04 August 2014

Greek Plus Puss Quilt

NEW PATTERN FOR SALE!  You can get it for $9 on Etsy or Craftsy.

GREEK PLUS PUSS Quilt Pattern


This quilt came about because I bought a fat-eighth bundle of Peppered Cottons and wanted to play with them all at once and in a way that brought out the colors in the fabrics.  Peppered Cottons belong to the same category as Oakshotts, shot cottons, and cross weaves -- they are woven from dyed thread and the threads of the weft are a different color from the weave. It's so cool and complicated and shimmery.

When I brought the fabrics into my studio, I immediately started pairing them up with printed fabrics from my stash.  It was so much fun to find prints that made the woven fabrics sing.  The absolute best fun.
Fabric Pairings for Greek Plus Puss quilt



I started to contemplate how I could put together a quilt where the pairs could all be seen and enjoyed.  And I ended up designing a block that is a remix of two traditional blocks--The Greek Cross and Puss in the Corner.

Here's a Greek Cross block:
greek cross
You can find a great tutorial for piecing this block here: Summer Sampler series by Fresh Lemons

I really love the fat plus in the middle of this block, so that's what I borrowed from this traditional block. I refer to that as a "Greek Plus."

I'm far from alone in loving that fat plus, you can find a bunch of quilters online that have taken that plus and switched out the half-square triangle component in the corners of the block for a plain patch.  Holly at Bijou Lovely made a very pretty version that ended up on the cover of the first issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting and Kelly from  Kelby Sews (posted her pretty version with a tutorial!)

puss in the corner
As much as I loved those quilts, I wanted to add a bit of ugly interest to my quilt and also interrupt the repeated blockness of the plusses, so instead of switching out the half-square-triangle in favor of a plain patch, I switched it out for a "Puss in the Corner" four-patch.

There are a bunch of different block designs called "Puss in the Corner,"  I'm referring to this one from Early Women Masters.

Apparently the name comes from a children's game...a game that sounds similar to musical chairs or pickle to me...there's information at the link.  I love quilt history.


I wasn't sure if what I wanted to do would work, so I made a test block just to see, pulling fabrics from my scrap bin.
Test Block for Greek Plus Puss

I ended up loving the mix of vintage sheets and red-purples so much that I made an entire quilt of them!

Greek Plus Puss pattern from Rossie Crafts - 6 sizes


In making these test blocks, I realized that the block was much more pleasing to me if I kept the directional fabrics flowing the same way.  To make that easier on myself, I sat down and drew some cutting diagrams.  And then I realized I could make the final assembly of my blocks much more straightforward if I came up with a plan for pressing, so I drew that out, too.  Having puzzled these out, I thought to myself: hey!  this is worth something! I'm totally going to write this pattern and sell it!

So, for those of you who are experienced quilters, if you can tell from these pictures how to make this block, then please feel free to go ahead and make the quilt without buying my pattern, but do credit me if my quilt is your design source (just by saying your quilt is based on mine and linking back!)  You can also leave me a tip by clicking on the donate button on my blog's main page (in the sidebar on the upper-right)


But here's why you might want the pattern:

  • FABRIC REQUIREMENTS
    • I calculated the amount of fabric you need for 6 sizes of this quilt!  All the way from a stroller (37"x37") to King size (97"x109").  And for each size, you can choose to make it from a variety of fabric cuts--scraps, fat eighths, fat quarters, or yardage. There are fabric requirements and cutting instructions for each options.
  • CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS:  
    • I include cutting instructions for both solids or blender fabrics and for directional fabrics.
    • Want to cut this on an Accuquilt?  I include those cutting instructions as well. (Sorry, Sizzix doesn't appear to have the correct sizes of dies.)
  • PRESSING INSTRUCTIONS:
    • I also include instructions for pressing seams so that whenever possible, your seams will nest (this adds precision and avoids seam mountains).
GreekPlusPussPattern-1


GreekPlusPussPattern-5


It really is a happy quilt.  And I think it makes people happy to make it...I'll be back with another post showcasing the pattern tester's creations in the next few days.  In the mean time, pop over to Etsy or Craftsy and buy a copy of the pattern!

31 July 2014

Modern Quilts Exhibit - Writing About Modern Quilts (part 2 of 2)

I spent a fair amount of time earlier this summer working on descriptions for the quilts that my guild, the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild, had selected to hang in our special exhibit, "Modern Quilts." at the GAAQG's biennial show.

Today's post is to share the quilts and the writing with you.  There's an earlier post with the introductory essay, click through here to read it.

I have permission from each quilter to share my photos of their quilts with you.  I've also watermarked each photo with the quilt maker's name, to minimize confusion in this age of Pinterest and screen shots. 

Where did these descriptions come from?  For the most part, the first paragraph is straight from the quilter, it is their explanation of their quilt and its inspiration.  In some cases, this was lightly edited by me for space or clarity or to include more information about the pattern used.  The second paragraph was written by me, but was informed by the discussions that the jury had while putting the show together. Since our mission was to try to educate folks about modern quilting and all the things it can entail, we discussed, as a group, adding this to each description.  All text was then approved by the quilter and run by the jury.

I've added, for this blog post, in 
italics, links to the quilter's blogs, Instagram accounts, and other social media beneath the quilts so that you can get to know and perhaps follow these amazing quilters! 

A bit about the guild:   The Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild was founded in 2011 and is a non-profit organization, our goal is to create a positive community where modern quilters can share knowledge of their craft, learn new sewing techniques, engage in charitable activities, and discuss topics relating to the quilting community. We are members of The Modern Quilt Guild.  Our members range from beginning quilters to professionals, everyone is welcome to come and join in on the fun!  Read more about the guild on our blog: The Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild.

