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“Make It, Take it” book review & GIVEAWAY

April 6, 2015

Well peeps, I haven’t blogged in two years, as I seem to have contracted a spot of “Blogophobia”. And I’ll tell you that if you ever catch this bug, the sure cure is getting a pattern published  in a book, as then you’re forced to do a review of said book, thus overcoming your ailment. So here I am! (Apologies for the neglect.)

"Make It, Take It" by Krista Hennebury.

“Make It, Take It” by Krista Hennebury.

The book is called “Make It, Take It – 16 cute and clever projects to sew with friends” published by Martingale, and authored by the fabulous Krista Hennebury of Poppyprint fame. She is a dear friend and the person who is pretty much entirely responsible for getting me hooked on quilting. She is also an amazing quilter and organizer of some very in-demand quilt retreats in Vancouver. (Seriously, you have to get on “the list” to get a spot!) Krista put together  a circle of lovely quilty rock star contributors from Canada, USA, England and Japan for this book.  The theme is retreats – patterns for getting your gear to retreats, as well as projects to make at retreats.

The first half of the book has projects to sew to organize and carry all your retreat gear.

The first half of the book has projects to sew to organize and carry all your retreat gear.

I enjoyed reading everyone’s stories on what retreats mean to them. For me it’s all about hanging out with the lovely community that quilters are. Everyone rolling around in fabric chatting about their projects and giving feedback. It makes me so happy. I always come home feeling chipper!

The second half has fun projects to work on at retreat, including a group round robin project.

The second half has fun projects to work on at retreat, including a group round robin project.

The pattern I designed for “Make It, Take It” is called the “Ultimate Equipment Tote”. It is a large, quilted tote bag that holds an 18” x 24” cutting mat and all the rulers your little heart desires, plus lots of pockets for extra gadgets.


The first one of these I designed was rather cumbersome and cavernous, as you had to dig in the big gaping bag to find what you were looking for.  And I have a lot of rulers! That’s why I went back to the drawing board and finally came up with the idea for a pull-out “easy access” portfolio for the rulers. You just pull it out and open it up to display all your customized ruler pockets, making life SO much easier! I was pretty excited when I came up with the design.  The best way to explain how it works is to show you, so here is a video that does that job for me:

There are many other great patterns in this book. I made one of Ayumi Takahashi’s Big Patchwork Tote’s, and even used Ayumi’s new fabric line called Lighthearted. The bag has a nice wide bottom so comfortably fit’s bulky items such as quilts or knitting. I love it!


"Big Patchwork Tote" by Ayumi Takahashi.

“Big Patchwork Tote” by Ayumi Takahashi.

I definitely will be making  a few of the other patterns when I get the time. Be sure to follow the blog hop to see more details from each of these quilty rock star contributors:



Friday, April 3 Blog hop kick-off: “”

Monday, April 6: Berene at “”

and Amy at “”

Tuesday, April 7: Leanne at “”

and Felicity at <a href=“”

Wednesday, April 8: Martingale Inc. at “” (check out their Rainbow Round the Cabin staff party!)

Thursday, April 9: Krista at “”

and Krista at “”

Friday, April 10: Lynne at “”

and Cindy at “”

Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin “”

and Krista at “”

Sunday, April 12: Kristie at “”

and Christina at “”


And now for the GIVEAWAY deets:

One lucky reader will win a digital copy of “Make It, Take It” by email. All you have to do to win is leave a comment telling me what you love about retreats, your fave retreat memory or if you’ve never been on a retreat, what your dream retreat might look like. Comments are now closed. Thanks!

I will pick a winner on lucky Monday April 13, 2015!

Note: Comments need approval on my blog (my anti-spam device) so just send once and it’ll be up soon. And don’t forget to leave your email address so I can find you if you are the winner!

89 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2015 10:22 am

    Welcome back to blogging! I found your blog via the blog hop. I am loving your tote and your collection of rulers, lol. I haven’t been on a retreat but I imagine they are jam packed with sewing and pastries. Thanks for the chance to win!

    • April 8, 2015 12:01 pm

      Forgot to leave my email.
      sarah123quilt AT gmail DOT com

  2. Michelle permalink
    April 6, 2015 10:26 am

    I love having that solid block of time designated for sewing. I get so busy in my regular day to day life, that it’s hard to find time to fit in one of my favorite things to do. And it is wonderful to do it with friends and never-ending snacks at hand!

