Book Review: String Frenzy

A blog reader asked if I had plans to review Bonnie Hunter’s new book String Frenzy…well yes, of course I do.

I’ve had mine for a bit now…first as an ebook edition sent to me by C&T Publishing and then my hard copy.

So do I like the book….YES!  I was thrilled when I heard that Bonnie’s book was going to be a STRING quilt book.  I loved the quilts from the first string book so much that I made them ALL!!  One might think I was “strung out” but NOPE.  I was itching to get my hands on a copy.

There are 12 quilts in the book and I don’t have a bad thing to say about any of them.  Bonnie out did herself on the designs.  I can see myself making all of them.

Geese on a String is the first in the book.  Happily Bonnie featured the string triangles on her blog a couple years ago and I jumped right in.  I have 400 string triangles already made.  I’m thinking I might make two of these quilts for two of my childcare kiddos….we’ll see as things settle down around here a bit.

I’ll need to change some colors up as my strings are in brights.

A few others from the book that I’m highlighting are Straits of Mackinac.  I LOVED this one when Bonnie was working on it on the blog.  Oh my, I have a basket of fabric waiting for this one.

As per Bonnie style she included the Directions at a Glance.  This feature is one of the reasons I love her books.  I can quick reference anything.  I love this.  It makes quilting easier as I’m not reading through all of the directions to find out how many of something I need to make!!

This is one of my favorites in the book….Crumb Jumble.  Kelli looked at it and said, “Nope, won’t be making that one.”  Kelli is not a crumb girl.  I SO AM!!  I love crumbs and strings.  I plan to make this for sure!!

Xing!…ADORE!  I love the colors and will for sure make this one too.

A minor complaint that is likely just something that applies to me…so many of the quilts are small (like twin sized)…I like mine at least 90 x 90.  I’m going to have to do the math to make them bigger.  It’s okay and I completely understand that Bonnie doesn’t want to drag huge quilts around when she’s lecturing and doesn’t need to make them huge for us to get the idea on how to make them….So it’s not really a complaint, more of an observation.  I am really thankful that I have the skills to enlarge them.  I know some struggle with that.

Kelli’s favorite quilt of the bunch…Emerald City.  I like the design but am not a green girl.  Mine (yes I plan to make it) will be some other color.  (I am sure as Connie and Kelli read this they are going to be saying, “No Jo.  Not another red quilt.”)  Yep…I’m considering red.  What can I say…I love that color.

Daybreak is another favorite of mine.  I LOVED it when Bonnie was working on it on the blog and love it still.  I love teal…I love the neutrals.  AH…PERFECT as far as I’m concerned.  I say it all the time and it’s true.  Nothing gets my attention quicker than a four patch!!
Look.  Here’s Punkin’ Patch.  Several of you might remember that this was published in Quiltmaker magazine last fall.

I made it then so I already have one quilt from the book made.  Here’s my version…


I did brown backgrounds and used fall colors around the edge.  What a fun quilt to make.  (Read more about my version here)

Next up that I’m featuring is Indigo-a-Go-Go.

This one I also loved watching Bonnie work on via her blog.  The colors are perfect in my opinion.  Blue + Cheddar = LOVE.

When I first looked at this quilt I couldn’t easily see the strings.  Then I remembered from Bonnie’s blog that she snowballed blocks.

I looked and had trouble seeing it.  That’s when I realized that there was one thing all along in the book that had bugged me.  Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the quilts….My problem is the size of the layout of the quilts.

Look at this picture I previously showed you of Xing!

This is the typical “large” layout of the quilt.  The quilt is on about 2/3 of the page..the words take up the rest.

I looked again at Indigo-a-Go-Go…yep, that’s it.  The pictures are much smaller than I’m used to.  I turned the page and saw this.  AH…better.  I can see the string snowball blocks now….I couldn’t see them very easily in the first picture….

I had a terrible time finding them in the layout.

Because Kelli and I have published a quilt book before, we know that this is not Bonnie’s doing.  This is likely the work of the creative editor.

Just to see if I was imagining it or if it really made a difference I pulled out a couple of my other Bonnie books.  Here’s More Adventures with Leaders and Enders.  I’ve made Winston Ways…I love that quilt…Look at the large layout picture of the quilt.  Ah…I love it.  I can easily look and see the ratio of blue blocks to teal blocks.  I can see the variety of tones of reds.  I can easily see what kind of fabrics I need for the look.

Doesn’t that picture look bold and clean???  I love that.
I can’t tell you how many nights Bonnie’s books go to bed with me and I study and study and study them.  I look at the shades…I count the number of blocks.  I take that gathered information back with me to the sewing room when it comes time to make the quilts.  I remember to add the teal…I remember to look for all shades of red.

