New York beauty baby quilt

Michael our guild president and his wife had their first baby recently so what does a quilt guild give as a gift? The answer is obvious.  Lots of secret conversations were had and because Michael is a New Yorker I chose the New York beauty block. I might have been sworn at by the other ladies, but I think they all enjoyed it once they had finished it. We used a variety of different blocks found at this site. The remit was to make it scrappy and leave the outside edge off so they could all be done the same.   Then the blocks began to arrive and I had fun auditing background fabric. I was keen on this green, but it didn’t quite seem strong enough.

new york block1However, this blue worked a treat.

new york2I started sewing the blocks to the background, it was a daunting task as I had I think 23 blocks to do and I’m not a big fan of sewing curves. However, I discovered it is a lot easier when you starch the fabric. It helped so much to stop it stretching out of shape.  Then it was back to the design wall to settle on the design. I have to admit this took me a good few attempts but finally decided on this.

new york3I also mulled over the quilting design for a few weeks but eventually I got inspired and went for it over a marathon 24 hours.  I chose feathers around each block with a swirl inside and a zigzag in the negative spaces.

new york4Once the binding was on it was finally delivered to Dad who sent us this lovely picture of baby on his new quilt.

new york5I wonder how many readers like to plan everything about a quilt before they start it. Maybe reading about the process behind this quilt lets you see that sometimes, the fun is in not knowing and enjoying the surprise on what it turns.

Written by ShevvyLondon

Inspiration of the month

Our June inspiration comes from the very talented Leanne who blogs at shecanquilt. Leanne is not only terribly inspirational, she is also a wonderful person who by the way has no problem travelling all the way from Canada where she lives to London for the Fat Quaterly retreat! I have had the great fortune to finally meet her two years ago at the retreat after having “met” through the on-line quilting community.

Leanne recently started on a quilt series that features circles in a variety of colour schemes.

I have picked ‘Cycles 2′ for our feature because I love the suppleness of the colours that she used and the wonderful matchstick quilting. (Is it only me who has spotted a matchstick quilting trend?) This quilt made entirely from solids uses predominantly Kona cotton and Essex linen.

The colours of the quilt were inspired by the sun drenched, west coast, northern Pacific Ocean beaches with which she likes to evoke in our imagination weathered driftwood, rocks, shells, rain, waves and ocean storms. No problem,… I am already there in my mind.

The quilting was done using about six different coordinating thread colours and probably a lot of patience as the quilt is around the 39″ big.


GB quilting shops

RB-PrecutsI love to buy from shops here at home if I can, saves on international postage and import taxes. Not so long ago this meant far less choice, now there are some brilliant modern quilting fabric companies flourishing online and I wanted to share a few I have found.

backstitchBackstitch is a great resource for quilting as well as dressmaking and now is not just on line, Alice has opened up a real bricks & mortar shop. Stocking a good range of designers including Denyse Schmidt, Lizzy House & Bonnie and Camille. Alice mentioned Moda Dotties and Michael Miller Mirror Ball Dots and a Michael Miller collection called Wee Wander. I rather love Tule by Leah Duncan.

celtic logoCeltic Fusion Fabrics prides its self as being a little different. With fabrics from Alexander Henry, Anthology, Copenhagen Print factory

logoEclectic Maker, aim to supply you with beautiful and original fabrics from around the globe. The designers stocked include Amy Adams, Rebecca Stoner, Mark Hordyszynski, to name a few. They have new fabrics arriving all the time, one of their new favorites is Storybook by Kate & Birdie Paper Co. I love the Color me happy by V & Co.

logoEternal Maker, is run by a Anna & Sarah – daughter & mother respectively and specializes in unique and quirky fabrics. Stocking a large selection of fabrics including Liesl Gibson, Naomi Ito & Michael Miller. With new collection arriving all the time, they are looking forward to Cotton + Steel collection arriving. I love Camp modern cool by Birch fabrics.

logoFabric HQ, contemporary, colourful fabrics for the modern maker. They have a good selection of fabrics, including charm packs and jelly rolls from Aneela Hoey to Zoe Pearn.

