New Release! Daily Beauty—365 Ways to Play with Everyday Quilt Embellishments. And a giveaway!

Daily Beauty by Cecile Trentini for C&T Publishing

We invited Daily Beauty author Cécile Trentini to introduce herself, her work, and of course, her thoughts on this latest release.

Please, step into her world…

Sources of Inspiration

A lot of my quilts are inspired by a material or a specific technique, or sometimes both.

In Fragile Peace of Mind, I had just discovered the couching foot and was fascinated by the texture of cotton batting (which was then not easily available in Switzerland), so I had the idea to make a quilt with couching one strip of fabric after the other and leaving some space open, where the batting would show.

FragilePeaceOfMind by Cecile Trentini author of Daily Beauty for C&T Publishing

Fragile Peace of Mind, 56″ x 54.5″. Was accepted into Quilt National 2001

Detail of Fragile Piece of Mind by Cecile Trentini author of Daily Beauty for C&T Publishing

Detail. The broad white vertical lines are the cotton batting showing through.

Hiding Pollock was inspired by a heap of fabric slivers left over from trimming a lot of fabric squares. I wondered if these scraps could be turned into a new “fabric” using a felting machine.


Hiding Pollock, 37″x 12″


Detail. The two multicolored squares are made of felted fabric scraps

So, in a way, using cotton pads in Daily Beauty was following a “tradition” of using a material that fascinated me by its size, color and texture and challenging myself to find surprising ways to include this material in a piece of art; in the case of Daily Beauty, 365 different ways.

Daily Beauty by Cecile Trentini for C&T Publishing

Full Quilt – Daily Beauty

Making Daily Beauty

The inspiration for and making of Daily Beauty is described in the book, but here is a small story that could well be called a blooper:

When I started to work on Daily Beauty, I soon had the feeling that this was going to be a very special quilt. I decided this would be the piece I would enter into the Quilt National competition that happened to be that year. It soon became apparent that the quilt would become very large, so I reread the entry rules to make sure it would not be larger than allowed. The size was okay, but that was when I discovered that the entry deadline was a whole two months earlier than what I wrongly had in mind. Which left me with a short 3 weeks to sew another 300-and-some squares and finish the quilt. I made the deadline—night-shifts included—but the piece was not accepted to Quilt National. It was a very nice consolation that later, the quilt would sufficiently intrigue the staff at C&T to have them decide to publish a book about it!

Daily Beauty by Cecile Trentini for C&T Publishing

Detail of Daily Beauty

How I came to make a book about Daily Beauty

A true story that goes to prove the adage “Never say never.”:

When I finished the quilt, I was so happy with the result that I made a photo book of it, with pictures showing the whole quilt and pages after pages of close-ups of all the 365 blocks (this is now the second part of the book).

I was then invited to teach a workshop at a quilting retreat and asked to put together a slideshow to be shown during the social evening, the day before the class. As designing a quilt was the theme of the class, I decided to show examples of how I developed some of my own quilts; one of them was “Daily Beauty.” I showed the slideshow to my friend David, who was very enthusiastic about it and insisted that I should include these pictures and explanations in the photo book. As a present, I made him a copy, including both the design process and the photo section; it was meant to be an exclusive copy for him. But he started nagging me to publish the book, although I told him that no publisher would ever consider making a book about only one quilt. In the end, we bet whether or not it would be possible to find a publisher. I said no, he said yes. The winner would be invited to a candlelight dinner at a very expensive restaurant. C&T Publishing was the first publisher to whom I sent the book proposal… one of the very few bets ever I was thrilled to lose…even though the dinner cost me a fortune!

Daily Beauty by Cecile Trentini for C&T Publishing

Detail of Daily Beauty

In the book, I want to show the readers how I developed this quilt from toying with a particular material to a finished art quilt. It shows the design process of one specific piece, but at the same time it reflects on my basic credo when it comes to design: always look at an initial idea from different angles, think out of the box, play, make sketches and samples to visually test your ideas and when it comes to sewing and materials you use, always remember that you make the rules, anything is possible, and choose the technique and materials that are best-suited to achieve the visual impact you are looking for.

