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Book Club Friday- You've Got A Point
Book Club Friday- You've Got A Point
Today we welcome Anna Dineen to share her debut book,
You've Got A Point, Stunning Quilts with Triangle in a Square Blocks.
Intriguing Quilts with Triangles
Just about every quilter has made their share of half-square triangles. But in her first quilting book, up-and-coming designer Anna Dineen introduces you to triangle-in-a-square units that can elevate quilt designs from pretty to pretty spectacular.
Anna shows you how to make these units using two different types of ruler sets (Bloc-Loc and Tri Recs) and how to paper piece them. If you've never tried sewing triangle-in-a-square units, don't worry--with the photo tutorials in this book at your fingertips, you'll master them in no time!
In addition to how-to photos and instructions, you'll find ten creative quilt patterns. Whether you're looking for a fun and breezy, summery quilt, a cozy throw, or a stunning Christmas design, you'll add these patterns to your must-make list.
Q. When did you write your first quilt book?
A. THis is my first book!! I wrote it in 2021 – I started writing the patterns and sewing the quilts in January, and I turned in my manuscript at the end of June. It’s still surreal to me that I am a published author – I’ve only been in the quilting world since 2016, and even then, I didn’t finish an entire quilt until 2017. When I started my Instagram account and blog in June 2016, I never imagined having my own book one day!
Q. Do you have a favorite project from your books? Feel free to say all of them!
A. Oh, I do! My favorite projects from a design standpoint are Spinning Wheels and Ribbon Rosettes – I’m proud of those because I think they are different from anything I’ve seen out there, which, of course, is what I was going for – new and unique designs. My favorite finished projects are Thistledown and Cut Glass. I am just in love with the scrappy red and green Civil War prints in Thistledown – I’m proud of my fabric choices in that one. And Cut Glass just turned out to be even more striking in person than I thought it would be – especially in the book photography. When I saw the final book imagery, I was like, “WOW. OK, that turned out pretty good!” It probably sounds silly, but that picture made me feel like, yeah, I’m a real quilt designer now.
Q. Do you decorate with your quilts? If so, where and how?
A. If by “decorate,” you mean are their quilts all over your house, then yes! We recently moved, and I don’t have a good storage system for my quilts yet, so for the moment, quilts are just everywhere. I have stacks of them in the living room, a stack of them in all our bedrooms, and my husband and I each have a couple of quilts in our offices. I want to get more organized and rotate them out by season, but right now, I’ve still got Christmas quilts out on the living room sofa. You know, it’s so hot in Texas that we have to keep the AC going all the time, so sometimes it’s nice to have the Snuggles-backed Christmas quilt in the summer!
Q. How do you choose what fabrics to use for the designs? This has got to be tough to make the quilts timely when it takes a year, sometimes more, to finish the book from beginning to end and then being on store shelves.
A. I thought about this a lot as I designed the patterns in You’ve Got a Point!. Thanks to my friends at Moda, I could work with some collections that would likely still be in stores when my book came out, which helped a lot. Generally, I try to choose fabrics that can be approximated even if the actual collection is hard to find – for example; Ribbon Rosettes is made with a variety of Minick & Simpson fabrics. There are almost always a couple of great Minick collections out at any given time, so a new quilter who doesn’t have a big stash could still get that look with what’s available in stores. Blossoms & Patches was made with American Jane’s Good Times collection. Still, even if you can’t find that exact one, another American Jane collection has been released even more recently, so you can still get close to that look.
But that’s also why I have been sharing recoloring of my quilt designs in different fabric collections. First, I think it shows a pattern’s versatility when you can share different recoloring. It’s neat to see how different a design can look just by using other fabrics. And second, I think for new quilters – this was certainly the case for me – sometimes it’s hard to see past the fabrics used to make the sample quilt. I don’t want one of my designs to be lost on someone because of my fabric choices. Maybe you’re not a fan of 30s reproduction prints – so I want to show you how Blossoms & Patches look in different fabrics. Fabric choices are a great way to make a published pattern your own. So I show these recolorings to hopefully inspire quilters to put their twist on my designs if they can’t get the exact fabrics I used (or don’t want to use those exact fabrics).
Q. Where do you find your inspiration?
A. There’s inspiration everywhere in the quilting community – there’s so much creativity and knowledge out there. I have tried really hard to absorb lessons from quilters I admire – specifically Lissa Alexander, Carrie Nelson, and Susan Ache. These ladies have such an intuitive sense of color and fabric placement, and getting to work with Lissa and Carrie in person at Moda, even for a short period – I tried to be like a sponge and soak up every little thing I could learn from them and apply those lessons in my own way.
