Book Recommendation – Wanderlust Quilts

I recently learned the most important thing about Amanda Leins (aka Mandy or Mandalei Quilts). You pronounce her last name like LIONS. Got it? Good! 🙂 The second most important thing about Mandy is that she’s just written an amazing book with the incredibly appropriate title of Wanderlust Quilts.


So what are Wanderlust Quilts you ask? They are quilts inspired by the art, architecture, and history of ancient civilizations and the objects made by human hands that remain behind, made to gain a fuller understanding of the people who lived in that time and place.

In her book, Amanda presents 10 beautifully original patterns, along with photographs of the places and events that inspired those designs. Her background is in archaeology, so it’s a natural fit that she’s inspired by her previous work and life experiences.

My Favorite Quilt

Eggs-and-DartsEggs and Darts, pieced by Sue Bishop and Quilted by Amanda Leins, won first place in the Modern Category at NQA Quilt Show in Little Rock, AR earlier this year.

My favorite quilt from the book is Eggs and Darts. The quilt design is stunning and I love the expansive negative space which allows for copious amounts of machine quilting. I had the pleasure of viewing this stunning quilt close and in person earlier this year at the NQA quilt show.


I’d award a Best in Show ribbon to Wanderlust Quilts if I could.

In fact, I love going to quilt shows because they inspire me so much. I’m such a big advocate of showing your work, not for the glory or ribbons, but simply to share your artistry with the viewer. I never really understood the phrase “art moves me” until I began viewing quilts as art when hung in quilt shows. I can stare at them for hours and imagine all of the possibilities if I were to make this quilt my own.

Here’s a better view of the luscious detail quilting of Eggs and Darts:

eggsndarts_quiltingIn addition to being an amazing pattern designer, Mandy’s quilting will knock your socks off, too. (Photo by Nissa Brehmer)

egganddart_detailEgg and Dart detail – photography courtesy of C&T.

I also love that along with beautiful quilt photography, each quilt includes a photograph of the architectural details that inspired it. Here’s a closeup of a facade of the Pantheon, showing a small egg and dart row. I learned this fun fact from Mandy’s book: historically, the egg and dart motif was used as a very small detail on a temple, or as a bit of a border between features.

Wanderlust Quilts Giveaway

Mandy’s publisher, C&T is very generously giving away a book to one person at each stop along the blog hop. To enter, please leave your comment below telling me where you would love to travel to find your quilting inspiration. I’ll keep the comments open until November 15th, the last day of the hop.

aquaductsAquaducts, another favorite of mine. Photography by Nissa Brehmer.

Be sure to visit Mandy’s blog for the full blog hop schedule so that you too can be taken along an imaginary journey into far off places.

I have to end this post with this fun little image I noticed when looking for Mandy’s book on Amazon. It made me smile. 🙂


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81 thoughts on “Book Recommendation – Wanderlust Quilts

  1. Ruthann says:

    I would love to travel back to India. I worked there for two years but didn’t see much of the country per my employment. There is so much color and so many interesting motifs to explore. Each ‘state’ has it’s own flavor.

  2. Nancy E says:

    My trip, if you could do your dream, would be the Silk Road…never happen. With that said, I find lots of inspiration at the local quilt shows, so many beautiful, well loved ideas out there close to home.

  3. DEBI JIMENEZ says:

    After really thinking long and hard about where I would like to travel for quilting inspiration I find that my answer may sound a bit strange. Like all those before me traveling to Paris Italy and Greece would amazing and inspiring….but for me my first choice would be to travel back to my childhood hometown . Knowing that the place has grown over the years of my life and most likely the people and places I remember are gone. Still there is something about the idea of standing in my Gamma’s kitchen capturing the pattern from the tile floor or taking my Pope’s Garden layout with all the flowers he loved. What a quilt that would be …with a block for all of my favorite places…
    The Army Base. The Medical Center..The Fabric Mill. The Newsstand The Bridges and above all the Homes we lived loved and cried in. Christa you create inspiration just by asking a question. Off to check out this fantastic book.

  4. Marguerite Namdar says:

    I would go to the east coast during the fall. I love fall colors and I understand that back east is beautiful in the fall.

  5. sgrancio says:

    I am hoping to go to Sicily and Paris in 2016 or 2017, to explore an ancient place new to me and one to which I have been a number of times. Loving the previews of the quilts from this book and look forward to seeing the book,
    Susan in Dublin

  6. Lauren says:

    I am dying to go to Japan, pretty sure I could find tons of inspiration and fabric!!! I LOVE the Aquaducts quilt!! I can’t wait to check this book out! Thank you!!!!

  7. Karen M says:

    I love the Pantheon and have been wanting to make a quilt of the walls and ceiling. I don’t remember seeing the detail shown in this book so now I need to go back to the Pantheon and look more closely!

  8. Charlotta Norby says:

    I’d like to go somewhere in Africa to see lots of zebras in the wild. My favorite thing is zebras, and I always put a zebra in each quilt I make. But I’d like to try to make some artistic zebra quilts, where I design the zebras. Or of zebras in a landscape. So seeing and photographing zebras in the wild would be so fantastic.

  9. Kat Scott says:

    Australia, New Zealand and Greece come to mind— but one can find great inspiration where ever you choose to open your eyes and really look!

  10. Lisa Marie says:

    Let’s see…Rome, Paris, Australia…any of those would be wonderful. But since getting to them may be hard to manage any time soon, how about Paducah? I’ll bet there is lots of quilty inspiration there.

  11. Karen says:

    I’d go to one of the Poles! Spectacular light shows, clear night skies, glaciers/ice with amazing colors. Soon, before we lose them 😦

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