The giveaway – To enter to win a copy of  Daily Beauty, leave a comment here telling us if and how you have used unusual items in your quilt making!  Deadline to enter is 01/21/13.  The winner will be drawn at random from the comments section and will be notified by email. Our winner’s name will also be listed here as an update to this post. *Note: Only entrants with U.S addresses are eligible to win this book. Winners with addresses outside the U.S. will win the e-book version!

1/22/13 UPDATE;  Susan D. is our winner – Congratulations!

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  1. Posted January 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Using your fun approach to develop some design discipline sounds like the perfect new year’s resolution for me! I look forward to reading your book and getting started!

  2. Nancy Myers
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I have added items to small postcard sized quilted projects

  3. Sue Wiggins
    Posted January 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I have been doing basic quilting for a few years and I need to “kick it up a notch”. It looks like this book would be a great guide to doing just that. I would love to be the winner!

  4. Karen Mead
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Fastastic! What a neat idea. I feel so stuck sometimes in the same-o-same-o that this book can really pull one out of the slump. I’d love to read the whole thing.

  5. Aimey Collier
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I have never used anything unique in my quilt making but have to say this book looks beautiful and inspiring. Very nice work.

  6. Posted January 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I basically use fabrics, threads, beads, buttons and miscellaneous findings in my quilted pieces–generally tech cozies, purses, accessories. I think the idea of 365 exercises might just be what I need to move beyond the rut I am in!

  7. Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I’m more a dyer than a quilter, and as a group we dyers are even bigger magpies than most quilters. So many fun things can be used in the process of dyeing fabric. Some of my favorites are industrial mesh used to protect metal parts, storm fence scrap that came from the gutter, plastic wire spools from dumpster diving, pot holders, iron grates . . . now you’ve challenged me to come up with 365 of them!

  8. MarciaW
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I haven’t used unusual items, just embroidery, lace, buttons, and non-quilty style fabrics. It’s on my list to make a modern crazy quilt.

  9. Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Recently I used the shiny red bag that my coffee beans came in.

  10. Susan S
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Boy do i need this one. Could really do with a way to push myself to do something new every day.

  11. Trudi Rammelkamp
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I have only dabbled in art quilting, mostly in clothing, and would be very interested in following an artist’s thought process.

  12. Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    I have used rope, buttons, and beads. I love to add embellishments.

  13. Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m not sure that I’ve ever used any unusual items in quilting, but I do love working on artsy type quilts. This book would be excellent!

  14. Susan Davison
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I have couched yarn and trims to quilts and have also sewn sequin waste onto a quilt along with sequins and netting.

  15. Julie B
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    My sister & my niece give me their “scrapes” of fabric. Sometimes the pieces are to small to even use for a crazy quilt block. But I did use some of those scraps recently. I folded some very narrow strips into thirds and stitched through them to make “twigs”. I was making a 3D bird nest and needed to weave the “twigs” to look like a nest. It turned out better than I expected.

  16. Ani Hudson
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I have used dog hair (clean shorn hair from my Maltese) and dryer lint as tranpunto stuffing. This book sounds fantastic, thanks for the opportunity to win it!

  17. Jerie Clark
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I have used beads, sequins, yarn, rattail, cotton balls, string and probably more. I really want this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    For a Caterina Day of the Dead Quilt, I sewed on buttons, old jewelry, doll dishes, milagros and ribbons from a box of chocolates. I had a great time doing that, but in looking carefully at the quilt, I realized I could learn better and more ways to be creative with my quilts. I just need a gentle push and some instruction.

  19. Tammy Hempel
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    My father had a birthday coming up one year and of course he is one of these people that has everything. I decided that I would make him a quilted wall hanging. I make it look like a flag with his initial on it. Then I placed hanging gemstones on it. He loves it and still to this day has it hanging on his wall.

