Lately I’ve been buying new quilt books that focus on “Modern Quilting”. What is modern quilting? Here’s a pretty loose definition, adapted from the Modern Quilt Guild: A fresh new approach to a traditional craft. Some of the hallmarks of modern quilting can be asymmetry, less repetition than traditional block designs, simplicity, and improvisational piecing.
If you’re a sewing or quilting novice who is taking on Modern Quilting, you may feel freed from the shackles of the patterns, designs and piecing of traditional quilting. Or you may be more like me, and you may feel petrified. When I saw two new books by Elizabeth Hartman on Patchwork that embody more of the modern style of quilting, I thought they would provide a little guidance for me.
The Practical Guide to Patchwork is, first off, a beautiful book. There are tons of “quilt porn” photos and lots of starter details for the novice – the first third of the book is filled with these kinds of great tips. The initial quilts are fairly approachable, again with tons of photos and optional ideas for colorways. I’ve tackled a quilt out of the “Projects for the Confident Beginner” section – the Planetarium quilt – and it’s definitely challenging me in good ways.
The second book, Modern Patchwork, is likewise chock-full of gorgeous photos and bright colors. This book goes further into improvisational techniques and more templates and shapes. Step-by-step, Elizabeth guides you through the process, with side bar tips to help keep you sane.
I’m looking forward to many hours spent with these books – I’ll just have to work through them a quilt at a time!