  3. April 6, 2015 10:36 am

    Wow, I love the video! I love this pattern and even more now that I have seen the video. Your tote would work just fine to keep my rulers in at my cutting table too. I am so happy to be in a book with so many great quilters. Please leave me out of the draw, I do have my own copies of the book, but I wanted to stop and mention how good the video is.

  4. rita permalink
    April 6, 2015 12:09 pm

    I have never been on a retreat. I have done classes and love the commordarie of being with othet quilters. I love the tote and would love to make one for myself and my friends

  5. April 6, 2015 12:10 pm

    I’ve only really done one retreat but I loved having a lot of unstructured time with my friends — exchanging ideas, cooking together, a few hikes in the woods…

  6. Lisa Marie permalink
    April 6, 2015 12:43 pm

    It’s fun to be surrounded by other people who love to sew and to have lots of time to do just that!

  7. April 6, 2015 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the chance to win! I’ve never been on a retreat. I live in Germany with my American husband, so my dream retreat would be in the States with all of my blogging friends.

  8. April 6, 2015 1:12 pm

    I’ve never been on a sewing retreat… I’d love to be in the mountains, with a great view while we sew , and we’d makesome kind of tote bag…. like the big one in this book!

  9. April 6, 2015 1:18 pm

    Fun video! This looks like an amazing project. I’ve only been on day retreats, so I spend some time sewing, and most of the time checking out what others are doing! Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. April 6, 2015 1:40 pm

    I put the TREAT in retreat; I have nothing else to add; just thinking of candy and chocolate over here. And whoa, hell has frozen over. Gleefully shocked to see you overcome your blogging ailment. See ya again in two more years, har har har. 😉

  11. mumbird3 permalink
    April 6, 2015 1:57 pm

    I love to go on a retreat – except for the time I forgot my pins and needles for my machine! Sometimes no matter how hard you plan you forget something essential!! LOL

  12. MoeWest permalink
    April 6, 2015 3:18 pm

    Well, I’ve never been on a retreat. I think I would like a retreat in a picturesque location with some quilt shopping nearby.

  13. Vicki H permalink
    April 6, 2015 5:08 pm

    I haven’t been on a retreat but I think of a lot of sewing and laughing and very little sleep.

  14. Betsy permalink
    April 6, 2015 5:20 pm

    Sewing in your pjs late into the night!

  15. Jeanne permalink
    April 6, 2015 6:02 pm

    I haven’t been on retreat in several years, but I have one in June and my good quilting buddy is going with me. The book would help me get more organized for the retreat. I especially like the tote that holds rulers and a cutting mat.

  16. April 6, 2015 6:19 pm

    I have never been on a retreat, but I would love to try one! I would love to have a chance to see the lovely projects people are working on in person, have a time to learn some tips and techniques, and plenty of opportunity to get some sewing done while socializing!

  17. Tamie permalink
    April 6, 2015 7:11 pm

    I have had the privilege to attend several retreats- most a weekend (or long weekend). The concentrated time to sew with friends who just want to do the same is priceless.

  18. Entropy Always Wins permalink
    April 6, 2015 8:14 pm

    You had me at those ruler projects. I need to schedule a retreat just so I can make one of these or maybe I need it just so I can clean up my studio space? Fantastic Berene, Krista and everyone who contributed-a great book.

  19. Arita permalink
    April 6, 2015 9:02 pm

    I love your tote bag and looking forward to making it. I’ve only been to one day retreat 😦 and loved sewing with other quilters all day long 🙂

  20. Mary Z. permalink
    April 6, 2015 9:33 pm

    I have never been on a retreat. I would love to attend one so that I could spend time with my sewing friends doing what we love. Thank you for the chance to win this book!!

  21. April 6, 2015 10:52 pm

    what a great ruler tote and yes, you do have a lot of rulers !!

  22. April 6, 2015 11:13 pm

    I’ve never been to a retreat, but I imagine it must be wonderful to be with a group of people all focussed on the same thing, but with different experiences. The chance to make friends, improve technique and get and give inspiration.

  23. April 7, 2015 12:49 am

    I’ve come to your blog via the blog hop. I love your tote- absolutely perfect for retreats and any sewing away from home. I’ve only been to the FQR retreats in London and they are fabulous, with lots of great classes and a chance to meet up with old friends and meet new ones

  24. April 7, 2015 1:20 am

    Having never been on retreat, I can only imagine the fun it would be! I would love it if all my blogging buddies and bee mates were there! That would be seriously awesome! Thanks for the giveaway- your contribution to the book is amazing!