  20. SandraB
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    These images are amazing — very inspiring, gives me lots of ideas. I like to work paper and candy wrappers and scraps and ‘stuff’ into my pieces!

  21. Mary Mac
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I love to use seed beads and charms in my quilts. I have also placed pockets so my granddaughter could place who own treasures.

  22. Shirley
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I am fairly new to quilting, so I have not used found objects in any quilts, but I do have a collection of very old zippers, and sewing notions that I would like to combine or display on a small wall quilt some day. For now, I am letting the ideas perculate. This book looks like it would provide a lot of “WOW” ideas to add to the pot. I would love to win this book for so many reasons, and so many other projects.

  23. T Knott
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I’ve just used buttons, beads, thread and lace. . .all pretty “normal” embellishment stuff. . .but, would love to try out more “outside the box” stuff!

  24. Claudia
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Now that you ask, I haven’t used anything more original than the conventional stuff we use: fabric, yarns, beads, threads, and ribbons. Would love to win this book and get out of the constipated funk my creativity has been wallowing in for the last several weeks. Thanks.

  25. Sandy
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I’ve incorporated wire, watch parts, and hardware into some of my quilts.

  26. Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I haven’t really been brave enough to use unique items in my quilts. I’m hoping this title will push me over the edge of trepidation. Thanks for the giveaway!

  27. Posted January 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I would have to read your book to find something unusual to use in a quilt. I have to admit, I, too, have only used ribbon, lace, rick rack, and buttons so far, but would love to explore more options. My chances of winning might help me to find different ideas to use new and creative ways to quilt. Thanks for sharing about your awesome book. I loved reading about your bet with your friend. You WON on the first publisher! Was it a wonderful dinner? You didn’t share that part.

  28. Posted January 15, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I only make quilts with 3D embellishments.. so Yay for this book=) I have used elastics, spools, craft foam and many others.

  29. Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    What a fun idea! I see some shopping in my future. The most unusual material I have used in one of my quilts was rattle snake bones.

  30. hueisei
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I have not yet used any unusual items in my quilt making.

  31. sylvia
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I have an idea for using found objects (aka TRASH!) in a quilt, but I haven’t gotten around to making it yet!

  32. Lauren Mullarkey
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I love the quilt Daily Beauty. I think it’s great when artists think outside the box. I have used many objects in my quilts including jewelry, stick and twigs, pipe cleaners to name a few!

  33. Susan
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I have not used anything unusual in my quilts–but I am still a beginner and haven’t made that many quilts yet.

  34. Kathy Johanson
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Yay! Another givewaway! And a really cool book too. Amazing ideas..can’t wait to see the rest of them.

  35. TexPat
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I’ve done the buttons, yo-yos, couching threads, hand embroidery and tulle overlays. I really need to be a lot more adventurous. i’d love to win this book. Daily Beauty is fascinating to look at!

  36. Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I haven’t used anything unusual yet – this is such a creative idea, I’ve been wanting to expand my horizons and make more personalized pieces, looking forward to checking out this book!

  37. Mary Ann
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I never have but now I want to. Amazing idea!

  38. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The most exotic thing I’ve used is buttons. LOL!

  39. Beth T.
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I am not an adventurous quilter at all–the most unusual material I have ever used is a batik!

  40. Jean-Sophie
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I’d love to have a closer look at this book–such an interesting concept! I’ve sliced up soda cans and used them along with other metal objects on a scrap (metal) quilt.

  41. Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I have not yet used any unusual items in my quilt making. I’m assuming that I’m moving in that direction someday, though.

  42. Deb Martens
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I haven’t been very adventurous – yet! I love to keep experimenting and learning, though. Would love to win this book!

  43. Kate
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I haven’t used too many unusual items in my quilts- yet! Just buttons, beads, yo-yos, ribbons… the usual. Would love to experiment- this looks like a great book for inspiration! Thanks for the giveaway!

  44. quiltchick
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    What a book of inspiration. Are artists born that way are can you learn to be artistic? I need this book.

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