|Stitch Your Story / Sarah Fielke
Louisville, CO: Lucky Spool, c2019.
This is the most recent publication in my recent string of alphabet quilting guides, and I think it has squeaked into top position as my favourite of the three. This is mostly because there is more in it than just paper piecing/improv piecing -- both of which were the focus of previous reads, but there are a couple of techniques that are more likely for me to actually do in this book.
I enjoyed the variety in this book. It's a little longer than the others, and has some interesting projects included. The first three sections are based on gridwork; the letters are put together in squares, half-square triangles, and a couple of other more angular blocks too, depending on the letter and style. It's an interesting way to think of creating text, and the three options show how different the choices are using much the same technique. Section 5 is kind of a follow-on to these options, being an improv piecing technique that is freer than the grids but gives a similar effect.
Section 4 discusses needle-turn applique, which allows you to have more rounded letters and a cursive effect. It's definitely something that interests me, but I think you have to like applique to use this more than for just a few letters! I'm not so great at it but perhaps could improve with practice. But the best idea, for me anyhow, was the use of bias tape to make a cursive word across a background. She suggests prepared fusible bias tape for the easiest use, but of course you can also make your own and stick it down yourself.
I really like this style of lettering. Because it's bias, it's flexible and able to be arranged into flowing shapes. In the section featuring bias, the instructions are clear, with diagrams, to show you the best places to fold, overlap, or otherwise shape your letters in bias tape. You can use purchased bias tape or of course use your own in any print or colour you want. I have varied sizes of bias tape makers so could easily give this one a go. Since I love handwriting and cursive, this technique jumps out at me as something I'd really like to try out.
All of the sections are clear in their instructions, and the photos in this book are bright and detailed. Plus there are diagrams and patterns so that you can incorporate these styles of lettering into your quilting easily. I also liked many of the projects in this book. They are not all simply lettering as the main or only element; there are beautiful backgrounds with lettering as one element that blends in nicely, as with the bias tape pillow. There is also some discussion of what words you might want to use and why -- a little bit about the concepts behind a project, which was interesting to think about as well.
If you're interested in these techniques and ideas, you can check out this book too, it's really good. Or, you can take Sarah Fielke's "Word Play" course on Craftsy, or her Improv Lettering class right on her website. I can see so many ways to add lettering to projects!