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Book Review: Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration

Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration is a gorgeous book full of inspiring quilts. I absolutely love this style of quilt, based on traditional designs but made modern through scale, color or other types of reinterpretation.


Each quilt is introduced with information about the traditional design and Denyse's interpretation of it. Just a few of the patterns included are Postage Stamp, Churn Dash, Hawaiian-Style Applique, Irish Chain, Courthouse Steps and many more.

The book not only shows the quilts beautifully styled, but also a straight-on look at the entire quilt and has diagrams and complete instructions. Templates are provided at full size on a pullout pattern sheet and there is a complete techniques section at the back of the book.


This is definitely a book to cherish, practical for it's exploration of traditional quilt design and inspirational in Denyse Schmidt's modern take.


(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Little Kukla by Suzy Ultman

I adore these colors for fall! The collection does take me back to my childhood in the seventies a bit, but in a 2000s sort of way! Little Kukla by Suzy Ultman should be available in stores next month! Robert Kaufman's Swatch & Stitch blog will have a tutorial put up for the quilt today, as of this posting it wasn't up yet, but do check back with their blog if you are interested.

(All photos are from Robert Kaufman's Swatch & Stitch blog.)

Seaside by October Afternoon for Riley Blake

Seaside is a new fabric collection by October Afternoon for Riley Blake. I love the nostalgic, beachside feel of the collection. You can find both the Summer Sun Pillowcase Kit (upper right) and the Sandcastles Quilt Kit by Kimberly Jolly for It's Sew Emma (lower left) at Fat Quarter Shop. By The Sea (lower right) is a free quilt pattern from Riley Blake. This fabric is expected in stores any day now!

Summerlove by Pat Bravo

Pat Bravo has been posting some inspiration pictures on Pinterest of her new fabric collection, Summerlove. Gorgeous, no?

In her words:

In this collection I wanted to indulge you with blooming florals made of sun-kissed oranges, aromas of chocolate and berries, a hint of aqua mist and the abundance of lush, green fields.

Below are a few of the fabrics in this beautiful collection, see the entire collection at Art Gallery Fabrics. This fabric should be in shops very soon.

Vintage Modern Designer Mystery Block of the Month

So pretty! The Fat Quarter Shop has just launched their 2012 Designer Mystery Block of the Month which will be a sampler quilt featuring 12 blocks from Moda designers and the gorgeous Vintage Modern fabric collection by Bonnie & Camille. A few details:

Each block finishes at 12" and will be an easy to intermediate pieced block (no templates, applique or paper piecing), making this block of the month suitable for all quilters.

The designers include: Aneela Hoey, Blackbird Designs, Bonnie & Camille, Bunny Hill Designs, Cosmo Cricket, Fig Tree Quilts, Me & My Sister Designs, Kate Spain, Minick & Simpson, Pieces from My Heart, Primitive Gatherings and Sweetwater. 

Sounds like a fun way to make a really pretty sampler quilt! All details can be found on the Fat Quarter Shop's website

The Quilt is Basted

Just a little update on the quilt I'm working on (a beautiful mess). After much thought, discussion and research, I decided to pin baste. Though I'm not against spray basting, the fact that it is too cold to open windows and my garage is nowhere near clean enough to put a quilt on the floor caused me to eliminate that method. I do have a bad back and was worried about basting on the floor, so I ended up basting on my dining room table. I purchased the bent pins made for basting (in brass, as was suggested in this book) because apparently brass is more flexible and easier to close. I read elsewhere that the closing of the pins can be hard on the fingers. I had no trouble, but did use my fingernails...  It is also a bit boring, but this is a fairly small quilt (a little smaller than a traditional twin) and I spent my hold time disputing a bill over the phone while basting, so killed two birds with one stone.

Next up: get it in the machine and start quilting. I'll talk about the quilting in another post. (I changed my mind from the last time I posted about it. Again.)

Do you have a preferred method for basting quilts?

Sewing Goals for 2012

Have you made plans for your 2012 sewing projects? I know I was thinking about it already during the holiday season! Here is my list for the, dare I say, first quarter of the year? A girl can dream...

(You'll note many of my projects come from books. I've been lovingly perusing my books and have been inspired!)

First two projects will be those pictured above:

  • Finishing the "a beautiful mess" quilt. After seeing this quilt on Posie Gets Cozy and discussions with my Twitter and Facebook friends, I've decided to tie this quilt rather than "quilt" it. (Yes, I know purists will insist I call this a coverlet and not a quilt. Oh, well.) I really want a fluffy, crinkly look and, considering all the mistakes in the quilt top, I don't think anything fussy needs to happen with the quilting. I will fill you in on the progress and show you the finished quilt. So far, the top is done & the backing is almost done. I'm so excited!
  • Flannel PJ pants for the girls from that gorgeous Anna Maria Horner LouLouThi flannel. I plan to purchase some plain t-shirts and put an applique of something on each. We live in Wisconsin, so flannel PJ pants are practical about 8 months of the year...

A little further down the road:

There are more things, but I'll stop the list there for now. Do you have a list? What's on it?

PS - Speaking of 123 Sew, I made a few projects from this book as gifts. I will be talking about these soon!

PPS - In the interest of full disclosure, all book links lead to my Amazon Associates Store and I get a little commission when items are bought there.