Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review - Modern Basics and Make it Sew Modern

Hi everyone:

Have you heard about these Modern Quilt Guilds that are springing up all across the country? While I initially didn't like some of the "modern" quilts that I was seeing being created, I've slowly come around to realize that there is something to these modern quilts. I'm enjoying seeing the larger prints and simpler styles that are being used to create these contemporary projects. I can see how these would appeal to those quilters who have a young outlook, as well as quilters who have little time to pursue their hobby and want to get a quilt done fast. So I'm changing my viewpoint on contemporary quilts and other items that are similar in style, such as bags and pillows. Luckily for me there are more and more books that have "modern" designs in them and I have two to review today.

The first one, Modern Basics: Easy Quilts to Fit Your Budget, Space, and Style, by Amy Ellis, has 14 different quilt designs, mostly pieced. 

Photo courtesy of Martingale and Company
These are excellent projects for beginner quilters, who will appreciate the easy, yet effective designs. 

1, 2, 3 from Modern Basics - photo courtesy of Martingale and Company
More advanced quilters will also enjoy the geometric patterns, several of which create optical illusions with their fabric choices and careful placement. 
Knotted Squares from Modern Basics - photo courtesy of Martingale and Company
These patterns lend themselves to the large "home decor" prints that are so popular today. There are also several projects in the book that use solid cottons, which are also seeing a resurgence in the marketplace. 

Modern Maze from Modern Basics - photo courtesy of Martingale and Company

Amy gives advice on basic quiltmaking with explanations of the various tools involved and the process from cutting to quilting which would be essential for beginning quilters. I especially like her safety advice about rotary cutters - one of my bugbears (close that cutter!).

Make it Sew Modern: Gather, Twist, Pleat, Texture, by Vanessa Christenson of V and Co. is more of an accessory book, both for you and for your home.
Photo courtesy of Martingale and Company
The book is divided into four sections: Ruffles, Twisting, Gathering and Pleats and includes several charming projects in each section using these techniques. There are patterns for everything from bracelets to wreaths, purses to pillows, all with a simple, modern aesthetic.
Twisted Fabric Bracelet from Make it Sew Modern 
photo courtesy of Martingale and Company
Many of these projects, dare I say all, would be wonderful as gifts. The projects are elegant and feminine and give the impression that they are more intricate and difficult to make than they actually are. I'm always looking for patterns like this! The instructions include diagrams and photos to aid in construction.  

Cascading Spring Scarf from Make it Sew Modern 
photo courtesy of Martingale and Company

I enjoyed the fresh feel of these designs and was thrilled to discover the Appliqué Doily Quilt pattern since I have a collection of doilies at home and now have the perfect pattern in which to use them. I can even do the quilting that they show on this project - it's one of my specialties!

Appliqué Doily Quilt from Make it Sew Modern
photo courtesy of Martingale and Company
Vanessa includes a section on Tips, Terms and Techniques specific to the projects in the book to help you complete them successfully. 

Both of these books would be great additions to your library if you're looking for modern quilt patterns and contemporary decor and accessories.

1 comment:

Katie O'Connor said...

Thanks for the book reviews. It's always nice to know what is inside a book before I order it! I am thinking that i might develop a taste for those more modern quilts.