I pulled Addicted to Scraps.  This layout of the quilt isn’t as big but it’s still easy to see…easy to count….easy to examine.  

So would the small pictures prevent me from buying String Frenzy…no way.

I do think that Bonnie’s beautiful, amazing quilts got lost in a sea of words and eggplant color.

(Side note.  I love this quilt and have been collecting grays in hopes of making it.  Connie said she’d change the gray to blue…Kelli did too….Hmmm.  I do like a red, white and blue quilt!)

So the quilts for me get a HUGE thumbs up….give them FIVE stars…give them the HIGHEST rating ever!!  (It is likely my favorite book in terms of the quilts and designs)

The layout of the pictures…If I’m honest…It’s not my favorite.  I can’t imagine me spending so many nights in bed studying and studying the colors and design.   Have you ever looked at Bonnie quilts and said, “Hey, I have that fabric…and that one.”?  In this book, the pictures of the quilts are too small to do that.  I’ll miss that.

What are you doing still sitting here on our blog?  Go buy the book!!  I know Bonnie is selling them on her site HERE.  It’s a book with some gorgeous quilts that you won’t want to miss.

18 thoughts on “Book Review: String Frenzy”

  1. I managed to get mine ordered in the second wave so it should be in my hands soon! I’m in awe that you made all the String Fling books! Looking forward to this one and seeing what you do to market them your own.

  2. My book should arrive in the next day or two. Interesting observation about the pictures, but I see your point. I think sometimes choices are made to conserve cost and then the impact of that change isn’t realized until later.

  3. Great review! I agree with you all the way about the pictures. I was able to get mine ordered in the second wave as well and I’m hoping it comes today :-) I love your version of the pumpkin quilt. It’s beautiful and inspiring. Bonnie’s designs are pretty amazing.

  4. Nikki DeRamus Moshier

    LOVE your version of Punkin Patch. I am not good at visualizing quilts in other colorways… have started me thinking!

  5. You mention the size of the pictures. It seems that she has a different publisher now. The first one either sold out or is no longer in business. I haven’t checked this out. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  6. I totally agree with your observation of how the quilts are shown in the book. I find the color of the page and description of the quilt extremely distracting. I’m so glad I got to the Hershey quilt show in 2017 to see the quilts from the book in person. I took lots of pictures including close ups of each quilt and would be happy to share them with you if you are interested. Of course, I bought the book and love it, just wish the pictures were better. Wasn’t this Bonnie’s first book with the new publisher?

  7. Lilac Joan Guthridge

    Re your comment about the size of the photographs:
    I noticed a long time ago that scrap quilts are much better in person than photographed. More so than a planned quilt. There is just so much going on in scrap quilts that requires seeing them first hand. And I think that is their appeal.

  8. I just got a notice that mine has been mailed, so I’m very excited.

    Yeah, I don’t think I’ll like the pages of the full quilt on that dark background — though mostly because I find it hard to read white letters on a dark page. But as you say, that’s not Bonnie’s fault. If they’ve preserved Bonnie’s way of presenting a pattern, I’ll be a happy camper.

  9. Your version of “Punkin’ Patch” is so warm … it feels like strolling through a pumpkin patch on a sunny fall day! I guess I’ll be waiting awhile to get Bonnie’s new book … they’re always sold out before I get going on the west coast. Oh, well …I’ll enjoy following your blog as you make them.

  10. My book is sitting at the P.O. waiting for me to pick it up Monday. Tracking said it was delivered and I was hoping it was in one of the package drawers & there would be a key in my box. Nope. Darn! Anyway, I think I will agree with you about the size of the pictures. I like to look at them too and pick out fabrics I have or have had.

  11. Thank you for the review of Bonnie’s latest book. I do not have one yet, but I agree with you on the dark blue background with the white print. For some of us that will be hard to read. And the small pictures will be a disappointment, as I love to look at the fabrics used too. But I do love the quilts in the book and Bonnie’s always-wonderful directions. I’m glad you included the picture of the Punkin’ Patch quilt you made with the pictures. I, too, really love the browns you used, very pretty!

  12. I love the brown you used in your Pumpkin Patch quit. It appeals to me so much more than the gray background of the original. You might have given me the push I need to actually make this one!

  13. It is not the same as larger photos, but you could try looking at the quilts with a magnifying glass. It helps you to see the details (fabrics) better. I have been thinking about getting my books spiral bound too. Thank for showing yours. I am glad to see it doesn’t cut off anything from the photos inside the book.

  14. Pingback: What I’m Working On…. | Jo's Country Junction

  15. I agree with you about the size of the pictures. I was thinking as you were showing the pictures that they were too small to really get a feel of the quilt. Then you mentioned it, and yes, that is the problem.

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