  25. Gaye McCance permalink
    April 7, 2015 1:45 am

    I have seen a lot of similar totes before even had a few. This looks like the most useful for carrying belonging to retreats.
    Retreats one of the joys of my life. Both extended or one day. The sharing, friendships, laughter (food ) , oh yes ,and all the work you accomplish. A fabulous experience always.

  26. April 7, 2015 2:25 am

    My first retreat was with two well known Australian designers, Gail Pan and Helen Stubbings. We had lots of fun learning lots of stitchery designs, and this was the best retreat I have been to, so far.

  27. April 7, 2015 3:18 am

    Retreats are such fun! I love that you can just focus on your project and your friends for a few days. No cooking, no one looking for their shoes, no laundry!
    I love your video and I love your equipment tote. What a fabulous book.

  28. Heather @ Quilts Actually permalink
    April 7, 2015 4:08 am

    I’ve never had the chance to attend a retrat, but a weekend with adults and nothing to do but sew would be amazing!

  29. April 7, 2015 4:39 am

    Probably my favorite quilting retreat memory is hearing the Gee’s Bend quilters singing.

  30. Elizabethdee permalink
    April 7, 2015 5:09 am

    I came here after reading Leanne’s mention of your tote on her shecanquilt blog — and wow. It really is the ultimate storage tote. As someone who stashes her rulers under the sofa, I might have to make one of these. I have never been on a sewing retreat but imagine one in New England (autumn, of course), with a mix of sewing time and activities designed to help people meet, like short classes or show-and-tell progress-report sessions.

  31. Lauren aka Giddy99 permalink
    April 7, 2015 5:19 am

    I’m about to go on my 3rd weekend retreat on THIS FRIDAY! I love 3 days of sewing (no chores), and that these retreats are pretty loose (no guest speaker, no group craft activity) so that we can all sew whatever we want!

  32. April 7, 2015 5:24 am

    Love your name, Berene, so beautiful Nice projects and love your fabric selections, both are quite classic yet modern. Welcome back to blogging.

  33. Patricia Cash permalink
    April 7, 2015 5:32 am

    I have never been on a retreat. Hope to someday.

  34. Emilee permalink
    April 7, 2015 5:41 am

    i have never done a retreat-they sound like so much fun! maybe in a few years I will try to make it happen-I would love to work on some projects while enjoying great company of other sewers!

  35. April 7, 2015 5:58 am

    WOW! What a beautiful and handy tote. Nicely done.

  36. April 7, 2015 6:07 am

    My buddies and i go on many retreats, mainly to stay connected. We all used to live in the same town, but don’t any longer. Wonderful way to catch up on each others lives.

  37. April 7, 2015 6:51 am

    Retreats offer opportunities to really get to know your fellow quilters on an entirely different level and build life long friendships.

  38. Barb permalink
    April 7, 2015 10:06 am

    I’ve never been on a retreat but I think I might do one on improv quilt making. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  39. Nicole Sender permalink
    April 7, 2015 10:15 am

    My dream retreat would be in a mountain log cabin! I haven’t had the pleasure of a retreat!

  40. April 7, 2015 11:11 am

    Never been to a retreat-live 50 miles from anywhere!

  41. buntyw permalink
    April 7, 2015 12:27 pm

    I’ve never been on a retreat but I’d love too – somewhere warm and by the sea!!

  42. Joan H. permalink
    April 7, 2015 2:45 pm

    I have never been on a retreat but imagine it to be a spot with no phones, great food and a few quilt-minded friends.

  43. Lisa permalink
    April 7, 2015 4:57 pm

    Two of my friends and I are planning our first retreat. I’m looking forward to spending days of quilting time with them and getting away from the regular life demands.

  44. Esther Dunn permalink
    April 7, 2015 6:17 pm

    Well I think I will be on the dream retreat this June when I join Krista on an Alaskan Cruise where she will be teaching a group of us a project from her book. If you were to choose me I could make that wonderful Ultimate Equipment Tote to take with me on the trip.

  45. April 7, 2015 6:27 pm

    I have never been to a sewing retreat, but my ideal retreat would be somewhere sunny in a room full of windows with a bottomless Pepsi. Thanks for the giveaway.

