 | 6:27 am

    OH, some really great projects in the books. I love the Whirligig quilt.

  8. Melanie
    December 3, 2011 | 7:01 am

    Thanks for a terrific review of what sounds and looks like a wonderfully inspiring and fun filled book.

  9. elsa
    December 3, 2011 | 9:04 am

    Such lovely quilts. Sarah is so talented, thanks for the review!

  10. Mary on Lake Pulaski
    December 3, 2011 | 5:08 pm

    What a fabulous book!

  11. Gina S.
    December 4, 2011 | 8:45 am

    I really like the flying geese. What a great idea for the dolly quilt, it would make it easier for teaching someone how to do a small one first.

  12. Ramona
    December 4, 2011 | 12:30 pm

    This book looks fabulous. I’m going to put it on my Christmas list!

  13. MarciaW
    December 4, 2011 | 12:58 pm

    Wonderful examples of quilts that you pulled from the book – thanks for the review

  14. Lisa
    December 4, 2011 | 5:28 pm

    I can’t believe this is the first I’ve heard of this book! I love the samples you show from the book. Will see if any local quilt shops carry it.

  15. Jenny
    December 5, 2011 | 8:08 am

    I love the Rebel with a Rotary that you showed here. It’s very “Gee’s Bend!”