Out of the Box with Easy Blocks - Fun with Free-Form Piecing

by Mary Lou Weidman, Melanie McFarland
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Using step-by-step instructions, learn to make out-of-the-box blocks, square them up, and fit them together in a dynamic border or quilt top.

  • Treat yourself to patterns for 13 whimsical blocks and seven colorful quilts
  • Make pictorial blocks, such as cats, shoes, ice pops, and letters, as well as wonky traditional blocks, such as Nine Patch and Stars
  • Enjoy confidence-building projects that anyone can make

by Mary Lou Weidman, Melanie McFarland
8.5" x 11" printed on your home computer
Format Description:
full color, PDF digital download
Product Code:
Publication Date:
July 12th, 2011

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Review from Quiltmania magazine

Learn an agreeable technique for free-form machine piecing your fabrics to make blocks that are then recut to use in a quilt. The patterns suggested for children are great fun, among them a quilt with delightful cats' heads, but there are also some for those fans with stiletto heels or purses. . .
Review from Australian Homespun magazine

This book builds on Mary Lou's Out of the Box (which we reviewed in Homespun Vol 11 No 6), so if you're a fan of her colorful, idiosyncratic and creative style, you should add a copy to your library. Although Mary Lou and Melanie provide generic guidelines for designing and making your own blocks using free-form piecing, this time, specific instructions for making 13 blocks and seven quilt projects have also been included. This probably makes Mary Lou's style more accessible for those of us wanting to "break out" but nervous about how to start. Who knows, this could be the beginning of a whole new look to your quilts! You are hereby given permission to have fun, build confidence and lift the lid on your creativity.
From Popular Patchwork magazine

This book is a great introduction to free-form whimsical piecing from the expert in the field, Mary Lou Weidman, and her mathematically minded designer friend Melanie Bautista McFarland. Their Hoochy Mama technique is a simple and creative way to add something special to your quilts by embracing the beauty of the wonky block. The technique can be applied to any traditional block, or pieced pictorial block, with great results. This book shows you both the method and provides a selection of original blocks to use alone or in groups. Using a set of matching wonky blocks, such as those in the Ice Cream quilt, is particularly effective, as you can really appreciate the individual quirks of each motif in the set. The Gallery of work shows some brilliant examples inspired by the Hoochy Mama ideas. This is a great book for anyone, beginners included; it's a fun way to build up your confidence whilst making something a little bit different!

Mary Lou Weidman

Mary Lou Weidman is an artist, quilter, painter, writer, lecturer, and workshop teacher. She started quilting with her grandmother when she was in grade school, and she started painting with her father when she was seven years old. Her interest in all mediums of art keeps her busy as she explores what her inner artist will develop next. Encouraging and teaching art concepts to others with humor and sentiment is her passion as she travels the world and meets new quilting and art friends.

Mary Lou has made a lifetime of friends while teaching on the road, and it's the people and their stories that keep her traveling and teaching. Gardening, cooking, decorating, reading, and crafting with her grandchildren are all passions that she tries to fit into the time she has at home when she is not traveling.

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Melanie McFarland

Melanie Bautista McFarland caught the sewing bug as a child. She has a strong background in fashion design and has traveled the world working with well-known companies such as Disney and Gap. Melanie has taught fashion design at the college level, but she really enjoys teaching younger students to sew. She finds sewing relaxing and inspiring.

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