Over the weekend I had the chance to stop by my local library again to check out the quilting section; I was in the mood for a special treat, and I was not disappointed! I found a couple of books that are geared at donation or quick gift quilts--they're both great resources if you find yourself running out of ideas or getting tired of doing the same three stand-by designs all the time.
Debbie Mumm's I Care with Quilts: Sewing to Make a Difference, (2009, Debbie Mumm), is not only filled with patterns, but it has information about organizations to which you can donate, ideas for small gifts, and inspirational quotations. It really would make a very good resource. Her designs are classic Debbie Mumm--sort of a modern country. The book is nicely laid out and is pretty simply to look at. Although the designs are all fairly simple, some of them looked like they wouldn't be easily defined as "quick." Several you could probably knock out in a few hours; others seemed like they'd take more time. But still, I did enjoy looking through this book and got a few more ideas planted in my head for future donation quilt projects.
24-Hour Quilts by Rita Weiss (2006, ), is a little bit more "classic donation quilt project"-friendly, I think, only because most of those projects really are pretty fast and simple. Weiss' premise is that you can make an attractive quilt in under 24 hours--and she's counting that as working time, not 24-hours-in-which-you-also-eat-and-sleep time. As she says, 24 hours doesn't need to be all in one stretch; it could be one hour for 24 days, eight hours for three days, or whatever. And I found it a nice feature that she actually lists the estimated time for each pattern. I don't recall that any of them were listed as 24-hour quilts: The average is probably around eight hours or so--some a little less, some a little more. I saw several designs I liked; found myself double-checking the library due date to see if I felt like I could pull out a couple of quilt tops before I had to return the book. I wasn't as keen on the organization of the book, though. For whatever reason, the publishers decided to put a gallery of all the quilts in the book right at the front, with all the actual patterns in the back. I found myself doing some flipping back and forth. I don't think that would be an issue if you were working on one of the designs because everything you need for the making is right in the pattern itself. But other than that, everything seemed very well laid out and clear--I don't think there would be any problem following the patterns, although, to quote Fats Waller (I think), "One never knows, do one?" I can't judge how well a pattern is written until I actually try to work with it, but it seemed to make sense, anyway.
Do you have favorite books for donation quilts or fast gifts? Let everyone know!