Friday, May 25, 2012

Modern Patch Work - Reduction Quilting

It was busy at the Bright Hopes Quilting shop yesterday and it started with Pearl ordering new fabric and me looking over a shipment of new books for the shelf. Elizabeth Hartman (Oh Fransson!) has a terrific new book, Modern Patch Work, that I snapped up, tout de suite, (more copies available, naturally.)

I was immediately drawn to the cover quilt because of the Y-seams (really, y'all; just try them! They can be so addictive) but upon opening the book, I could not help but be sucked into the entirety of the collection inside. It is remarkable in it's variety.

Flip through the pages and the first thing I notice is how each quilt is photographed in such simplicity and yet absolutely perfect for the environment.

The instructions for piecing are easy to follow and Hartman offers color suggestions that differ from the large samples. I don't know which one I want to make first!

Well, what is a 'modern quilt', then? I ask myself. Clearly, it doesn't look like a traditional quilt one might have found on grandma's feather bed. Clean lines, simple repetitively design, bold color combinations. Of course, that could also be said of the Amish quilts. They certainly don't hide in a room! 

But these quilts, these 'modern' quilts, are still removed from the traditional quilts by stripping away anything that seems a flourish. 

Have you ever really looked at type fonts? The one I use right here, Times,  has what is called a serif. It is that extra flick or embellishment on the tips of each letter.  

Now, compare that with Helvetica

That is what they refer to as 'sans-serif'', or without that projection. They are unnecessary, obviously, and leaving them off makes the word look, well, modern and uncluttered.

So, now when I look at quilts, I see more and more that people are taking patterns and whittling it down to the essential elements, like a creative chef who takes his ingredients, sautes them just so and evaporates the liquids to a more intense final flavor. I understand they call that a"reduction."

And that is why I titled this post, "Reduction Quilting". I can see I am going to be doing a lot of this in my future.

Pearl has quite a nice collection of books of this style in stock. These include Transparency Quilts by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, Modern Minimal by Alyssa H Carlton and Modern Mix by Jessica Levitt. 

And we are bulking up our inventory to include more of these fabrics that support the whole 'modern' look. If you are starting to move in this direction yourself, stop by and see what we're up to.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Schedule Of Classes PDF Issues

Okay, we have discovered that some people are not able to see the calendar we posted for some reason. We checked on an iPad and an iPhone and it definitely is not available on those devises.

I think it has something to do with the iPad and iPhone not compatible with Adobe Reader. I am not certain of this and am always willing to learn something new (like how to resolve this in the future, if anyone out there can offer assistance). So if this is happening to you and you would like a copy, we have them at the register.

Also, we realized that Adult Quilt Camp was left off the June calendar when we posted the schedule so I have received the revised calendar and am posting it here below.

For the complete listing of class descriptions (those of you are not experiencing difficulties in viewing), please go to the original post.

Speaking of Adult Quilt Camp, we are holding it in June this year and when you pop in, you will see the vast selection of projects Linda Kay has come up with. We have a Bags Day, a crash-course on machine applique and apron Day, the Tool Tote Day,  Cathedral Windows Pincushion Day, and the Assorted Day. That last one reads as a bit of a mystery because there are a selection of items to be made on that day too numerous to itemize here.

Now, this year we are going to shake things up a bit.... Campers are not required to attend every can pick and choose the projects you want to learn but anyone signing up for all 5 days gets the last day free. Each day will have a Kit  and you will go home with at least one completed project or several, depending on that day's selection. Each day's kit cost reflects only that one day's activity and the cost will vary accordingly.

We are making the samples now and should have them in the shop by early next week. I'll post photos here as well.

Adult Quilt Camp: "Hey, why should kids have all the fun in the summer?"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's May, It's May!!!!

When I was a young girl, Camelot the film came out and I was forever in love with:
Musicals, King Arthur, knights in general, Camelot in specific and this song!

Yeah, I know... How campy can it get? right?
"It's time!! To do!! A wretched thing or two!"  oh dear

Oh I love May!!! Has it not been an exquisite Spring? I am in the best of moods and just got home from filling in at the shop on a Tuesday, not my usual day and I had a great day.

First of all, I got to play with fabric and pulled together new kits with Mona, always a fun day when we build kits. Here is why: We get a lot of patterns in the inventory stock but obviously there is simply no way anyone of us could make every quilt top that we could want to. The next best thing is to come up with the fabric selection we WOULD use if we had the time to make them ourselves. And we really think it through to pull the right bolt. Really, it is as though we were going to make it ourselves. So when the right fabric and pattern get paired together, we kit it with pride and we include binding because like a mat and frame around a painting, the binding has to work with the quilt and often it is the last thing one thinks of when auditioning fabrics.

"Oh, I'll get that when I choose the backing." Now that is an option, obviously, and the binding should reflect both front and back but mostly the front, I think.

So, we have had a collection on hand for a few months that hasn't gotten much attention and I wondered why that is. It is so soft and and, well the word 'mild' comes to mind but like many bolts that end up surprising me, very pretty when you open it up and see more than a 1" slice on the bolt's edge.  So this is what we kitted today: Boxtrot!

The kit makes exactly the quilt size you see on the pattern cover and we chose this eggplant on the upper right as the sashing the fabric. All the other fabric is from the Jessica Swift line, "Preeti".

Well, what do you know waltzed in the door just before closing hour this afternoon but Mary Green and this cool version of the very pattern, Boxtrot? Coincidence or Serendipity?

Then, Pearl pulled out these new fabrics from George Mendoza to kit the new "Wave" pattern from Connie Eubanks. The yellow fabric in the upper right is the fabric used in the light blue "bars" you see in the pattern cover shot. the fabric in the upper left is the border fabric.

Ok, now last week we finished our 2 day class on the Radiant Star and when (or if) I get shots form the students' quilts, I'll post them too but here is the second of the 2 I am working on at the moment.

The main fabric comes from the Phillip Jacobs line and Kaffe Fassett from Westminister fabrics and batiks. Yes, I mixed the two and why not?

Now I am working on the outer border and I think you can see where I am wandering. I'll shoot more pix when it is finished.  Radiant Star, It should be on the "Bucket List!"