Piecing Makeover by Patty Murphy: A Review

Piecing Makeover by Patty Murphy is the book I needed but didn’t know I did. I ran into Patty at Quilt Market in 2017 in the Convention Centre’s cafeteria – I think we bonded over the taco bowl salad – and we got talking about who we were and what we were doing and Patty was there promoting her book Piecing Makeover. She was really excited about it and we talked briefly about what it was, etc. but in the throng of all the new people and conversations I completely spaced on following it up when I got home. Luckily for me (and my piecing) Patty tracked me down and asked me if I would like to have a look at her book and review it on my blog. Never one to say no to a fellow C&T Publishing author I agreed.

I’m ashamed to say that I really expected this book to be another project based quilting book; light on the useful information and heavy on the patterns. But it’s not! It’s a book all about improving your piecing and patchwork skills. In fact, there’s no complete pattern in the book at all. Patty uses a variety of traditional patchwork blocks as the basis for delivering her wisdom and I love it. Every block in the book is a teachable lesson in improving your skills, from the very basics to the complex.

Having been primarily self-taught this book covered things that I took for granted that I just inherently knew about patchwork (like cutting fabrics!) and showed me a better way to do things. I was even a little thrilled to see some of the things that I’d taught myself and thought unique to my style of working covered in Piecing Makeover. (I love it when I can bond with an author over a shared way of doing things while reading their book.) Patty has even covered the things I fear most: curves.

I picked this book up and flicked around it looking with excitement at all the information and helpful photos and knew immediately that I’d need more time with this book. I can see myself using it as a reference tool while I work, just keeping it tucked into the primary position on my workspace so I can grab it as I need it. Dare I even say it, but this is the perfect book to accompany Fussy Cutters Club. Let Patty teach you the foundations while I teach you how to apply fussy cutting to those skills.

Now I know that with a book review you’re supposed to rave about a book, but that’s not my style. If it’s crap, I’m either going to write back and let the author know that I don’t think it suits my community or I’ll write a balanced review pointing out the good with the bad. Here’s my review of this book in a nutshell: I bought a copy. When I’m provided with books for review it’s always eBooks – rarely does a publisher provide a hard copy. Now I love a good eBook for the convenience but my heart lies with the hard copy. I love to be able to pick it up and hold the words in my hands while I read. I love to be able to flip between the pages and not have to worry about the screen locking while I’m off working on something else. I love books.

In the years that I’ve been writing in this space I’ve only ever bought a copy of the book I’ve reviewed once. I’ve now added Piecing Makeover to that short list. I learned so much from this book in the first couple of chapters that I knew I had to have a copy. I even added the eBook to my in-flight reading list for my trip to Quilt Market because I wanted to spend more time with it so I could let the lessons sink in. For those of you that are participating in the Tula Pink Butterfly Quilt Sew-along you’ll know that I’m yet to tackle the curved blocks in the quilt. Curves freak me out somewhat irrationally, but they do. Curves and equilateral triangles are my quilty nemesis. But not now, I’m seriously going to come home from Market and conquer these blocks with the help of Patty Murphy’s Piecing Makeover.

Win a Copy of Piecing Makeover by Patty Murphy

Because I love you all and I think that no quilter should be without a copy of Piecing Makeover by Patty Murphy I’m giving you a chance to win a copy. Simply leave a comment on this post telling me what your quilty nemesis is and you could win a copy (a bonus way to enter can also be found on my Instagram account by clicking here – look for the book cover in amongst all the Quilt Market photos). Competition is open internationally. US Residents will receive a hard copy while international peeps (like me here in Australia) will receive an eBook. Competition closes 11:59pm 4 November. Winner announced in the 6 November Gnome Gnews (click here to subscribe).

Buy a Copy of Piecing Makeover by Pattern Murphy

If you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won a copy you can purchase your very own copy at the following places by clicking on their links: Amazon | Etsy

Disclosure: C&T Publishing provided an electronic copy (eBook) of Piecing Makeover to GnomeAngel.com. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by the businesses involved. For further information about my disclosure policy please click here. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a very small commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link, in fact in some cases I can offer you a better price via an affiliate link. I will not recommend something that I do not use myself. These commissions help me keep being able to provide you with great content for free. Thank you, in advance for your support!

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68 Comments

  1. Laura Coffin Mendez November 1, 2017 at 1:04 am

    I struggle with 1/4″ vs scant 1/4″ and getting the same size block whether I press open or to the side. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  2. annette ellis November 1, 2017 at 12:40 am

    My nemesis is squaring up.

    Reply
  3. Sandra Goesch October 31, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    My nemesis is Flying Geese. I can never get them to be accurate. I’ve tried specialty rulers, different formulas, Howe they just don’t work for me. Patty’s book would definitely be a worthy partner to the Fussy Cutters Book. Thanks for opportunity to enter Angie

    Reply
  4. Heather Bassett October 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Zips are my nemesis – so many cute pouch patterns but I’m too afraid to try them.