logoGone to Earth, grew out of a sewing hobby and into a business. Julia has a lovely collection of fabrics, patterns and haberdashery. The fabric’s range includes fabrics from Heather Bailey, Lila Tueller & Jenean Morrison.

logoGuthrie & Ghani, is owned by Lauren from the first series of The Sewing Bee. They stock a good range of fabrics, haberdashery and bag making accessories. Fabrics include Atelier Brunette, Emma Hardicker and Lotta Jansdotter.

logoM is for make, M is for make’ is the result of Kate’s lifelong love of pretty fabrics and sewing. Stocking wide range of quilting fabrics, dress fabrics, extra wide backing fabrics, haberdashery & patterns. Designers include Allison Cole, Birch, Eloise Renouf and Kona. Kate is really looking forward to the Grammercy collection by Leah Duncan and Arcadia for Cloud 9. There are also some exciting dressmaking fabrics arriving soon.

logoSimply Solids, run by Justine & Lisa. A wonderful collection of solids, textured basics & low volume fabrics. They also stock Flatter and Best Press.

logoPlush Addict, a family run business headed up by Kellie. They stock a large range of fabrics for quilting and dressmaking. Stocking designer Jennifer Paganelli, Dear Stella, Robert Kaufman & Riley Blake amongst the many Brands. When I asked what fabrics thet love Kellie said ‘we’ve had so many new fabrics recently I couldn’t decide!’  The Oh Baby!  collection from Michael Miller is a gorgeous nursery collection.  My favorite collection is Beauty Queen by Jennifer Paganelli.

logoSeamstar, stock a wide range of fabrics from 30′s playtime to Hello Tokyo. They are expecting Prairie by Dashwood studios shortly that would make a great summer quilt and also Robert Kaufman cotton lawn, including plains perfect for quilting.  I love the leah Duncan Meadow collection.

logoQuilty Pleasures, owned by Elizabeth who is a member of The Quilters Guild. A range of fabrics & Haberdashery, including Janet Clare’s collection for Moda, Pearl bracelet & Dear Stella.

logoSew Scrumptious, is run by Louise who admits to being a fabric addict! She brings together some of the quirky, contemporary fabric ranges, with collections including Copenhagen Print Factory, Dashwood Studio & Tula Pink. With new deliveries arriving Louise loves Heather Baileys Lottie Da.

By Ruth, Poppy in Stitches

Tikki fabric giveaway

Tina who own the wonderful fabric strore Tikki in Kew Gardens has kindly agreed to sponsor a giveaway with the LMQG. And the best thing about it is that one lucky winner can choose whatever fabric he/she wants up to a value of GBP 20.

Tina has a fantastic selection of fabric in her store, ranging from an enormous amount of the ever popular text fabrics, K. Fassett to many of the latest collections including Flower Sugar by Lecien.

Tikki stocks a large range of Bella Moda solids and will soon also stock semi-solids sketch from Timeless Treasure.


For hand quilters and embroidery fans there is a large selection of threads including wonderful Perle cottons.

Rules of the giveaway:

  • just leave a comment below this post
  • anybody except members of the London Modern Quilt Guilt can participate
  • closes Thursday 22nd May
  • no-reply blogger comments will not be considered so make sure if you are a no-reply blogger that you leave an e-mail address in the comment


Best regards
Judith Dahmen

Inspiration of the month

Our second quilt in this new series on the London Modern Quilt Guilt blog is a quilt by Amanda Hohnstreiter called ‘Convergence’.


Amanda herself is a member of the Modern Quilt Guilt family but in Austin in the US and she made this quilt for a challenge by the manufacturer Riley Blake.

Her only plan was to make something that is improvised and obviously uses Riley Blake fabric which she mixed here with Kona Nightfall as background fabric.

Whilst this quilt is not large (37.5″ x 43″) it took nonetheless 10 hours of quilting as Amanda engaged in some pretty amazing matchstick quilting where the quilting lines are basically only matchstick width apart.

