A Book Review and Giveaway

I was super happy when I got home after a weekend away with my hubby…I had a new quilting book in the mail…
Simply Charming by Tara Lynn Darr.  Tara is the designer behind Sew Unique Creations.


It’s a nice book using charm squares (5″ square pieces of fabric).  All of the patterns are for small projects no bigger than 25″ x 25″.  It’s filled with great tips and the directions seems to be well written.


My problem with the book is that it is simple too basic and too easy for what I am looking for.


I was hoping for something new or challenging but I didn’t find that in this book.  If you are looking for small projects, I would be inclined to suggest patterns from Lori Smith…no, they don’t use charm squares but they are more interesting and more challenging.  Being I consider myself a seasoned quilter, many of these small quilts I could put together without a pattern.

I am going to give my copy of this quilting book away….if you are a beginning quilter or if you are looking for some basic quilting patterns, you’ll like the book.  The pictures and layout of the book are wonderful.

To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment here telling about your latest small project.  I’ll draw a name on Monday.  As always…you do not need to do anything special to enter just leave a comment.

67 thoughts on “A Book Review and Giveaway”

  1. I just finished up a table topper for my coffee table using a raw edge QAYG on white with basic gingham checks. Turned out very spring/Easter like. I blogged about it. I teach a basic sewing class so this book might be just the ticket for us. Thanks for the opportunity.

  2. I consider myself an intermediate/experienced BEGINNER…lol. My last project was a smallish lap quilt all done with half-square triangles (my first time making them). This book looks like it would be perfect for me! Sorry it didn’t work out for you though.

  3. I have been looking for something for the wall of my dining room and every time I start something, I either don’t like the color combination or it’s too big. This might be something I’d like! Thank you for the offer – and I’m sorry you were disappointed in the book. :-(

  4. I recently finished a little Civil War Baskets quilt, from a pattern in Kathy Tracy’s book, Remembering Adelia. Tara Lynn Darr helped me with the fabrics for the quilt, even sending me some fabrics from her own stash. She is really a wonderful [and generous] lady!

  5. As soon as I saw this book I thought of my daughter. She is a beginning quilter and is more attracted to the smaller projects right now. Even though the projects look simple to us seasoned quilters, I think this book gives good visuals to the beginning quilter. I too am a seasoned quilter and would gift your book to my daughter.

  6. I’m working on some applique (Rossville) and loving the loud bright fabrics. Will be making a few placemats today (snowday)

  7. My latest small project was a Christmas table runner using the Lil’ Twister ruler. I love how it came out! I am not a beginning quilter, but my daughter is so I would love to give her this book to get her creative juices flowing!

  8. I have never made small projects like table runners or placemats, but I do consider myself a beginning quilter. I lOVE easy projects and simple designs. I make tons of charity quilts and think the quilts in this book could be adapted to be made into charity quilts. I’m just starting to branch out to using triangles in my quilts :) Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. I’m finishing up a project today that I will be using on my guest post for Stash Manicure. It is a Valentine table runner. Luv quick and easy patterns. Have a wonderful day:)

  10. I’ve almost finished a little crumb quilt for miss 4

    she likes to “filt” with mummy, this book would be ideal for some quick piecing, she could pick the pattern, and we could finish quickly

  11. I’m quilting a quilt and have three small coin quilts needing some sort of wool applique or something on them that I’ve been pondering. They are minis so I don’t want the wool to over shadow the piecing.
    I would absolutely love a chance to have this book to share with my friend who is learning to quilt and hasn’t built up the “library” yet. Thanks Jo!

  12. My latest small project is a table topper for the fall. I like the fact that I might finish it before it is “needed”. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  13. My latest small quilt was a miniature using basket blocks. I’m always looking for new ways to use simple quilt blocks and just LOVE 5″ squares.

  14. I am VERY new to quilting. I have one finished quilt that I made with my MIL’s help and a lap quilt that I have been working on forever my daughter says. I would love to have some patterns that are easy for this beginners mind.

  15. I just finished a small appliqued snowman wallhanging. I have some of Lori Smith’s patterns and just love her style. Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. My latest small projects have been mug rugs. Thanks for the chance to win this book. I can see some Christmas gifts being made from it.

  17. This book would be perfect for me I think. I would call myself an advanced beginner? I have been quilting for awhile but I do not have a huge amount of quilts to show for it. I stick to table runners and small throws for the most part. If the patterns gets too complicated, I lose interest or I mess it up and it goes in a bin somewhere. I think this book is just my style.

