Pair simple modern quilt designs with the internet’s best modern quilt blogs and what do you get? A fresh, innovative—and at times downright daring—approach to quiltmaking. Today we’re celebrating the release of Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe, and it’s a delight to introduce you to the book’s 18 contributing designers. Along with Stitch This!, each designer is hosting an eBook giveaway on his or her blog today. (That means 19 eBooks will be given away!) Click through to each designer’s blog below, get inspired, and enter to win!
Modern quilts have spurred a popularity that harkens back to history’s other quiltmaking crazes, from early sampler, Amish, and Crazy quilts to more recent obsessions with Civil War, Depression-era, and Gee’s Bend designs. It makes perfect sense to include the modern style in quiltmaking’s memoirs—after all, modern quiltmakers are the first to acknowledge that many of their works are direct descendants of traditional quilts.
In the context of quilts, “modern” doesn’t necessarily mean contemporary. Although the quilts in Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe could certainly be categorized as such, many of the projects zero in on a specific aesthetic. Designs touch on ideas such as purposeful imperfections, improvisational piecing, exploring negative space, and approaching classic quilt blocks in new ways. That said, one rule of modern quiltmaking reigns: there are no rules.
If there’s one thing that sets the modern-quilt movement apart from historical ones, it’s the way in which information about it is shared. This group of designers has spread the word about modern quilts in the most efficient, most immediate way possible—by blogging about it. And this diverse collection comes from the curators of some of today’s best modern quilt blogs. Along with detailed how-to patterns, these bloggers impart stories about their love of modern quiltmaking. They share how they discovered the genre, what their designing process is like, and how they define modern quiltmaking (a hot-button topic!). Whether you feed, follow, email, or tweet, stay in touch with these designers however you can. They’re the next generation of quilting leaders. They’re the ones to watch.
Now, let’s meet the designers behind Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe—along with their one-of-a-kind quilts!
|Quilt: “Tree Quilt”
Designer: Jolene Klassen
Blog: Blue Elephant Stitches (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? As a child, I watched my mom and grandma sew, and through sewing countless Barbie doll clothes as well as dresses for myself, I learned to feel at home with needle, thread, and fabric. As a teenager, I worked at a quilt shop where I learned basic techniques and was instilled with a love for this medium.
While I think that some of my quilts would be labeled “modern,” certainly others would not. I find myself drawn to designs inspired by traditional or vintage quilt blocks, but interpreted in fresh ways.
Designer: Monica Solorio-Snow
Blog: The Happy Zombie (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I’m a first generation American, and there’s no quilting history in my background—no quilts from my grandmothers, no treasures in the attic to be found. So the art and tradition of quilting starts with me, and quilting is what makes me feel connected to America’s past. As in the 1930s, we’ve been facing some tough economic times—so we’re using what we have, and stretching what we have to make it go further. I get so excited when I see an antique quilt that’s been frugally backed with chicken-feed bagging—the printed brand name still visible. There’s real beauty in frugality.
Designer: Angela Nash
Blog: My Three Sons (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? Through crafting and knitting, I found the blog world and happened upon some cute I-spy quilts to make for my boys. As I went searching for fabrics, I discovered so many fun, modern prints that I suddenly found myself buying more fabrics and following modern-quilt blogs.
As a mechanical engineer, my approach to quilt design involves lots of math. I’m also constantly searching for new things to learn—from techniques to color theory to exploring combinations of blocks and fabrics.
Designer: Amy Ellis
Blog: Amy’s Creative Side (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? When I first discovered the blog community, I was amazed at finding a great source of inspiration and abundance of knowledge. I wanted to be a part of it and began blogging in March 2008.
Since then I have encountered many opportunities. I’m proud to have authored two books with Martingale and contributed to three others. I’m constantly looking around me for my next quilt design, knowing that inspiration can strike at any moment. I love encouraging the online community as well.
|Quilt: “Indian Summer”
Designer: Katy Jones
Blog: Monkey Do (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I’m British and live in a little hamlet in West Yorkshire with my husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. I was first introduced to quilting in early 2008. My quilting style is neither modern nor traditional, but rather a little of both. In 2010, I cofounded the modern quilting eMagazine Fat Quarterly. I feel you should be true to yourself. Let your own personality shine. You are one of a kind, so don’t follow the rest of the fold. Be you and your work will be better as a result.