For this she used up to 8 different threads which gives the quilt the look of a woven object. This is a truly modern and contemporary quilt that makes excellent use of negative space and improvisational techniques.

You can find Amanda at mysewicalhour.

Martingale Books “Modern Basics” by Amy Ellis

I’ve been making quilts for several years now but still consider myself to be a beginner. Like many twenty first century quilters I have very limited space and money to pursue this pleasurable pastime. This is why I was drawn to the title of Amy Ellis’ book Modern Basics – Easy Quilts to Fit Your Budget, Space, and Style.
From the introduction onwards Amy offers snippets of encouragement and solid, sensible advice. For example she advises that you cut all pieces before starting to construct your quilt top,
this way you won’t lose motivation and can chip away at the quilt when you find a few spare moments to get behind your machine.
She also dispels the myth that in order to be a good quilter you need a sewing room, giving suggestions on how to store your tools and keep your fabric stash to a minimum.
Following the introduction the book launches into 14 projects. All of the projects adhere to the principles of ‘Modern Quilting’ and all are stunning. There is something for modern
quilters of all tastes, from blocks created with bold floral prints to graphic statement
quilts made from solid fabrics.
Many of the quilts appear quite complex, but when you turn the page to look at the construction diagrams you realize how deceptively simple they are. Several of the quilts could easily be
put together in a weekend.
Each project has yardage requirements and cutting instructions and some quilts can be made in a range of sizes.
The piecing and construction diagrams are clear and very well produced. The written instructions are considered and easy to follow.  
The photography by Brent Kane is great, there are at least two photos of each quilt, one in situ
giving a sense of scale and size, and one photo of the quilt flat out so that you can admire the design as a whole.
The final chapter of the book is a beginners guide to patchwork and quilting. It covers everything from essential tools, cutting techniques, machine piecing, pressing, borders, basting, quilting and binding.  It is very well written and features simple, effective diagrams.
This book is fantastic. For a true beginner it is one stop shop, containing all the advice and instruction they need and enough inspiring projects to keep them satisfied for years.
For me it has made me realize that I don’t need to attempt complex designs and techniques to produce stunning work, there is beauty in simplicity.
Lets all get back to basics!

All images courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane


Skip the borders – Easy patterns for modern quilts

b1120_cI was really happy when this book came up on the LMQG review list as it had been on my Amazon wish list for ages and the week before, I had purchased my very own copy!

Julie says in the introduction that she drew on her love of teaching to work out how to put together the text and I think that comes across in her writing style; friendly, relaxed and informative with permission to break the rules!


There are 15 quilts in this book split into 3 sections – “one block”, “two block” and “outside-the-block” quilts. There are no templates but each quilt is beautifully illustrated with a full page photo along with clear and easy to follow instructions on materials needed, cutting details and a cutting diagram. Once you’ve cut everything out there are further diagrams to illustrate how each individual block is assembled and how the quilt top as a whole is assembled.

There’s a section at the beginning of the book which breaks down the structure of a quilt without borders and I like the idea that not using borders means some of the designs look as if they could “go on and on”.

The book also includes a really helpful section on binding, which personally I think will be something I’ll refer to again and again. Especially the binding calculator which tells you how much you need dependent on the size of the quilt – no more cutting three times the length I actually need!

On to the quilts! Of the “two block” quilts, I have my eye on Raspberry Desert – I love the contrast of the pinks against the neutral background combined with the strong geometric pattern.

b1120_11Framed Coins from the “outside-the- block” section is another favourite with the bold solids combined with black and white prints.


Of all the quilts featured though, White Stars has to be my favourite and I’ve started my own version using my prized Liberty stash.

b1120_01 First though, I wanted to make a smaller, one block version using some fantastic vintage scraps from Sew and Quilt. I thought the scraps would work really well with the negative space of the star and I’m delighted with how it turned out.

My Vintage Liberty Print Star.

My Vintage Liberty Print Star.

Overall, this is a well written book of thoughtfully designed patterns which I think will provide inspiration for quilters of all skill levels.

- Claire