You may be a modern quilter if…

I’ve always thought the Amish were the original modern quilters, with their solid fabrics and striking designs.

Amish design quilt

I made this quilt when we lived in Pennsylvania

Still, there is a lot of discussion of the definition of modern quilting, and there are some financial issues at stake because there is (a little) money to be made in quilting.

There are lots of definitions that I like, including the one offered by the Modern Quilt Guild website. Individual modern quilters have their own definitions, too.  I’ll tell you mine at the end, but meanwhile, here’s a list to consider:

You may be a modern quilter if

…you’ve ever said, “This is the LAST TIME I’m making a quilt with a lot of blocks exactly

36 patch block

I’ve seen quilts like this defined as modern–no kidding!


…you like to design quilts inspired by the mid 20th century aesthetic

…you like the look of quilts with a variety of different size blocks

…or you like your quilts with no identifiable individual blocks at all

…you like quilts with lots of negative space

improvisational blocks

Improvisational blocks made from scraps of the quilt shown at the top

…you enjoy working with solid (or almost solid) fabrics

…you often use improvisational piecing

…you like to challenge yourself to create something new rather than following a pattern …you are drawn to “low volume” fabric with a lot of background showing

Here’s my first stab at a definition:   Modern quilting is about good design first.  Many traditional quilts are good designs, but the emphasis is too often on how many tedious piecing techniques can be used perfectly.  Modern quilts are more like “modern” art–technique must be good, but design is paramount.

Finally, of course, you’re a modern quilter if YOU SAY you are!  You get to define yourself.

A Cute Fat Quarter Project

I subscribe to lots of blogs, and this little project caught my eye on a blog called Noodlehead, by Anna Graham.  She has an excellent tutorial on how to make these zippered pouches in several sizes.  She also has tutorials for more complicated bags.  I KNOW, I just went on a bag-making kick with that gift wrap book, but these really are easy and fun!chevron-both

The bags here each used 2 fat quarters (FQs) from my stash, and I think I’ll make a few more to go with them!.  I also got to use some of my (OOPS, very large) stash of beads to make little zipper pulls to fancy them up. That was fun.

Here are a few more pics of the bags:zippered pouchZippered pouchChevron-bag-3So, go check out the Noodlehead blog–lots to see!

The Top 10 Reasons Some Quilters Choose to Exercise

This IS a blog about quilting, but it IS January, so here goes…Quilt-1

10. Strength training means you can carry more bolts during sales.  In fact, a good sale COUNTS as your weight lifting for the day!

9. Pilates improves core strength, so you can stand over a cutting table for hours.

8. The safety pins used to fasten your race number to your shirt are the perfect size to use for basting (true story!)Quilt-3

7. Stretching makes you flexible!  Streeeeeeetch to reach the ironing board from your sewing machine, etc.

6. Stamina! Make at least 5 quilts in a single retreat!

5. Save money by wearing the same size clothes every year–and spend that money on fabric!Exer-1

4. Agility training helps you slither through crowds to see the demonstration or grab the notions when they go on sale.

3. Yoga improves concentration, allowing you to focus on quilting when those pesky kids whine for supper 😉

2. Burn more calories. We all know we MUST have chocolateClip Art Illustration of a Chocolate Valentine Heart with Truffl to quilt, and exercise burns any leftover calories!

1. If you race walk, you get to really WIGGLE YOUR HIPS—good no matter what your gender, age, or lifestyle!

NEXT WEEK–my latest project to use stash–this time I used fat quarters.

Wrapping Fun!

Ruby Star Wrapping BookI recently found this book and thought it was perfect for using up stash.  It’s about how to make recyclable wrapping for gifts, whether holiday, birthday, or whatever. So I bought it, and I love it!

Of course, the first thing you need to know is that the cute wrap on the front is very dependent on a cute printed fabric (or paper, I’m not sure)–nothing in the book is as complicated as painting a little face on a package.

My favorite project so far is a gift bag made from a discarded man’s shirt.  This idea was very welcome to me because my stash includes a

large box of discarded clothing to be made into quilts “some day”. Shirt-bag The book has instructions for a simple envelope bag.  I made it with a flat bottom so a wider gift would fit in more smoothly, added a red “hanky” in the pocket, and used the cuff of the shirt to fix the bag so it buttons closed.  My husband swears he wore this shirt last Tuesday and I stole it, but scout’s honor, I didn’t!

The book has lots of ideas about using materials you already have around the house to Paper-flowermake unique wrapping for presents.  I “wrapped” a box for a baby shower by gluing on pages from a baby catalog that came in the mail and making a cute paper flower for the top, following instructions from the book.  I took her suggestion to wrap (or cover with glued pictures in this case) just the top of the box.  That way it can be used over again, since opening it doesn’t require any tearing of the wrap–just lift off the lid, like on TV.

plaid-bagAnother project in the book is for a drawstring bag with a round bottom.  I made this one to use up a couple of yards of fabric from my stash, since I got “a few” yards of fabric for Christmas!  This is big enough to use to give someone a quilt, so I’ll probably make more of them.

I recommend this book!  It has tons of inspiring ideas for wrapping all sorts of things.  I figure if I get started now, I may never have to use wrapping paper again!  And, of course, it uses up lots of stash 🙂

Book page

Here’s another page from the book for you to preview