Modern Blocks by Susanne Woods – an eBook Review

October 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Modern Blocks eBook

As you’ll know from my previous eBook reviews, that while I liked the books, I wasn’t too keen on the eBook format. That was because I tried to read them on my Mac because when I read the C&T Publishing website it said “The Kindle, iPhone and other portable digital book readers have not been tested to read our PDFs. We will be offering files soon that are formatted to work on the Kindle, iPhone, Sony and other hand-held devices. Most portable readers will open PDF documents, but usability may be limited due to the limitations of the device itself. ” Consequently I struggled on the computer. However, I recently managed to download them to my iPad and open the pdf in iBooks and it works perfectly. Now I’m happy with this format!

The Modern Blocks book is lovely, it really is. It is compiled by Susanne Woods and contains 99 quilt blocks contributed by various well known designers like Pat Sloan and Susan Brubaker Knapp. And while some of the blocks are traditional blocks with new fabrics like the Cathedral Window variation called Stone Cathedral on page 180 (also top left on the Book Cover), some really are new, modern blocks and most of them look suitable for even beginning patchworkers.

The photography is great and the instructions are clear. Here are a three of my favourite blocks from the book. Copyright of all these images belongs to C&T Publishing. I’m thinking that a quilt made out of the Arrowhead block in Kaffes would be something special. What do you think?

There are patterns for templates included at the back of the book and there are both pieced and appliqué blocks. I’m sure my fellow Sydney Modern Quilters would like to get their hands on a copy. Which is something any of you can do here. It costs $24.95 for the soft cover, $19.99 for the eBook or $29.99 for the book and eBook bundle.


Modern Quilts and Quilt Guilds

October 27, 2011 § 7 Comments

Am I leaping in where Angels fear to tread here? The topics of modern quilts seems to divide the quilt world with acrimony on both sides of the divide. At the extremes there are those who have been quilters for many years and who contend that there is really nothing new about modern quilts and regard them as an excuse for poor technique. At the other extreme of the spectrum there are those who feel modern quilts are liberating quilters from the thralls of a perfectionism that stifles creativity.

Where do I sit in this spectrum

Right smack, bang in the middle. (You could say on the fence if you wanted to be unkind. 🙂 ) I like traditional quilting and I think a grounding in technique is important. It’s like anything, you need to be able to do the basics well (not necessarily perfectly) before you can use it as a springboard to more exciting things. Every pianist who performs their own variations has had to play scales for hours and quilting is no different. Poor technique, I think, detracts from a quilt whether or not it is traditional or modern. It takes your eyes away from what should be the main feature – the overall visual impact.What’s more good design principles can be absorbed from Traditional Quilting. However,  I do like modern quilts. When done well they have an exuberance that is uplifting and exciting.

Modern Quilt Guilds

The Modern Quilt Guilds started in the USA a while ago and then moved to Australia. Melbourne has had one for a while and several of us have tried to start one in here Sydney on more than one occasion. Now it looks like it really might happen. A small group of women – Claire and her friend Suzanne –  decided to have another go at establishing one and we had our first meeting last Saturday.

I must say they did a great job of organising and bent over backwards to be inclusive and friendly. We had a friendly and lively discussion about what we all think Modern Quilting is – straight line quilting, solid blocks of colour, grey and yellow fabrics, modern fabric designs? In the end we pretty much agreed  that it’s not so much the quilts that are modern – after all solid colours have been done by the Amish for years, some of the other colour combinations now touted as modern were around in the 70s and 80s and all quilters have used the “modern fabrics” of their own times – as the attitude of the quilter to her art/craft.

If you’re interested in joining the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild the next meeting will be at the Blue Gum Hotel, 55 Pacific Highway, Waitara. Future meetings will be held by rotation throughout Sydney to allow as many people as want to, to attend. You can find further details here.

More appliqué

October 25, 2011 § 7 Comments

I’ve been beavering away at my Lily Wall hanging appliqué so that I can plunge into Camelot. I thought you might like to see what progress has been made. It hasn’t been pressed yet so don’t judge it too harshly. 🙂 It’s also not the best photo as I was doing it one-handed while waiting on the phone (40 odd minutes and counting) for the Lenovo tech to work out how to stop my keyboard typing things strangely.



A friendly visit

October 23, 2011 § 4 Comments

On Friday I went to visit my friend, fabric artist and fellow blogger, Nola. It’s about an hour’s drive to get to her house and without fail an hour and half’s drive home in the peak hour traffic. All this goes to explain why our get-togethers are rare, unfortunately. We had a lovely time together catching up on what each of has been making and experimenting with etc.

I was wearing my lovely necklace and bracelet that my US friend, Sylvia, bought me when I was visiting her in upstate New York. I was explaining to Nola how when we first saw the necklace it had another row of lovely turquoise beads terminating in a large blue glass heart. While the turquoise beads and the heart were nice in their own right they just did not go with the lovely multicoloured sparkly beads. I had said to Sylvia if I could get rid of the beads from that necklace I’d buy it. She said “I make beaded jewellery and I can easily take that off for you” and then she proceeded to buy it for me! When we arrived home she quickly removed the offending strand and this was the result.

And here is the bracelet she bought me to go with it.

I told all this to Nola and explained I had been searching and searching for earrings to go with them. And Nola then told me that she too made beaded jewellery and had all the equipment and a great collection of beads and could make me a pair as we sat and talked. And she did! Here they are.

And here’s a pic of the whole set of these lovely beads given to me by two lovely quilting friends who live half a world away from each other. Thanks ladies.

Do you think I may be mad???

October 20, 2011 § 10 Comments

I’m starting to question my sanity. I’m appliquéing the Lily Wall quilt I have my In a Spin quilt to add borders to. I have two other projects spinning around in my head wanting to be made not to mention the klosjes and the splash quilt (Didn’t I say don’t mention those!) and now… I ordered this pattern.

While this quilt looks fairly amazing here it looks even more stunning with a white background. I first saw this quilt on Elizabethh Wright’s blog – Broderie.

Take a look at these photos that Liz kindly let me show you from her Etsy shop. Aren’t they stunning? And do you think I may be mad???

Are you mad too?

If you’d like to join me in making this quilt – maybe we can keep each going with it – then head on over to Liz’s Etsy shop and order a copy. It’s a tad pricey at $43 but my goodness it’s gorgeous!

Another Bee in Oz block

October 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

This block is for Linda. She sent us the fabrics and said “It’s a simple 16″ block called Philadelphia Pavements. I will be making three 32 inch square little quilts from the blocks for our Loving Hands group at my guild (they always seem to come up short in the boy department). These little quilts are given to the local hospital’s NICU to use on the isolettes. They drape them over the top to help block out some of the glaring lights that are necessary in that unit. The quilts then are used by the parents and the baby and are given to the family to keep. I think it is such a great way to add a little fun and color to an otherwise scary and traumatic place. ” What a great cause!

Kittie and Quilt Photo Contest

October 18, 2011 § 3 Comments

Mr Tiggy is keeping his eye on you!

If you have a cute kittie and quilt photo and you are a subscriber of The Quilt Pattern magazine then you could win some great prizes in The Quilt Pattern Magazine Kitty Quilt contest.  Entries close on October 31st. Click here for more details.

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