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. Jocelyn Kerr says:

    This book looks fantastic! I’m planning to visit southwestern Minnesota next year: Pipestone and Comfrey, MN. Both are located within driving distance from home, so it’s more likely to happen than a longer trip. I expect the Jeffers Petroglyphs at Comfrey will provide inspiration for quilting or needlework or other craft designs. And I’d really like to observe the carving of Native American pipes at the Pipestone National Monument!

  2. Elizabethdee says:

    Andalusia, please! or better yet, send Mandy Leins, so we could get her take on the Alhambra and the other Moorish architectural wonders.

  3. LouAnn says:

    I would love to travel to Norway, where my father was born. Norwegians have many art forms (hardanger embroidery, rosmaling, fine carpentry, Nordic knitting patterns) among others. Norway also has such wonderful sites to see, most of all the fjords. The history is rich and has great meaning to me. This would provide a lifetime of inspiration!

  4. Kathy Halvorson Potts says:

    While world travel would be fun and very inspirational, I’d stick to the good old USA and go anywhere I could find works of any kind by Frank Lloyd Wright. I love the clean, simple lines of his works. Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Debby says:

    Just to travel, I hope hope hope to one day go to Scotland. For design inspiration, I would love to go to Morroco. I love the simple design shapes they use and also the intricate ones.

  6. Cheri Barker says:

    I’d love to go back to the Alhambra, but next year’s trip is about 13K miles around the US. My top pick from that site would be ….hmmmm, Zion in Utah or in CA, Jeddidiah State Park, or Canada, or…. no way to pick just one.

    Christina, on a very separate non blog related item, please contact me via email.

  7. Becca says:

    I love travel in general! I’d really love to go back to Italy and France and England, I’d love to see Scotland, and I’d really love to go to New Zealand.

  8. Judy says:

    Almost everywhere I have traveled I have seen inspiration for a quilt. I really want to go to Europe and definitely see it as a place for great quilt inspiration.

  9. Virginia says:

    I think travel anywhere can provide us with inspiration, but I would probably choose to go to the Orient for modern geometric designs the appear in the architecture there.

  10. Leanne Parsons says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland and Italy and Greece and France and…Anywhere sounds good, really! Mandy’s book looks amazing. Thanks for the chance to win. Oh, and thanks for sharing how to pronounce her last name 🙂

  11. Sue says:

    I would love to go to a quilt show in America, any show, as I can’t believe how huge they are ! I know I’d be inspired 😃

  12. Barbara Beyun says:

    I just saw a show on Barcelona. I’ve always loved the work of Gaudi, but now I realize how inspiring it can be to a quilter. Not as precise as some other architecture styles- more Improvisational to be sure.

  13. Josie.McRazie says:

    Oh my goodness!! Aquaducts speaks to me!! I want to make it today!! It looks like doors!! And the first one looks like a crown! Can we say pretty in jewel tones for a little princess??? Ok I’m all in! I beef this book yesterday!! ;0)

  14. Mary Hawthorne says:

    I would like to travel to the southwestern US to gather design inspiration from the native American cultures and the landscape that inspired them

  15. JillB says:

    I’m lucky enough to live in Europe and have traveled a fair amount (distances aren’t that huge here!) both here and in Asia, but I would love to travel to Japan and Australia for inspiration! Two very different destinations, to be sure, but both call out to me.

  16. kitty says:

    It may sound a little unexpected at first glance, because I’d love to come to America! I’m living in the Netherlands and over here there are very few quilters and even fewer that I feel inspired by. It would be fantastic to meet in person with some of the many, many great quilters and their work. Fortunately, thanks to the wonderful internet I’m able to read their blogs see videos and take classes through Craftsy, but how inspiring would it be to watch them and listen to them in person!!

  17. Beth T. says:

    Although I tend to be a homebody, since I am really inspired by tile and tile designs, I think I would love to spend some time in Morocco or Spain–imagine the gorgeous “tile inspired” quilts I could come home and make, for the rest of my homebody life.

  18. AnnLouise Pugh says:

    Where have I not been that I would really like to go? England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales…Pugh is a name that is common in Wales.

    AnnLouise Pugh in Las Vegas……

  19. Gina says:

    I wish I could travel to Egypt and get inspiration from the pyramids and the great Sphynx. I love modern quilts and “Eggs and Darts” is a seriously sweet quilt!

  20. Dianne Martell says:

    I would love to visit an Amish community, to see the beautiful hand stitched quilts. Then I would thank my lucky stars that I have a sewing machine.

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