    Reply
  5. Nancy Goff October 31, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Squaring up a large quilt.

    Reply
  6. pennydog October 31, 2017 at 8:16 am

    My nemesis is y seams. I just refuse to mark them, and I hate not being able to chain piece! I need to try again because I think my new piecing foot could hold the answers….

    Reply
  7. Christina M October 31, 2017 at 3:12 am

    I regularly have trouble with points not matching up or getting cut off when I sew seams together. I have learned to just live with it in order to get things finished, but would love to improve my accuracy for better finished quilts. Thanks so much for your unbiased review of this book–I will be putting it on my wish list!

    Reply
  8. Joan G October 31, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Matching points/seams. My handy dandy seam ripper is my best quilt friend!

    Reply
  9. Jenni Brown October 31, 2017 at 2:46 am

    squaring up! especially with large pieces like before binding and backings.

    Reply
  10. Barbara Forde October 31, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Bias edges and curved seams for me.

    Reply
  11. Naomi Gies October 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    My nemesis is time! There is never enough, lol. But for quilty things, it is equilateral triangles also, and until recently curves. I made a 24 inch New York Beauty mini quilt, let me tell you that knocked the scared out of curves. haha. I would recommend you practicing with some practices pieces first so there isn’t any pressure about ruining something you’ve worked hard on. It really helps to work out the kinks. I actually don’t mind curves now (I use lots of pins).

    Reply
  12. Fran Tilden October 30, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Curved piecing.

    Reply
  13. doni boyd October 30, 2017 at 11:02 am

    My nemesis is working without getting every bit of fabrics being considered back into their cubby holes! Cluttering that small to begin with area I call my sewing room. That being said, the work techniques I avoid – even though I have done them successfully once – hand applique and curved piecing! Thanks for the opp to win the book. doni @ Oregon coast

    Reply
  14. Sue Green October 30, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Cutting/ piecing seems to be my nemesis lately, 8 out of 10 pieces are fine and then BAM nothing meets?? all cut at the same time with the same ruler but some pieces just don’t want to play nice so I’m thinking I need a re-do of my cutting and piecing skills even though I’ve been quilting for over 20 years, so this book would be perfect. Thanks for the chance to win it Angie.

    Reply
  15. anne d October 30, 2017 at 6:13 am

    I haven’t made a quilt or block with curves and even decided against doing a quilt along when I realised there were curves in the quilt.

    Reply
  16. Doreen October 30, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I avoid curves and y seams. It would be wonderful to learn some tips for conquering them.

    Reply
  17. Michelle Weatherson October 30, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Cutting the fabric accurately. Sewing a scant 1/4″ seam accurately. Matching points accurately. Notice a theme here?

    Reply
  18. Patsy October 30, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I’d have to say long seams are my worst nightmare! Short seams I can keep straight, but a long seam might as well be a drunkards path.

    Reply
  19. Cindy W October 30, 2017 at 2:31 am

    I would have to say appliqué is my nemesis.

    Reply
  20. Roxanne October 30, 2017 at 2:29 am

    As a beginner I am always looking for books that are easy to navigate and answer the question I haves.

    Reply
  21. Judy Chastain October 30, 2017 at 1:44 am

    My nemesis is accurate cutting. I get wonky blocks and have to make less than 1/4″ seams as a result. I could use all the help I can get, and this book sounds like it would help a lot!

    Reply
  22. Jean B-Bauer October 30, 2017 at 1:29 am

    I’m with you on the curved piecing. I’ll use iron-on interfacing and flip the curved piece when possible – like drunkard path.

    Reply
  23. Pamela Stroud October 30, 2017 at 12:59 am

    Making consistently accurate flying geese.

    Reply
  24. judy koerner October 30, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Most every doggone seam allowance either sucks in its gut and misses the mark or bulges out! Would love to have hold of this informative book. thanks

    Reply
  25. Jill Valko October 30, 2017 at 12:45 am

    I too am mostly self-taught and I think this could help me solve some recurring issues. Thanks for the review!

    Reply
  26. Mary Willis October 30, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Sometime I cut off my points 🤣

    Reply
  27. anna mena October 30, 2017 at 12:22 am

    HST lose my points often

    Reply
  28. Peggy October 30, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Some of my points aren’t as pointy as they should be and thus far I am not a fan of Y seams.

    Reply
  29. DENISE October 29, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    My nemesis is that darn scant quarter inch

    Reply
  30. Cocoa Quilts October 29, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    My challenge is consistent accurate seams! I tend to wave at the end of each piece.

    Reply
  31. KATHLEEN Faith October 29, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I have a problem starting and ending a seam at the same width.

