New Release! Diamond Traditions … and a Giveaway!

Diamond Traditions by Monique Dillard for C&T Publishing

Monique Dillard, from Open Gate Quilts, is the author of our newest release! She is guest posting today to tell you all about her latest title, Diamond Traditions.

”This is the week of the release of my latest book with C&T Publishing, Diamond Traditions. The cover is SO cool and I am just thrilled with this book! It is another fat quarter book and with this one, I use fat quarters as backgrounds for some quilts and a single fabric for the background on others. There are 11 different quilts and most have multiple sizes.

Diamond Traditions by Monique Dillard for C&T Publishing
The quilt on the front, “Blue Heart Diamonds” (above), was pieced by my friend, Peggy Drake and quilted by another friend Danette Gonzalez. This is one of the quilts in the book that uses a scrappy fat quarter background.

Diamond Traditions by Monique Dillard for C&T Publishing

In the book, I also provide instructions on using either my rulers or the traditional piecing method.

Are you wondering where the name of the book came from? Well, as I was designing the quilts, I saw a diamond theme emerging in each of the quilts and it went from there!

Diamond Traditions by Monique Dillard for C&T Publishing
One of my favorite quilts in the book is “Marquis”, pieced by me, quilted by LeAnne Olson, and pictured above. I love the way the simple block, a combination of quarter square triangles and courthouse steps blocks, makes a more complicated pattern. Again, this is all fat quarters except for the borders but you can certainly use one light fabric. Can you see the diamond shape in this quilt?  They remind me of Chinese Lanterns.

Diamond Traditions by Monique Dillard for C&T Publishing
I have many talented and wonderful friends who help me piece and quilt my quilts. I couldn’t do it without all their help!

Diamond Traditions by Monique Dillard for C&T Publishing

“Square Cut” (above) was pieced by my friend, Kathy Rosecrance and again quilted by LeAnne Olson. The diamonds are not as subtle as they are in some of the other quilts because the black really makes them jump out!

My design process starts on the computer.  I use my quilting program to create the blocks, then add my colors so I can see how they look together.  I play with the design, rotating the blocks, putting them on point, adding sashing or pieced borders, or I alternate blocks until I am satisfied with the overall look and secondary designs.

With “Square Cut”, I rotated the blocks and added the strong black to really make the diamonds pop. Once I get it designed, I choose my fabric and make 1 to 4 blocks depending on the quilt. For “Square Cut”, I made 4 blocks so I could see how it looked together. Once I have the blocks made, I can then make multiples of the blocks.

All of my books with C&T Publishing are fat quarter books and when I pieced them and wrote the instructions, I figured out how many blocks I could get with a pair or a set of fat quarters and, if used, a main background. I try to use as much of the fabric as possible so there is very little waste.  With the price of fabric these days, who wants to waste!

Then, when I piece, I work in sets.  So, if I can get 4 blocks from a set of fat quarters, I make 4 blocks.  If it’s 3, then I make 3.  Most of the time I like to use the same fabrics in a set of blocks. If I want to make it really scrappy, like in “Diamonds are Forever” (below), I make multiples of the unit using the same fabric.  Then when I make the larger block, I scrappy it up. It helps me to be organized and keep things together.

Diamond Traditions by Monique Dillard for C&T Publishing
This is just a sampling of the quilts that are in Diamond Traditions. Hope you enjoy these diamonds as much as I enjoyed designing and making them!


To win a copy of Diamond Traditions leave a comment on this post telling us if you love working with diamond shapes! The winner will be randomly selected on May 16th and added as an update to this post. International winners will receive the e-book.  Good Luck!

5/17/13 UPDATE: Vidya is our winner – congratulations!

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  1. Fran
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Lovely quilts!

  2. Patricia G
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I especially like the cover quilt. It is so interesting the way the dark and light fabrics contrast and form the blocks. Beautiful!

  3. Posted May 16, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I am relatively new to quilting – Jan 2012 – just finished my first twin, can’t wait to start another!

  4. Mary Kayackas
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    This book sounds very intriguing. Can’t wait to either win it or buy it. The above writeup was great.

  5. diane
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Monique–I like them all. Keep up the great designing. Hope to see you at Quilter’s Window again soon. I like the Marquis.

