“Sew a Modern Home” review

Many of the quilters I know find that they gain inspiration from
a range of sources beyond the usual ‘craft’ world. Art,
architecture, graphic design and interior design are a few of the disciplines
studied by modern quilters who looking for fresh design ideas. It is not
uncommon to stumble across modern quilting blogs where the bloggers interior
design choices are as alluring and inspiring as the quilts!
In her introduction Melissa Lunden explains how her love of
interior design has infused her quilting. The result is a range
of projects that are fresh, clean, and thoroughly modern.
The book take us room by room through a
range of projects from quilts, pillows, tableware, toys and nursery items.
It opens with a basic instructions section,
quilting and sewing techniques are explained with clear illustrations
and detailed descriptions.
Many of the projects are made using solid
colours, giving the projects a crisp modern look.  For me these are the best projects,
the solids allow Melissa’s clever design work to really steal the show. Chevrons, drunkard’s path, and flying geese are some of the familiar designs made modern.
Items range from large quilts to small items of tableware, and many of the projects
are suitable for beginners. Gift inspiration is abundant, with projects suitable for baby showers and house warmings.


Each project has clear material and cutting
instructions, with tips and tricks to save you time.  Diagrams detail the construction methods and there are lots of photographs including close ups of the quilting.
This is a great book for those who are
looking to make statement quilts for their home, or for the beginner
who wants to start with something small but dream big!

I think it will convert many people who are yet to discover
how stylish modern quilting can be.

Sew a Modern Home by Melissa Lunden is available now from Martingale Books
Images courtesy of Brent Kane.

“Imagine Quilts” book review from Martingale Books.


B1253 Imagine Quilts 3rd.indd

Imagine Quilts is a bright and colourful book that I dived straight into and read from cover to cover, despite wanting get up and sew as soon as I saw the very first pattern. I’m totally in love with Elephant Parade, the first quilt in the book and I am already mentally
wandering through my stash to work out which fabrics I can use to make my own version.

This book is divided into four sections, based on inspiration sources: your current stash, using traditional techniques in new ways, the world around you and breaking the rules. Each section has quilts that use traditional blocks in new ways, as well as patterns that are fresh and new, but throughout the book Dana encourages you to play around and find your own inspiration in every day life. Her bright, encouraging take on life and sewing are infectious and I’m sure that anyone reading this book will catch this enthusiasm and start to see all sorts of patterns in life that look like quilts waiting to be born.

B1253 Imagine Quilts 3rd.indd

Patterns and colours aside, the best feature of this book is the
simplicity and clarity of the instructions. I could mentally see how
the pieces would fit together without resorting to playing with material scraps
or even turning the book upside-down and frowning at it.
Not everyone does that? Ah well, I know I do when patterns seem
complicated on paper. This book even manages to make sewing Dresden
circles look easy. I’ve never been brave enough to try making one
until now, but I’m absolutely sure that I could after reading Dana’s
instructions. Throughout the book there are little hints and tips that
will help to improve accuracy and go a long way towards explaining the
little things in quilting that make the difference between a
beginner’s quilt and a professional finish.

This book also has a great glossary which makes it a perfect gift
for a new quilter, whilst still being a welcome and inspiring addition
to any established quilter’s library.

B1253 Imagine Quilts 3rd.indd

B1253 Imagine Quilts 3rd.indd

B1253 Imagine Quilts 3rd.indd

B1253 Imagine Quilts 3rd.indd

© Martingale,

Photographer, Brent Kane

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