  18. Joannie Strange

    I’m working on a Day & Night quilt. I just thought that the book would be great for a beginning friend of mine.

  19. I am a very much a beginner quilter. My first quilt was from a kit that I added to in order to make a baby blanket for my daughter when she was born. I am currently working on my first “real” quilt, which will be a gift to some dear friends who are expecting a baby in the spring. They don’t know what they are having but wanted monkeys and robots in the decorating scheme for the nursery. That was a challenge I felt could only be met with quilting. :)

  20. Not being a very confident quilter I like small and easy. I amworking on a small quilt “Radiant Sunshine & Shadow Wall Quilt” designed by Helen Frost & Catherine Skow out of the book with the same name. Thanks for the opportunity to win. I follow your blog faithfully.

  21. I am going to learn to machine quilt this year and I have some small projects to practice on. Pot holders, tablemats, table runners are on the list. I would love some ideas from the book! Thanks for the chance to win.

  22. I made a nursing cover and a diaper pouch for a shower I’m going to on Sat. I’d like to read the book and then pass it on to a girlfriend I taught to quilt recently. She would love more ideas to work with. thanks

  23. Interesting review … I consider myself an experienced quilter, and still think this book is … charming. I rarely make small projects, but do want to make some small quilts to put on my furniture … for my cats (that way when guests come, the fur gets removed with the small quilts). I’ve done several of Lori Smith’s patterns, and love them too, but my first love was applique … piecing’s catching up these days!

    I’d love to win a copy of this book … I’ve had my eye on it since Tara first showed it on her blog.


  24. I am currently putting together a small wall hanging with my two and a half year old granddaughter for her other quilting grandmother. I posted progress photos of Bella designing the quilt on my blog. I would enjoy having a copy of this book because I like working with charm packs.

  25. I working on a double wedding ring now but just finished a little quilt for my table. I also am teaching my daughter to quilt and we work on patchwork quilts for homeless newborns at a local hospital together. My daughter is getting married and I would love to make some of these projects for the friends that are helping with the wedding. Quilting helps keep me sane!!!

  26. Would love this book as I haven’t quilted for several years and am just getting back into it. This would help me to find my way around again.

  27. I have a stash of vintage fabric, or should I tub after tub of vintage fabric and I am always on the search for simplistic patterns to use. Your book might be perfect. I just completed a quilt for our elderly neighbor that thinks he is looking out for us, but we are the ones doing the looking out for him. Such a sweet man

  28. Please do not enter me into the drawing. I wanted to say that if you are looking for a book with really good patterns for charm squares you might consider Pat Speth’s books Nickle Quilts and More Nickle Quilts. I can recommend both of these books.

  29. Hi,I’ve just got the quilting bug and could use all the easy fun tips I can get. I’ve made a couple of simple small quilts and table runners and I’m enjoying myself immensely in the process.


  31. I am working on St. Patrick’s Day table runners for my sisters. I really like simple quilts, and even though I can see how they are done, I am not math minded in the slightest, so books like the one you showed save me lots of heartache. I’d love to try this one!

  32. my latest small project was a small quilt for a friend who was collecting quilts for hospitals to have on hand for mothers of babies born and die shortly afterwords. Sometimes the quilts are kept or buried with the infants… I can not even begin to imagine their pain… What a humbling project to work on. Every hand quilted stitch was done while I was meditating and praying for the mother to one day receive it…. and for her recovery and peace.

    I think that it is great that you are hosting a true giveaway – and not a promote your own blog among the world… I very rarely enter the ones that require you post to your blog or tweet about or facebook… or become a follower…

    Good luck to all – someone lucky is going to have a nice book to sit down with for some inspiration :)

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  33. I just finished a tumbler quilt…always looking for fun easy quilts awould love to win your book. I have been making quilts to donate to the animal shelter, so easy and quick it not a bad thing.

  34. My current small project is a table topper for my aunt – her birthday is mid February and I think that I will complete her gift and maybe have it mailed to arrive very close to her birthday.

  35. Oooh, would love to win the book – thanks for the chance! I am always inspired when I visit your blog! I’m currently finishing up a small quilt from a quilt along fromHumble Quilts. I love Lori Smith patterns too!