  6. Julie B
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Diamonds are a girl’s best friend-even if it is only part of a quilt. I like on-point blocks and have made a couple quilts with the diamond shapes.

  7. Dorothy Foster
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    This looks like one of those books where you want to try another pattern as soon as you complete your project.

  8. betsy laws
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    yes i love diamonds . Im new to quilting and have been trying to do all the shapes. lol

  9. Normajean Brevik
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    This looks like a fun book! Hope I win.

  10. Jerie Clark
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I love diamonds and would love to have the book

  11. Graham Purcell
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Diamonds are always a challenge but I get better every time I use them.

  12. Posted May 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I would like to have the book to learn how to work with diamonds

  13. Linda
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    The black and pink one looks like that would be great with oriental fat quarters that are too pretty to cut into smaller pieces.

  14. Jill
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I love the quilts. Diamonds are a little challenging but the more you do the more you like them.

  15. Jeannne
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    These are definitely my kind of quilts. I like the movement you get using the diamond designs, without actually cutting diamonds.

  16. Lori Morton
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    New to all this quilty stuff….didn’t do very well on diamonds my first try…did better next round tho! So NOW I like ‘em! lol

  17. Posted May 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Love your new book!!! Congratulations on getting it published – the quilts are amazing! Love working with diamonds :) Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  18. G
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Love your style- love diamonds – when I’m lazy I cheat and use squares on point in quilts!

  19. Patricia Hersl
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I do! I learned with templates and just love the whole process.

  20. Barbara Pricola
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I love stars and diamonds, so yes, I do like working with diamond shapes!

  21. Kathalynn Thwing
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I do love to work with dimonds and this book looks like a must have.
    Have a Happy Day!

  22. Toni Leli
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I am a beginner, so I have not worked with diamond shapes yet, but I’m willing to give it a go!

  23. Michaela
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    They are beautiful . I Love them all.but I never tried to make one.

  24. Lisa Marie
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind working with diamond shapes — especially when the results are as lovely as the quilts in this book!

  25. Carrie Keeley
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Yes – I do enjoy working with diamonds & the book looks wonderful!

  26. Posted May 15, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Looks like a fun new book.


  27. Posted May 15, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I found your explanation of how you decide your patterns interesting. I look forward to making some designs myself.

  28. Diane Reed
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I’m new to quilting and would love to learn more about quilting and different patterns.

  29. Jo
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    They are beautiful quilts! I have not worked much with diamond shapes as they look challenging!

  30. Cynthia Green
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Diamond shapes are always beautiful and lend an elegance to any quilt. I’m dying to try some of these quilts.

  31. Kaye M.
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I like the Blue Heart Diamonds quilt the best! Yes, I have worked with diamonds before when I made a Lone Star wallhanging. It took alot of precise cutting and stitching but it was worth it. I was very happy with the finished project!

  32. Dale M
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    All of the quilts pictured here are fabulous. Where would you start?

  33. Meg Whalen
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Beautiful quilts! Makes diamonds really pop!

  34. Inger Martinson
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Ihaven’t worked with diamonds yet, but these quilts look really – time to learn maybe?

  35. Laura G
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I love diamonds, they are a girls’ best friend, after all!

  36. Victoria P.
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I Love working with fat quarters AND would love to have the book to get me started working with diamonds. I have never made a diamond quilt… maybe soon though.

  37. Jonell Carter
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I have just started to learn how to do diamonds correctly and though challanging, I just love it. I would be so very happy to win this book.

  38. Chris
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I can’t say I love working with diamonds but each time I do I get better and I like the end result.

  39. Tamie
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I love the challenge of the diamond, it is wonderfully complex and rich look!

  40. Cindy Wienstroer
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I have not planned on working with diamonds but sometimes – like you say the design pops out depending on color choices.

  41. Annette
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Love the pink& black & white one. They are all fabulous.

  42. Fran D.
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Love the Marquis, I have worked with diamonds in a red and white sampler that is a beauty as well :)

  43. Annette
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I Love the pink and black and white modern one. In fact they are all fab quilts.

  44. Posted May 15, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Beautiful quilts. I love the diamond designs but not a big fan working with them.

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