    Reply
  32. Heather J October 29, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I am challenged with sewing bias edges without stretching!

    Reply
  33. Michelle Bishop October 29, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    my quilty nemesis is definitely curves.. ack!

    Reply
  34. Kelley Mac October 29, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Y seams are a big nope for me, I’ve not even tried them. *gulp*

    Reply
  35. Sue Stubbings October 29, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    circles I hate them, quilting them just drives me crazy, no matter how much I practice with pen and paper it just doesn’t work

    Reply
  36. Louisa Lawson October 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Getting a genuine scant 1/4” seam when working with tiny pieces is my namesis

    Reply
  37. Audrey October 29, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I’m nervous about spiky triangles & epp. They both make my brain go foggy. Sounds like a great book to have on the shelf!

    Reply
  38. lynju October 29, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    My nemesis’ are cutting my points off in the seams and centres of pinwheel blocks.

    Reply
  39. shoshana October 29, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    y seams, but i havent’s given up yet!

    Reply
  40. Beth Strand October 29, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Pinwheels… trying to get prefect centers!

    Reply
  41. Beth Strand October 29, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I have to admit the matching pinwheel centers still gives me trouble!

    Reply
  42. Becca October 29, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Needle turn appliqué. I’m terrible at it, don’t enjoy it, and refuse to do it. Luckily, it’s an unnecessary technique 🙂

    Reply
  43. Hilary October 29, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Paper piecing. But I haven’t given up.

    Reply
  44. Robby H. October 29, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Today, it seems my nemesis is me and forgetting details. But in general, getting really straight cuts (yes, with the ruler and rotary cutter) on longish pieces. I’m short, so are my arms and hands and I just struggle to keep that from wiggling around sometimes. If I don’t win, this will be on my Santa list for sure.

    Reply
  45. Darlene H October 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I have problems when sewing the blocks together, something always shifts and there is a big hole.

    Reply
  46. Diane Kittle October 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    My nemesis is quilts with a lot of bias edges!

    Reply
  47. Kris Van Allen October 29, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    It seems that I can pin so very carefully with pinwheel blocks, but the centers never quite line up! Those pinwheel centers….

    Reply
  48. Jeanne Bishop October 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I don’t like curves. I can do them, but I’m never confident. I’d love to learn a better way to do them.

    Reply
  49. heartsease57 October 29, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    My nemesis is Lone Star quilts. But I went to a retreat where we all worked on a mystery quilt. Guess what the pattern was? I have my star points all done, now just need to put it together and see if I did it right.

    Reply
  50. Laura October 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    My nemesis is piecing curves and mitered corners on borders.

    Reply
  51. Bettina Barber October 29, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Sashing. I’ve got several quilt tops almost completed, they just need the sashing. I don’t know why I avoid it, maybe it’s the endless pinning.

    Reply
  52. Veronique October 29, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Y seams! If I see that word written anywhere in a pattern, I run away!

    Reply
  53. Stefanie Voss October 29, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Half square triangles! They never come out the right size for me.

    Reply
  54. phyllisiniowa October 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

    My nemesis is paper piecing. I love the results, but dislike the process.

    Reply
  55. Jan Holland Hailey October 29, 2017 at 10:41 am

    HSTs and Flying Geese are a tie .. I feel like I cut so precisely and sew as well and still in danger of losing points when it is all sewn together, so if I don’t win it I will buy it and thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  56. Julia Durdin October 29, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Curves are too scary to waste fabric on!

    Reply
  57. sherrillash October 29, 2017 at 10:17 am

    The piecing book sounds like a must for everyone. We can all use tips for making our work better.

    Reply
  58. Anna Lehmann October 29, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Curves – scare the bejeesus out of me, and never turn out the same twice

    Reply
  59. Kathy R. October 29, 2017 at 10:10 am

    My nemesis is sewing across a point and losing it in the seam.

    Reply
  60. Libby October 29, 2017 at 10:02 am

    so nice to finally learn the right/easy way to do all the things we “fudge” through. Curved piecing is also my nemesis.

    Reply
  61. Ginny October 29, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Points are my bugaboo!!

    Reply
  62. Britt October 29, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Quarter inch. No two quarter inches are ever the same.

    Reply
  63. Genette October 29, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Flying Geese for sure!!!!

    Reply
  64. Amy October 29, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I’m still a newbie and everything feels like my nemesis! I just did flying geese yesterday- yikes

    Reply
  65. Jennie Craigs October 29, 2017 at 8:56 am

    y-seams. I just can’t get then tidy!

    Reply
  66. Karin October 29, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Flying geese. I’ve tried so many methods and I still can’t get them right.

    Reply
  67. Cynthia Meredith October 29, 2017 at 8:38 am

    My nemesis is working small.

    Reply

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