I also draw inspiration from traditional quilts, things my grandmothers made, and how they decorated their homes. I’ve been trying to crystallize my own unique “look” or design aesthetic, hoping to one day branch out into fabric design, and it’s inspired by growing up in the south in the late 70s/early 80s. I’ve got some new quilt designs in the works that tell that story a little more.
Q. What is your favorite part of the quilting process?
A. I love the excitement that comes from choosing the next project and picking the fabrics for it – that’s how I have ended up with so many WIPs! I love piecing blocks, especially when I can do some chain piecing. It’s very meditative for me. And when I’m not under a deadline and have the time to sit and enjoy it, I love hand-stitching quilt bindings. Nothing beats sitting under a quilt you’ve put so much time and love into to finish up that last part of the process by hand.
Q. What is your favorite notion or tool you can’t do without?
A. Diagonal seam tape by Cluck Cluck Sew is a must-have; I don’t have the patience to mark guidelines on my fabric pieces for HSTs, flying geese, and the like so I would be lost without my diagonal seam tape. What a timesaver. And really good rulers are a must, especially for specialty blocks – I don’t ever want to sew without my various Bloc-Loc rulers. When I started quilting, I balked at buying expensive rulers – I just wanted to spend my quilting budget on fabric. But when I finally broke down and started investing in good rulers, my piecing became more precise and consistent. While still not my favorite, the chore of trimming blocks became less frustrating and yielded better results. Now I’m all about getting the best rulers for the job.
Q. Other than your quilting book, do you have a favorite?
A. A Scrapbook of Quilts, by Joanna Figueroa and Carrie Nelson, has to be one of THE best quilting books ever. Not just for the designs but for the treasure trove of tips and inspiration. You can sit and read it like an actual book. Before I left Moda, Carrie gifted me a copy of 5,500 Quilt Block Designs by Maggie Malone, which has been an invaluable resource. And it’s not out yet, but I am SO excited for Lissa Alexander and Susan Ache’s upcoming book, Two of a Kind. I love their books, so I know that collaboration will be amazing.
FIRM FOUNDATION featuring fabrics from Fancy That Design House.
Q. Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share with us?
A. Right now, I’m just trying to catch up on a few patterns I need to finish writing for collections coming out soon! Look for Blizzard Stars, Jumping Jacks, and Double Time to come out next month. I’m hoping to get an add-on for my Firm Foundation pattern written. If the stars align, I have a series of designs featuring curved blocks that might turn into something! So many things are swirling in my brain – I must make time to bring them to life.
I have an event that I’d love to share with y’all – I’ll be hosting a retreat at Box Car Ranch on October 21-23. I’m so excited about it! We’ll be working on a couple of You’ve Got a Point! Projects, with the option to make either pillows or full quilts. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and Box Car Ranch is a beautiful retreat location. If you’re local, I hope you’ll join us!
Q. While sewing, do you watch TV, audiobooks, or music? If so, please share some of your favorite shows or playlists.
A. Yes, I’m not much of a TV person, but I have gotten to where I enjoy binge-watching while sewing, to the point that I associate some quilts with what I was watching while sewing them. Ha! Some favorite shows/movies/music playlists include The Great, Lucifer, and Burn Notice; any and every Marvel movie; and Spotify Lazy Jazz Cat and Latin Jazz playlists.
Q. When is your book going to be in stores?
A. My book is now available! Ask for it from your favorite book retailer.
Thank you so much for the chance to share You’ve Got a Point! with y’all today!
Anna Dineen calls herself a lifelong "serial crafter" who has dabbled in just about every craft that involves a needle and thread, paper and glue, or textiles of any kind. Her crafting career began in 2011 when she combined her love of paper crafting and her entrepreneurial spirit to renovate a turn-of-the-century home into a luxury crafting retreat center. But the happiest chapter of Anna's creative journey started in 2016 when she began quilting in earnest and launched her blog and Instagram account. Since then, she's worked in the marketing department for a major fabric manufacturer, sewn countless projects for quilt markets, blog tours, and quilting books; contributed to a Moda All-Stars book, and continues to freelance in social media for creative businesswomen. You can follow Anna on her creative journey at @mywanderingpath and www.mywanderingpath.com.