Designer: Natalia Bonner
Blog: Piece N Quilt (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I’ve been piecing as long as I can remember. As a young girl, I watched my mom piece quilts, home decor, and clothing and was so fascinated by it. In 2007, while pregnant, I got a crazy idea to quit my job and take on the quilting world full time. I didn’t even own a conventional machine, but I purchased a Gammill long-arm quilting machine and have never looked back. I now spend my time machine quilting for others and myself, designing quilts, taking care of my children, and blogging about my journey. (Natalia is also the author of Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting—Ed.)
|Quilt: “Mini Claw Throw”
Designer: Jeni Baker
Blog: In Color Order (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I love nothing more than to be surrounded by fabric. I taught myself to sew with a little help from my mother. When I went away to school, I made my first quilt and have been hooked ever since.
My favorite part of the sewing process is fabric and color selection. I love reinventing traditional patterns in fresh modern colors. I think most modern quilt patterns can be traced back to traditional or vintage quilts in some way. The construction techniques may be different, but most of the designs have been around for a long time.
|Quilt: “A Shift in Perspective”
Designer: John Q. Adams
Blog: Quilt Dad (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I’m a husband and a father of three. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and currently live in Holly Springs, North Carolina, with my wife, twin daughters, and son. When I’m not sewing, I enjoy cheering for the UNC Tar Heels. Inspired by the growing number of crafting blogs and the emergence of vibrant, modern fabrics in the textile industry, I convinced my wife to teach me how to use her sewing machine in 2004 and haven’t looked back. Today, I design quilt patterns for both fabric designers and companies. I’m also a cofounder of the eMagazine Fat Quarterly.
Designer: Heather Jones
Blog: Olive and Ollie (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I’m a designer, seamstress, and modern quilter. I live in Cincinnati with my husband and two young children, who are my biggest supporters. I’m also the founder and former president of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild and I’m working on my first line of appliqué, sewing, and quilting patterns. I have great respect for the art of quiltmaking and I love to bring a modern twist to traditional patterns. I’m often inspired by everyday places and things, and I’m always excited by the challenge to translate that inspiration into my work.
|Quilt: “Diamond Crosses”
Designer: Kate Henderson
Blog: Two Little Banshees (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? The first time I used a sewing machine, I was 12 and I made a pair of shorts. I’ve sewn clothes for myself ever since. When I was 16, I saw a quilting magazine and made my first quilt—a Log Cabin. It took forever as all the pieces were cut with scissors, so that first quilt was also my last quilt for a few years. Being a self-taught sewist and quilter means I haven’t had any rules to follow. I find the best test of a quilt is how much it’s used and whether we need a calendar for whose turn it is to sleep with it.
|Quilt: “Everything’s Coming Up Rainbows”
Designer: Krista Fleckenstein
Blog: Spotted Stones (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I live in Anchorage, Alaska, with my husband, children, and two dogs. When I was growing up, my mom and her sisters were prolific quilters, and I was always surrounded by piles of fabric and the hum of a sewing machine. But it wasn’t until I became an adult and had children of my own that I started sewing. Before I knew it, I was hooked. Modern quilters are exploring fabric combinations that make them feel good, supporting each other as they learn new skills, and pushing the limits of design. The more excited we get about quilting, the better!
|Quilt: “Rainbow Stash Buster”
Designer: Megan Jimenez
Blog: Quilt Story (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I have always loved to sew, which led me into a very modern and darling quilt shop. The moment I walked into the shop, I was hooked and knew I had to make a quilt for my first baby who was due in a couple of months. I now live in Arizona with my husband, two sons, baby girl, and my fabric. To me, modern quilting means so many things: incorporating solid fabrics; off-set or wonky blocks; and more! I try not to get too wrapped up in labeling quilts, but more in whatever emotions a quilt makes me feel.
