Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Modern Quilt Stories Around a Modern Culinary Experience

Bridging from traditional to modern.......

Marny here....I will start with the story of a modern quilt.
Certainly an attentive audience here!

One year ago, during a visit to my son and daughter-in-law's home for Thanksgiving, we made a trip to purl soho.  I'd made the announcement that I was done making quilts from fabrics I didn't like or patterns without a modern aesthetic.  My sewing time and energy were limited so I wanted to only make quilts of interest to me.  I was excited to come up with a pattern for a modern couple!

12 Fat Quarters were carefully chosen for this event.  I'd assumed they would go for some modern quilt fabric designer's collection or bits and pieces of cool imported fabrics.  Surprise.  They chose Civil War reproduction fabrics and one little green solid.  I threw in some very toned Lecien dots for variety.

Their choices were certainly unexpected.  The design challenge gauntlet was thrown in my direction.  Was I up for it?  Months later, after considering a variety of directions, plaid spoke to me.  The right background finally showed up in Robert Kaufman's Quilter's Linen in the color taupe.  Their fat quarter choices would prompt the design of our pattern Leftovers.

The quilt arrived at their home three days before Thanksgiving--in time for me to see it in place during this year's visit.
And thankfully it was well received by the important occupants.
Full size photos of Leftovers in Queen, Throw and Crib can be found here.  The pattern can be ordered in the left side bar of this blog. :-)

Now for the modern culinary experience.
My son's passion for cooking and the resulting dishes he produces put mine to shame. 

The dark meat had been braised, the breast brined, the potatoes infused with truffle oil, the stuffing from wheat and white baguettes, and the corn casserole followed a friend's recipe found here(It is the recipe pictured and shown further down the page. The Tamworth Supper Club is a joint venture my son has with Derek.)
The turkey was carved,

the photos were taken,
and the feast of thanks began.  It ended with an incredible three layer chocolate and cherry trifle. 

So the moral of the quilt story and the culinary experience is that from traditional ingredients a fresh modern quilt and a delicious modern meal can be created and enjoyed!

Hope you all had safe travels and grateful hearts throughout the holiday.

Till Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for Modern Quilts and Technology (sometimes...)

We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a Safe Journey to those Traveling.

jill....On the intrigue list of modern design elements that inspire me is transparency.  Well executed transparency adds a level of sophistication, a sort of trick the eye phenomomen.  Our pattern Flatbread is a good example.  
Transparency really isn't that hard to execute and sometimes it even occurs by happenstance.  You can practice this technique with a simple nine patch block.   Pick one color in a light, medium and dark value (having them the same intensity helps).  A white 9 inch block background is also helpful.  Place a three inch strip of dark vertically through the center, add a 3 inch light strip horizintally through the center over the dark.  Cut a square over the shape where they intersect in the medium value; the colors have appeared to mix.

Recently, in a personal design challenge, I created the following examples:

This one is confusing, not really a value transparency since the light is in the middle of the darker purple and the medium red violet texture.

Okay... this one is not the truth but seems believable (medium and medium do not make a light) but there is a visable change in value.  The intensities are similar, the textures dissimilar.
This one is more accurate for value.  The textures are closer.
This will work more successfully once there is more of a purple line in the medium.

When I first started experimenting with transparency, Bill Kerr of FunQuilts offered this advise:  For best  results, make it large enough to see the intersection.  The colors don't alway have to produce the "truth" to create the effective outcome.  Good luck with your experiments.  Please share your pictures with your examples of transparency technique.

Ahhh,  our friends at FunQuilts just launched a new book.  Quilts Made Modern by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr have a perfect example of a quilt named "Tranparency".  Check it out!

Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are.  See you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flipside Scrapside

Modern Quilt Relish debuted at it's first guild meeting last night.  We were so pleased to be invited to speak at Fabricators' Quilt Guild in Gilbert, Iowa.  We shared the story of our young company and did a trunk show of all our quilts and patterns.  We enjoyed the whole evening.  Thanks for having us!

On to the flipside....

You make a quilt top and often you have leftover fabric, blocks, scraps, yardage...what have you.  The back of your quilt allows for a spontaneous and maybe frugal design option.  Go for it.  Here are some of ours.
In and Out, pattern by Amy Walsh of Blue Underground Studios
Flipside, design opportunity to experiment with color blocking and little windows.

