Much of the early winter in the United States this year was punctuated by cold weather. Freezing Cold. Sub-zero blasts that lasted for weeks. Most of us New Englanders (and for that matter, anyone having lived with long winters) have a long history dealing with Arctic air: we dress in layers, stoke the fires to conserve heat, install storm windows to keep out the chill, and notably, we sleep under quilts. My bed is covered with at least two quilts all year long. One is for warmth, and the other, for beauty. And, like a spring coat and winter parka, I rotate the “beauty quilt” with the seasons. How lucky I feel when I slip under a freshly laundered quilt the first night of Spring.
No matter the temperature or the season, this issue of Modern Patchwork is filled with quilts that could serve any modern home as a “beauty quilt,” while also adding warmth and comfort when needed. One of the hallmarks of modern quilts is their functionality, and bed quilts abound in the March/April 2018 issue. Many of these pieces could be easily scaled to fit a king- to twin-size bed with minimal work … always a plus for someone like me who is not fond of “doing the math.”
Most interesting, though, is the pair of quilts designed by Jen Carlton Bailly. Jen made two quilts from one pattern, incorporating vastly different fabrics using her signature Drunkard’s Path block in a distinctly modern format. By altering the placement of fabric values and by using solids in one quilt and reproduction prints in the other, she took a contemporary approach to a traditional pattern. Each quilt—identical in construction yet diverse in texture and color— feels simultaneously modern, yet familiar.
Similarly, editor Kristine Lundblad’s “King of the Cabin” is made with a nod to traditional Log Cabin construction while feeling entirely at home in a modern setting. This quilt works on so many levels: its large scale and bold color arrangement move the eye across a landscape of prints and texture. I wonder how the design would look using analogous solids or swapping out neutrals for some of the prints to create a minimalist flair.
In my mind, what each of the designs featured in this issue underscores is that good design—no matter what fabric or material is used—is just that: good design. And the elements of good design are present in each of the articles, patterns, and products featured in these pages. It is a pleasure to work with a talented crew of designers, contributors, and editors who share that passion!
Here’s to the “beauty quilt” and to all of us with a passion for good design.
Transition to Modern: One Design Two Ways
“Is it Modern or Traditional? That is a current hot topic within the quilting industry as the lines between modern and traditional quilts become more blurred and the current trend of “modern traditionalism” comes into play. Can a quilt be labeled modern only if it uses brightly colored prints and solids, or does the label depend on the design concepts of negative space, improvisation, asymmetry, and scale?” Excerpted from the article by Jen Carlton Bailly
Elements of Modern Style: Minimalism + Negative Space
“Minimalism and negative space have long been used together to create simple and stunning quilts, proving it doesn’t take intricate piecing or patterns to create something special. So how do we create this aesthetic in our own work?” Excerpted from the article by Raine Menardi
Meet Carolyn Friedlander
Meet Carolyn Friedlander, an artist from central Florida whose distinctive fabric designs and beautifully executed quilts have sent her on a career path that is paving the way for a new generation of modern quilters in this interview by Vivika Hansen DeNegre.
Master Class: Artful Improvisation
“It may be intimidating to work improvisationally, but many people wouldn’t hesitate to make a meal without a cookbook. Working improvisationally is the same concept. The ingredients—in this case solid-colored fabrics—are cut up and pieced together to create prints.” Excerpted by the article by Maria Shell
SAQA Presents Modern Inspirations: 1970 to Now
“Our urge to create is a deep-seated human trait. Many things influence and inspire us as artists. Sometimes the inspiration is clear, and sometimes it is built out of a lifetime of events. The art quilt movement preceded and continues in parallel with the modern quilt movement. Many artists happily see themselves as members of both groups. Studying the art quilts that were created in prior decades has been a fascinating process. I hope that seeing these works will lead you to new heights of creativity in your own work.” Excerpted from the article by Martha Sielman
Made Modern: On Materiality
“Taken at face value, making a quilt is an absurd act. Cutting large pieces of cloth into small pieces of cloth only to put those pieces back together into a large piece of cloth would seem to make very little sense, if quilts were merely a matter of materials. But with quilts there is something more essential than cloth and thread at stake. More than anything, quilts are about their materiality: their material being as a whole, which transcends their component materials.” Excerpted from the article by Thomas Knauer
Doodling & Drawing
“Quilting is much easier once it becomes intuitive, and doodling can help with developing that ability. Doodling is not only a great way to learn new designs; it can help you improve your hand-eye coordination, which is essential to longarm quilting.” Excerpted from the article by Teresa Silva
Don’t forget to download your templates!
Simply click on the pictures to download and print the full-size templates for these projects.