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.

1 comment:

swiftone said...

A little late, but the Scrap Therapy book I was looking for was "Cut the Scraps" by Joan Ford. Here is a link.