  46. diane b permalink
    April 7, 2015 6:28 pm

    Berene, It’s so nice to meet you. WOW the Ultimate Equipment Tote is a biggie, but a must have. Excellent video tute! Are you sure I can’t fit the kitchen sink in there too ha ha:)
    My ideal retreat would be among succulents (cacti, aloe vera) in a conservatory, green house, glass house type venue to breathe in all that fresh plant air and stitch to my hearts content amongst all that creative energy of the other sewists/quilters.


  47. kim schorer permalink
    April 7, 2015 6:48 pm

    My favorite retreat is Empty spools at Asilomar. I love the relaxing setting as well as the amazing teachers that care brought in! Creativity flows……

  48. Linda Webster permalink
    April 7, 2015 7:08 pm

    I love spending time with people who talk quilting all day and never get tired of it!

  49. April 8, 2015 1:19 am

    I have never been to a retreat yet. I’d love to go to a retreat to train precision piecing. Thanks for the chance!

  50. April 8, 2015 5:59 am

    I’ve never been on a retreat. I think my dream retreat would be in a lovely setting with lots of natural light and the sewing machines would be provided. I hate having to haul my big sewing machine around! A big table loaded with scraps free for the taking would be an added bonus!

  51. goonyburd permalink
    April 8, 2015 6:59 am

    I’ve never been on a retreat – would love to go, it would be heaven!

  52. Pamela permalink
    April 8, 2015 7:38 am

    These are some super items for any quilter to make! Can’t wait to get the book!

  53. DreiPunkteWerk permalink
    April 8, 2015 7:54 am

    I need the amazing book including the pattern for your tote, because I have so many rulers 🙂 Then I need a retreat… 🙂
    Best regards,

  54. April Hurley permalink
    April 8, 2015 8:38 am

    The very first retreat I went to I was trying to finish up my college degree (20 yrs after I finished high school..geesh). I was taking an online Spanish class, and the retreat location had NO SERVICE!! I had no idea! So I ended up driving to a stop sign closer to town where I had cell service, calling my husband, and walking him through my Spanish homework over the phone. It was crazy, but I ended up with an A in Spanish that semester!!

  55. April 8, 2015 9:02 am

    I’ve never been on a quilting retreat but am imagining a mountain cabin in Spring!

  56. Terri permalink
    April 8, 2015 9:43 am

    I LOVE retreats. A group of friends & I attend a special quilting retreat annually and so enjoy the friendships developed with other quilters. I love the sharing of tips, tricks, what works, what hasn’t worked, and stories of family, friends & faith – such a wonderful retreat at Metigoshe Ministries in North Dakota!

  57. Sandy W. permalink
    April 8, 2015 11:45 am

    Love the camaraderie at retreats and the free-flow of ideas among the attendees. Can’t always afford the large commercial guild retreats, but small ones with a mini group are a highlight in my year.

  58. usairdoll permalink
    April 8, 2015 1:56 pm

    What super totes! Would love to make some for myself! I’ve never been on a retreat but I hope it would include lots of sewing, laughter, food and a great massage;-D

    Awesome giveaway!


  59. Lise permalink
    April 8, 2015 5:16 pm

    My favorite thing at a retreat is the learning, making new friends and mostly having a relaxing , fun time.. and I am looking forward to one this weekend coming up

  60. April 8, 2015 6:23 pm

    The video on the big screen was a big hit at the Whistler guild last night!

  61. Shawna permalink
    April 8, 2015 7:52 pm

    I have not been on a retreat yet. Looking forward to quilting with friends

  62. Sandy Lowery permalink
    April 9, 2015 10:42 am

    I consider my time in California as a snowbird at an RV park as retreat as I get to meet up with like minded women and sew in a designated place.

  63. April 9, 2015 11:34 am

    I love getting together with friends at retreat! The funniest thing that happened was when our sofa bed collapsed and we ended up on the floor! 😮 Thanks for the chance!

    • April 14, 2015 3:31 pm

      You’re a winner, Sandie! Krista will be contacting Martingale Press and they will email you your digital copy of the book. Congrats!

  64. Lil permalink
    April 9, 2015 3:53 pm

    Such a retreat is on my bucket list! What a great opportunity to make new friends and share our passion!

  65. April 9, 2015 4:09 pm

    Welcome back to the blog! I don’t think I’ll ever beat my first retreat experience– Sewdown Nashville. I got to take classes with my idols and I met some truly amazing people.

  66. ncjeepster permalink
    April 9, 2015 8:03 pm

    Gosh, I’ve never been on a retreat, but looking at the contents of this book make me want to. I would love to rent a place in the mountains and have a weekend of friends come up and create, laugh, enjoy a weekend of quilting.