  36. I just finished my first quilted pillow top from a tutorial on blogland… I am a very new sew-er, even new-er quilt-top-maker and I’ve only ever QUILTED three things (2 table runners and pillow top!) ever! I may be new to it all, but I’m hooked, and loving it! :)

  37. I’m working on a pumpkin table runner. I ran out of time last fall, but I’ll be ready come Sept./Nov. 2011!!! Thanks for entering my name in the giveaway!

  38. I have almost completed my first project, so that book would be perfect for me! I’m working on a set of placemats and they look great, I can’t wait to get started on a new project. Does that happen all the time? You almost get done one and you want to jump to the next project before you finish the last?

  39. I’m making custom Beehive candle mats or should I say TRYING to lol. I am truly a beginner & green on the stitchin line hahaha. This book would not be too simple for me atm 8) Jo.. I am inspired by you more esperienced gals for sure. Keeps me motivated to keep trying..

  40. Right now I’m working on my very first quilt, a kids pirate kit for my son. I’d love to learn more about quilting and would be very happy to take a look at the book you are offering. Thank you for the chance to win and happy quilting.

  41. I’m attempting to do my first block quilt a long – struggling. Perhaps need to work on something easier – that is small and also pretty. Please enter me into the drawing for the book. Thanks for sharing so generously.

  42. as a beginner beginner, this sounds like the perfect book of instructions for me. love reading quilting blogs and am amazed at all the sewing talent out there. thanks

  43. I just finished two Kiddle covers/pouches. The second one I decided to sew a little pocket on the inside. Just the right size to carry a gift card or Starbucks card. What could be better a book and cup of coffee

  44. My latest small project is a polar fleece animal print jacket for my dachshund Rusty. It’s a bit big, but on these cold days he tolerates it:) I’m planning on doing a quilted cover for my Nook. This is a book that I’d love to look at. I love charm squares:)

  45. Jo, I’m sorry you were disappointed with the book, but so kind of you to give it away. I’ve been contemplating buying it – I love small projects. Thank you for the chance to win it.

  46. Toni Anne Potter

    My current small project is from the be mine blog tour. I made 2 table runners that have to be quilted, soon. My current BIG project is cleaning out my sewing room & oganizing it. I can’t believe how many magazines I have. Thanks for the great offer!;)

  47. I love doing small projects even though I also make bed-size quilts. My latest projects include a couple of tablerunners and a couple of Carrie Nelson’s Schnibbles patterns. These are all waiting to have the handwork done on the binding during the Super Bowl. Thanks for a chance to win the book.

  48. My latest quilt was an off centered square in a square. I would love a chance to win the book. I need easier patterns as I have MS and have difficulty cutting/sewing more complicated patterns. Thanks for the chance

  49. I’m new to your site, just stumbled across it thanks to Facebook. What a wonderful thing you do, sharing and inspiring other women! I read your bio, wish I lived closer! I’m homeschooling my 5 children (my oldest is 20), and life is settling down enough now that my girls and I want to really get into quilting. I have sewn clothing, blankets, toys, upholstered, and really have the itch to quilt. One of my daughters has done quilting in a class, so she would be teaching me!
    Btw, my favorite saying is “No one ever says ‘If only I dusted one more time” on their death bed” I’ll aways have something to dust, but won’t always have my kids at home. Take care, Sue

  50. my latest small quilt is a wall hanging called Lucky Charms by Pat Sloan… still have to quilt it but the top is made!

  51. New to your site. Got here from Judy’s Patchwork Times. I’m a new quilter and would love to be included in your drawing. I like small projects. I’m working on a real cute potholder that I got the directions from Fredas Hive.

  52. Nice book! And brand new, how nice of you to give it away. My latest small project is embroidering pillow fronts for my daughter. Then I will make six pillows, four with piping and zippers. Wish me luck!

  53. The latest small project is a wonderfully fun baby quilt in oranges, blues, yellow and and white, with rubber ducky fabric. So fun. So cute. Thanks!

  54. I’m also an experienced quilter but I love this book. It’s charming and the I love the mini quilts. They would be perfect to make for gifts . Don’t enter me in the drawing as I own this book. I just wanted to say I’m sorry you were disappointed in the book. Sometimes simple is wonderful and charming as well.

  55. My latest small project uses the 3.5 tumbler from Accuquilt. I am making a doll quilt. I love your blog you are so creative and productive. Thanks for the giveaway.

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