Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review: Quilting Modern

Since this is a Modern QG, I thought I'd check out some of the books written specifically for modern quilters. I've seen some dynamite modern quilts - highly graphic and stunning, and some of them are on Katie Pedersen's blog.

Intrigued, I got a copy of Quilting Modern, the book she co-wrote with Jacquie Gering, published by Interweave Press.  This is the first of the "modern" books I've seen and I thought I'd review it here.

This book is clearly aimed at beginning quilters and covers the basics in the first four chapters. The early part of the book devotes space to tools and materials, preparing and cutting fabric, such subjects as "to wash or not to wash," pressing, matching seams making the quilt sandwich, backing, quilting, and binding.

The  book is loaded with beautiful pictures, diagrams, and instructions for making quilts that range from simple to more complex. There are also patterns for pillows and a table runner that illustrate certain techniques the authors want to cover, like curved piecing.

The subtitle is "techniques and projects for improvisational quilts" but wile the quilts look as though they have been improvised, the instructions for them are detailed and specific.  This is very helpful for beginners who need to follow a pattern, yet make quilts with a contemporary look.

The authors use lots of solids in the modern aesthetic, but to their credit, incorporate lots of patterned fabrics for a nice balance.  Some of the quilts are quite striking.  My favorite is the "Fractured Quilt," which is a riff on the traditional string-pieced quilt.

While color and value were discussed, the fabrics indicated for each quilt were sometimes predictable. The Urban Garden Quilt called for beige, brown, orange and green fabrics, and I would have liked seeing examples of other colors and value placements to show how else the quilt could look.  What if the background were black and the other colors were magenta, yellow, and turquoise?  What if the background were lime green with orange, purple, and electric blue? This would surely have encouraged people to improvise with color as they followed the pattern.

That quibble aside, the authors explain their construction methods clearly and give the newbies design wall guidelines as they design their quilts. This is really valuable information, since many of the quilts look more complex than they really are. 

All in all, a good book for beginning modern quilters.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love it when you comment!