Quilts from Paradise

by Cynthia Tomaszewski
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Welcome to paradise! Best-selling author and international teacher Cynthia Tomaszewski invites quilters to imagine a haven of happiness and beauty. Her palette of bold, tropical colors conjures images of an island filled with sunlight, colorful birds, and the glorious scent of jasmine. Cynthia shows her versatility as a designer with 14 pieced and appliquéd projects that are strikingly pretty and a fresh departure from her earlier work. More than inspiring, these quilts are enchanting!

by Cynthia Tomaszewski
8.5" x 11" printed on your home computer
Format Description:
full color, PDF digital download
Product Code:
Publication Date:
August 11th, 2009

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From Australian Homespun, completecraft.com

American quiltmaker Cynthia Tomaszewski resides in Michigan, but owns property in Fiji, where she plans to retire one day--her idea of paradise. In keeping with this vision, her latest book is filled with 14 projects that feature bold tropical colors. Two are bags, and the remainder quilts, most suitable for hanging on the walls rather than draping across beds. Most feature applique, so in addition to the standard quiltmaking basics section that is included in most Martingale quilt books, Quilts from Paradise also has a chapter on needleturn applique using freezer paper, Cynthia’s preferred method. Many of the projects are also embellished with embroidery and/or beading, and there are some guidelines to help with these techniques too.

Our favorite project is entitled “Falling Water.” It’s a 49” x 61” wall hanging made from a large-scale blue green jungle print supported by a selection of other blue and green prints. What makes it particularly eye-catching, however, is the addition of buttons, shells, crystals and shiny disks attached to lengths of a sheer blue/green ribbons that hang from the top edge of the quilt. While it’s unlikely that readers would be able to find the precise fabrics that Cynthia used in her quilt to replicate it exactly, it’s nevertheless a project that is likely to stimulate quiltmakers to think “outside the square” about their work and experiment with embellishments of their own.

From Checker Newsletter—Resource for Independent Quilt, Sewing, and Needlearts Retailers

Cynthia Tomaszewski has unveiled her latest designs from her new book Quilts from Paradise. Anyone who loves the beach will love this book! Her sense of color and the distinctive appliques speak to her own sense of style. I love her quirky flower designs that are showcased so beautifully. Another quilt has a desert feel. The sand and terra cotta colors are the perfect backdrop for her appliques. Many more of her quilts are just charming. Who can resist a blue and rose quilt—it’s the perfect project to showcase your batiks.

From Kay Mackenzie, allaboutapplique.net

In her new book, Cynthia Tomaszewski’s message is that paradise is not a place, or a destination, but really the journey. Little pieces of paradise are right there in our daily lives (if we have the wisdom to recognize them), and quilts made from these spaces in our heads are quilts from paradise. The designs in this book will lead you to Cynthia’s personal idea of paradise… the magical spirit of a tropical isle.

Filled with hot tropical colors, this book takes you step-by-step through 12 different quilt projects. Names like Falling Water, Natural Beauties, Tequila Sunrise, and Tropical Whimsy will give you an idea. There’s also a cute Island Tote and a darling rounded purse called Romancing the Bag.

All the appliqué templates are given full-size, along with placement guides and detailed instructions for each project, Cynthia includes quiltmaking basics and an introduction to appliqué. Here she covers fusible appliqué with hand embroidery stitches for finishing the edges, freezer-paper appliqué with the freezer paper on the back or on the front, needle-turn appliqué, bias stems and vines, and embellishments.

I’ve always found it so fascinating that Cynthia lives in Abu Dhabi. The bio in the back of the book says that she and her husband plan to relocate one day to some land they have in Fiji. Until then, these colorful tropical quilts will remind her (and us) of island paradise.

Cynthia Tomaszewski

Author and teacher Cynthia Tomaszewski is owner of Simple Pleasures, a quilt-pattern company. Her designs have been featured in American Patchwork and Quilting, Quilting Today, and Canadian Living.

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