Fun to use scraps in a free yet structured way.

Reverse of our published pattern, Brioche & Baguette.  One length of fabric combined with remaining blocks and leftover fat quarters makes a improvised and wacky back.

Vanity Square by Lorraine Torrence

This back is one length of fabric split combined with leftover blocks.  It makes a graphic statement.

We have also frequently used flannels and minkie on backs to make soft and cuddly quilts.   Thermore works well as a lightweight filling in this sandwich.  See it is all about food.  Fillings, sandwiches  and comfort.

So check out the flipside, 'cuz you know somebody will.

Send in photos you might have of the backs of your quilts.  If you can't use flickr you can email them to and we can post them for you.  Give it a try.  We'd love to see them.

See you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Back that Modern Pillow Simply

Last  week we posted that machine satin stitched applique can be a tool for the you and your modern quilt.  Here are the promised easy steps to making a pillow back simply.  It only takes a few minutes to add a back to your pillow front.  Think of the great gifts you can make.

First you need two rectangles of fabric.  They can be two different fabrics as shown here, or they can be the same fabric.  One dimension will be the width of your pillow. In our case that is 12 1/2".  The other dimension is one half of the height of the pillow plus 3 1/2" to 4".  We used 4".  So half of 12 1/2" = 6 1/4".  Add 4" and that is 10 1/4".  So each of our rectangles measures 10 1/4" by 12 1/2".
Next, press 1/4" down to the wrong side along the width of the pillow. (The 12 1/2" side.)
Fold that over and press again.  You now have a folded edge with no raw edges exposed.  Repeat on the other rectangle.
Stitch through the folded edge on each rectangle. 
Place the two rectangles with the stitched edges next to one another.
It is now time to overlap the two rectangles.  They will not show equally on the back.  Plan which fabric you want on the larger top portion of your back and which you want on the smaller lower portion.  Overlap them as you want them to appear in the final pillow.  The rectangle on the top portion is placed over the fabric designated for the lower portion.  Both fabrics are right sides up.
When the above is turned over it will look like the photo below.  Pin this unit to fit the pillow top, right sides together.
Here is what it will look like from the other side of the pinned stack of fabrics.  In all photos the top of the pillow is at the top of the image.
Stitch all the way around the pillow using a 1/4" seam.  Press.  Trim the corners as shown below.
Turn right side out through the overlap and push the corners out with a point turner or the eraser end of a pencil.  Stuff with a pillow form.  Our pillow form is somewhat oversized giving our pillow a plump profile.    

 Front side of the Modern Pillow

Back side of the Modern Pillow
Next week we are going to keep with the theme of backsides....hmmmm....
Till then.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The "A" Word and the Modern Quilt

We have thought ourselves too modern to use applique in the past.  But again we stand corrected.  It's that never say never situation again.  Mary Beth you were right.  Sometimes applique is the best solution to a design dilemma and can be relatively fast.  Mind you, we are talking machine applique.

We have found a couple of products that make the process painless.
The first is a very lightweight and pliable fusible web called Soft Fuse from Shades Textiles.
Fuse the glue side to the wrong side of the fabric you are going to use as the applique.  
Then cut out your shape.  Remove the paper.  Then fuse to your project.  Here we show two layers of applique.
You need to place a tear away stabilizer behind your project before satin stitching to keep it flat.  We used Easy Stitch.

An open toe foot is useful as well.

Decide thread colors and order of satin stitching.  You do not want to stitch an edge twice.  Follow your machine manual for satin stitching.  Do a test piece with the a fused fabric and stabilizer.

Here we go with navy thread, followed by raspberry thread.  Our bobbin was just a neutral color.  The process is fun.

Then you tear away the stabilizer.

This background is cut 12 1/2 ".  Add a back and you have a quick and contemporary pillow.  Just stuff with a pillow form and you are done.

Modern Quilt Relish had an exciting week.  We posted the Modern Pickle Relish quilts on the Fresh Modern Quilt flickr group pool site.  We received a lot of positive feedback, new followers and some pattern orders.  We will be posting more photos.  

Next week we will show the super simple envelope back to use on your pillows.
See you Tuesday.