  67. Ellee permalink
    April 10, 2015 2:07 am

    For me, sewing without everyday interruptions is probably the biggest advantage of going on a retreat. I’ve been on retreats with anywhere from 10-50 people. I prefer the smaller groups — up to a dozen people. That way it’s not too crowded, not too noisy, and it’s easier to get to know one another.

  68. Rosalind Gutierrez permalink
    April 10, 2015 6:47 am

    Retreats are so great for building relationships with mutual quilters and creating quilts at the same time.

  69. Barbara permalink
    April 10, 2015 8:33 am

    I have been to a couple of weekend retreats that were wonderful. So relaxing and fun to be surrounded by other quilt lovers and I always come home inspired to do more sewing.

  70. April 10, 2015 8:47 am

    Love your project! I love attending quilt retreats–so inspiring to be among like minded friends!

  71. teri c permalink
    April 10, 2015 9:36 am

    I’ve never been on a retreat but would love to go someday.

  72. April 10, 2015 11:53 am

    I haven’t been on a quilt retreat but I would love to so that I can sew from early to late without any other worries or being interrupted! And enjoying the company of others there. A great project!!

  73. Katy M permalink
    April 10, 2015 3:10 pm

    I’ve never been on a retreat but hope to one day as I’d love to be able to sew all day with like-minded people!

  74. farmquilter permalink
    April 10, 2015 6:08 pm

    I love being able to sew away and chat with other quilters! Quilting is such a solitary occupation that getting to spend time with other quilters is so much fun. I go to my guild’s retreat every year – we had so much fun this year that we extended it by another night so there will be 4 fabulous days and nights of sewing craziness!!!

  75. April 10, 2015 6:30 pm

    I have never been on a retreat. If I went on one I think I would like to go with one of my quilting friends and spend the time sewing and chatting.

  76. Lynn McNeill permalink
    April 10, 2015 7:17 pm

    The greatest experience of a retreat (no matter the duration) is being with other fun loving quilters, freely sharing ideas and tips and inspiring each other to expand beyond our comfort zone. There are so many incredible ideas and skills yet untapped and there is no greater place to discover them than in the company of those who share, appreciate and openly acknowledge every achievement. I love your ideas and look forward to our upcoming ‘cruise retreat’.

  77. April 10, 2015 8:34 pm

    We have an annual quilt retreat here and I love them. My favourite part is definitely meeting everyone and passing the day together chatting and sewing! Last year the location was wonderful: a beautiful view of the lake, sewing blocks inspired by the decorations painted on the historic building’s walls.

  78. Milla permalink
    April 11, 2015 8:43 am

    I love your Ultimate Equipment Tote! What a great design! I haven’t been to a retreat before, only to quilting/sewing classes, which are always fun. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

  79. jen permalink
    April 11, 2015 10:35 am

    I haven’t been on a quilting retreat but my dream retreat would be in a beautiful place with really fun friends 🙂

  80. April 11, 2015 1:46 pm

    I’ve never been to a retreat.

  81. April 11, 2015 2:56 pm

    I’ve not yet been on my dream retreat but it would be in a country cottage – lovely rural outlook, great food and great company …and lots of inspiring stitching 🙂

  82. chilebeanz permalink
    April 11, 2015 7:30 pm

    I’ve never been on a retreat, but if I could, I’d love to meet with those with whom I spent many lovely days in our needlework guild in Akron, Ohio. Inge, Dora, Helene, Jean, and Anne, among others, were such dears who taught me so much, and offered such a special friendship! I will always miss them.

  83. Karen McMahon permalink
    April 11, 2015 8:13 pm

    I have never been on a quilting retreat. If I get the chance some day, I would home for lots of sewing, ideas, fabric,laughs and chocolate!

  84. Kimberley permalink
    April 12, 2015 6:08 am

    Thanks for the lovely giveaway. My dream giveaway would be one available to those on the “list”! 🙂

  85. laura permalink
    April 12, 2015 11:26 am

    I love any retreat that consists of a good view, good company, and a great book!

  86. Carol S. permalink
    April 12, 2015 2:17 pm

    The best retreat was the one with my guild and I won the raffle to win a block from all the women at the retreat!! I have so much fun and get so much done at retreats!

  87. Cathy Wilson permalink
    April 13, 2015 3:33 pm

    I hope I’m not too late! Would love to win!

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