What’s this blog all about anyway?

November 1, 2010

What’s this blog all about?

This blog is the online supplement to my book Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts (Krause Publications/F&W Media).  It began as the “working laboratory” for MSMQ in March 2009 with a group of quilters who volunteered to learn my techniques for designing spiral mandala quilts then use them to design and make their own quilts.  Along the way, their feedback helped me select and perfect the material that now appears in the book.  Each of the quilts finished by the participants appears in the book and on this site.

(You’ll also find here some of my musings about other inspiring topics — usually about quilting — and links to my favorite recipes.)

In the right-hand column on this page, the name of each quilter who contributed to MSMQ  is listed, along with the title(s) of the quilt(s) he or she made.  Below each name is another page for each quilt.  This “Designing....” page is the actual page where that quilter and I held a conversation about the quilt as it was being designed and made.  My hope in sharing this is that you will see how the techniques I teach in MSMQ were used by the quilters here, and find inspiration and encouragement in their creative process.

In addition to the quilters listed here, there were a number of others who, for a variety of reasons, were unable to finish quilts.  Their experiments and feedback were also very important in developing the material for the book.

I want to express my deep gratitude to all the quilters and others (my editor, photographer and designer, among others) who shared their time, effort and talents to make Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts a reality.  I could not have done this without you!

RaNae Merrill Quilt Design


If you like Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts you’ll also like my first book, Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts.

I’m often asked “What is the difference between the two books, and do you need to understand SASQ before you can go on to MSMQ?”

In a nutshell, the books are different in the way they design with spirals: SASQ focuses on playing with individual spirals within themselves, and presents a variety of settings in which to use them.  MSMQ focuses on what happens when you connect spirals with other spirals outside themselves, and focuses strictly on the mandala settings.  

Both books use the same basic cutting and sewing techniques, though MSMQ has been updated with a a number of improvements.

You do not have to read SASQ in order to understand MSMQ, and together they represent a wide range of design possibilities with these fascinating blocks.  Think of the two books like a good marriage. Each can stand on its own, but together they are more than the sum of the parts.

SASQ also has an online supplement.   Click here to go to the SASQ pages on the Spiromaniacs Blog. 

Click on either of the images above to purchase MSMQ and SASQ.


2 Responses to “What’s this blog all about anyway?”

  1. Chris Groendyk Says:

    Hi Ranae! Enjoyed meeting you and taking your first class at Quilting at the Lake on Friday. Thank you for your words of encouragement and praise. I can hardly wait to finish my Mandala. I promise to send a photo. Hope your trip back to NYC was without incident and that you had a good time visiting with your family. Blessings. Chris Groendyk LHC,AZ

  2. Sue Says:

    I cannot find any focal fabric that is similar to the one used in Sultana, and I love the way it looks in the book. Any suggestions?

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