Inspiration of the month

Improvisational piecing is a technique that is at home in traditional quilting (think Quilter of Gee’s  Bend) as it is in modern quilting.

For our inspirational feature for this month we’d like to share a wonderful modern improvisational quilt that was constructed by Lu Summers in 2012 and I believe was ultimately the foundation for her book on improvisational piecing that was published in 2013.


There are literally no limits to improv piecing. You can strip it down to just a pair of scissors and thread or combine many techniques and still machine piece. The endless possibilities also makes it for many a quilter daunting although most do find it in the end quite liberating.


During the making of this quilt Lu often had doubts and I believe it was a bit of a roller coaster ride that in the end turned into a colourful and striking quilt that provides with every new viewing always something new to focus on.

Lu runs classes on screen printing and improv piecing at her home in Suffolk.

August inspiration of the month

Hello everybody. We are resuming our popular ‘Inspiration of the month’ feature after a short break and have some wonderful quilts coming up over the forthcoming months.

Our August’ quilt is one of feedsacks, stars, a love arrow, a lot of purple and oakshotts all combined together expertly by Sarah from nohatsinthehouse. 

Sarah calls this quilt “the radiant one“.

Copyright Sarah @nothatsinthehouse

Its a wonderfully pieced quilt that has scattered stars seemingly randomly placed with a clever arrow in the middle that almost gives the impression to give the stars their “flying” direction, North-East folks, head North-East!

Copyright Sarah @nothatsinthehouse

The background fabric is a mixture of feedssck and Oakshotts in subtle off- white colours that I so love. Sarah cut these in 2 1/2 inch strips and pieced it all together on the diagonal which can’t have been easy.

Copyright Sarah @nothatsinthehouse

The fabulous arrows in the middle is a paper pieced arrow that she offers as a free pattern on Craftsy.

Copyright Sarah @nothatsinthehouse

The quilt isn’t actually finished and Sarah has only just decided on hand quiliting this beauty. Follow her on her blog and see how this already stunning quilt gets its finishing touches over the next months.

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.


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.

Inspiration of the month

The LMQG would like to start a new feature this month where we share with our members and readership every month a quilt that has caught our eye and the we find particularly inspiring to the cause of modern and contemporary quilting.  To start we’d like to share with you the Feather Quilt made by Jolene Klassen who blogs at Blue Elephant Stitches.

feather1© Blue Elephant Stitches.  Used with permission

Joleen was intrigued by the feather pattern my Anna Maria Horner and started of with a set of feathers but then gradually added more diverse elements to the quilt.

feather2© Blue Elephant Stitches. Used with permission

She uses a lot of low volume fabrics punctuated with littler spots of brightly patterned fabric. The arrangement has an improvisational look that is truly contemporary but also links back to a past where quilts were made by using old shirts and left over pieces that were available. Joleen’s favorite element is the little nine-patch section in the top left section and I am sure everybody who likes this quilt can find a little favorite section somewhere on it.

feathers4© Blue Elephant Stitches. Used with permission

Judith Dahmen

Traditional quilt and make it modern

For our January meeting on 12th January our challenge is to take a traditional quilt and make it modern!  The finished size should be 12.5 x 12.5 inches, if you can’t make the meeting do email a photo of your block to and don’t forget to add your photo to the LMQG flickr group.  So with this in mind I thought I’d share some amazing traditional & modern quilts to inspire you.

1.antique quiltMilitary quilt, possibly Francis Brayley, 1864-1877 V & A.

1.antique quilt v&aclamshell quilt V & A

1.antique quilt yorkfrom the quilt museum, York

1.antique quilt crazythe London quilt, York quilt museum

There are lots of places to look for inspiration, V & A, Quilt museum York, Welsh quilt centre, National Museum Northern Ireland.  Look forward to seeing what you all make on the 12th!

Christmas inspiration

denyse schmidt in the pines quilt

In the pines by Denyse Schmidt

With Christmas coming next week, I wanted to share some fantastic modern quilts.  I know there is little time to stitch a whole quilt, but just looking at these could inspire a last minuet quilted stocking, table runner or pot holder.  Some are patterns to purchase, tutorial or one off beautiful quilts.

modern trees quiltModern Trees by Gooses bags & gifts

treesTrees by Crazy Mom quilts

trees quilttrees by Quilt story

Dear Mr. ClausDear Mr Claus by our own Needles & Lemons

hexy snowflakeHexy snowflake by I’m a ginger monkey

peppermint pinwheel quiltPeppermint dresden wheel by Diary of a quilter

and finally an antique Welsh red & white striped quilt, simple, beautiful and for all its age modern.

red & white quiltHave a wonderful Christmas and see you at our next meeting

12th January 2014 at The Star Tavern.