|Quilt: “Petal Pod”
Designer: Jessica Kovach
Blog: Twin Fibers (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? As a stay-at-home mom of three, sewing and quilting have been great creative outlets for me. Along the way, I’ve been able to participate in many quilting bees, swaps, and books, which always inspire me to try a new technique or something I’ve thought up. Being creative with my sewing and learning new techniques have provided me with much happiness and my hope is that I inspire others to do the same. I’m always surprised when someone thinks I’m a “modern quilter.” I really like vintage patterns, colors, and fabrics, and those aren’t things I would call modern.
| Quilts: “Lightning Strikes” (right) and “Lanterns in the City” (see top of post)
Designer: Audrie Bidwell
Blog: Blue Is Bleu (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I grew up in Singapore and Australia, and moved to the States a few years ago. I’ve always been a writer, so starting a blog seemed like a good idea. Shortly after I started my blog, I got back into sewing and taught myself to quilt. I had found something I truly love and have a great passion for. In my opinion, modern quilting couldn’t exist without the foundation of traditional quilts. I believe there are no rules when it comes to quilting, so I’m thankful I taught myself to quilt, free of any concept of what a quilt needs to be.
|Quilt: “Improv Color Blocks”
Designer: Kati Spencer
Blog: From the Blue Chair (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? When my three children all settled into the same afternoon napping schedule, I had three free hours each afternoon during nap time. I began searching for a new hobby to enjoy and discovered a quilting blog. I made my first “real” quilt within a few weeks and was instantly hooked. I rarely follow patterns and enjoy the freedom to create whatever comes to my mind. I’m constantly sketching and creating quilt ideas in my head. Few of these sketches make it into fabric, but it’s fun to experiment and dream up ideas.
|Quilt: “Across the Quad”
Designer: Jennifer Mathis
Blog: Ellison Lane Quilts (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I’m a Southern girl, a former teacher, and now a home engineer (aka Mama). I’m a self-taught sewist and quilter, slightly obsessed with sewing, design, and modern fabric. Modern quilting inspires and excites me because it blends the past with the future in a tangible form of comfort. I’m so inspired by modern quilting and sewing that I formed the Charlotte, North Carolina, chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. I love being able to share my enthusiasm with others in person and help the modern quilting community grow.
|Quilt: “Candy Necklace”
Designer: Lee Heinrich
Blog: Freshly Pieced (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with my husband and two daughters. I began my career as a news reporter and editor, and later made the switch to graphic design. Around the time I quit work to stay at home with my oldest daughter, I got a hand-me-down, avocado-green Kenmore sewing machine from my mom, and it wasn’t long before I was reading everything I could find about sewing and quilting. I see modern quilting as an extension of my design work—a design that you can literally wrap up in to keep yourself warm—it doesn’t get much better than that!
Designer: Allison Harris
Blog: Cluck Cluck Sew (enter to win)
What’s your quiltmaking story? Even though I’m a busy mom of three, I’m thankful for the bits of time I have to sew, blog, and connect with fellow quilters around the world. My style of quilting has been referred to as modern, but I’ve never agreed with the idea of “modern quilting.” Most of my inspiration comes from antique quilts made with traditional patterns. I find it exciting that quilting is becoming popular again with younger generations.
What’s your quiltmaking story?
Share yours in the comments and you could win a copy of the Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won. Don’t forget to visit the blogs of all of the above designers for even more chances to win the Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe eBook!
Comments are closed for this post.
Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Jenni, who writes:
“I come from a long line of crafty women—my great-grandmother and great-aunt were both acknowledged as impeccable seamstresses and my mother and grandmother always made any little thing I wanted. But my mother dragged me kicking and screaming (metaphorically) to a quilt show in Fort Worth when I was ten or so.
The next time we were visiting, I was overhead to say, ‘Oh, I wish that quilt show was going to be there this time.’ And the rest is history.”
Jenni, we’ll email you about your free eBook. Congratulations!