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.

http://www.judithdahmen.com
http://www.needlesandlemons.com

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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!

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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.

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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