The quilts were selected by a jury pulled from our membership.  As it was an educational exhibit, we tried to represent the range of modern quilting with the best possible examples of different trends and ideas.  As a member of the jury, I couldn't believe how spoiled for choice we were, there were so many beautiful quilts that we didn't have the space to hang.

Due to limited space and time, these photos are far from perfect, but I think you'll understand the beauty of each quilt.

The ordering of the quilts is not meaningful, it simply corresponds to the quilt frame originally assigned to each quilt by the jury and so it is the order that my notes are in!

Curried Fraction Quilt by Rossie
Curried Fraction Quilt by Rossie


1.
Curried Fraction Quilt
Made by Rossie Hutchinson
Quilted by Bernie Olszewski

Based on a similar design by Cheryl Arkison, I made a gray fraction quilt for my cousin as he graduated from high school.  The popularity of that quilt online led to requests for a pattern.  Thus, with Cheryl’s permission, I wrote a pattern and made the Curried Fraction Quilt.  Both fraction quilts and a pattern for making your own appear in Quilting with a Modern Slant by Rachel May (2014).

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its disappearing grid structure, its use of solids, and its improvisational piecing.

I blog at www.r0ssie.blogspot.com  and am on Instagram at r0ssie_fmq. My pattern for this improvisational quilt can be found in Quilting with a Modern Slant by Rachel May (2014).



Modern Pickled Relish by Pam
Modern Pickled Relish by Pam
2.
Modern Pickled Relish
Made by Pam Kleinschmidt
Quilted by Pam Kleinschmidt

This quilt was made by Pam as part of a challenge within the guild.  Pam used the "Modern Pickle Relish" pattern by Modern Quilt Relish. 

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of negative space and solids.  The dense and varied free-motion quilting is typical of many modern quilts.

Pam served as the tireless chair of our committee for this exhibit.  You can follow Pam on Instagram as pamyjam.



Firestacks by KathyFirestacks by Kathy

3.
Fire Stacks
Made by Kathy Koch
Quilted by Kathy Koch

I saw this pattern on Jacquie Gering’s blog and just knew I had to make it. I loved the fabric showcased and the simplicity of the design—a perfect first quilt for my new RV.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its simplicity and asymmetry.

Kathy is a professional long-armer (you'll see her listed as the quilter for many of our quilts!)  You can find her online at www.threadbearquilting, or www.facebook.com/ThreadBearQuilting, and she is on Instagram as librkat.



Woodland City by Rebekah
Woodland City by Rebekah
4. 
Woodland City
Made by Rebekah
Quilted by Rebekah

Looking for a mid-century feel, I made this quilt by adapting Elizabeth Hartman's Rapid City pattern.  I fussy cut the fabric to feature the bird and squirrel prints from Charley Harper and improvisationally pieced around them.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because it is improvisational, mid-century inspired, and has an unconventional layout.

Rebekah is a long-time blogger, you can find her at Don't Call Me Becky. On Instagram she's rebekah725 and her flickr account is jrcraft.



Otis the Owl by Kathy
Otis the Owl by Kathy

5.
Otis the Owl
Made by Kathy Koch
Quilted by Kathy Koch

I made this little owl for my daughter.  It is a pattern from one of my favorite designers: Shape Moth.  

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because it is paper pieced—a technique that is gaining traction amongst modern quilters.  The mixed neutral prints used in the background are typical of many modern quilts.

(I already told you this, but...) Kathy is a professional long-armer (you'll see her listed as the quilter for many of our quilts!)  You can find her online at www.threadbearquilting, or www.facebook.com/ThreadBearQuilting, and she is on Instagram as librkat.



Comma Link by Debbie
Comma Link by Debbie
6.
Comma Link
Made by Debbie Grifka
Quilted by Debbie Grifka

Rather than line these blocks up into a perfect grid, it was more interesting to turn them around and break them up. The result reminds me of a broken chain link fence. The pattern is my own — Chain Link by Esch House Quilts. 

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of alternative grid work.  It is a good example of appliqué being used in a modern quilt.

Debbie is a professional quilt designer and a blogger.  You can follow her blog Esch House Quilts and she's eschhousequilts on Instagram.   You can buy Debbie's pattern for this quilt here: Chain Link by Esch House Quilts. 



Indian Summer by Jen and A2MQG Round Robin
Indian Summer by Jen and A2MQG Round Robin
7.
Indian Summer
Made by Jennifer Bernstein and Members of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild Bee
Quilted by Kathy Koch

This quilt was made as part of the round robin bee at the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild. Each month a different guild member took home the quilt and added to it.  This quilt was made for and inspired by Jennifer Bernstein. Jennifer choose Essex yarn dyed linen in sand as the background fabric and specified the color scheme for the patchwork to reflect the feeling of late summer days.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because it is improvisational and contains a lot of negative space.  We also wanted to showcase the collaboration that is an important part of the modern movement.

Jennifer is a lawyer and a quilter who blogs at Brave Little Chicken and she's bravelilchicken on Instagram.



Kelp Quilt by Rossie & Mid Mod Bee
Kelp Quilt by Rossie & Mid Mod Bee
8.
The Kelp Quilt
Made by Rossie Hutchinson and members of the Mid Mod Quilt Bee (Yahaira Ferreira, Cheryl Arkison, Amanda Carestio, Debbie Grifka, Rebekah C., Robin Ferrier, Lauren Hunt, Blair Stocker, and Jacquie Gering)
Quilted by Bernie Olszewski

I made this quilt as part of an online quilt bee--The Mid Mod Quilt Bee, a group of quilters that use mid-century modernism as a touchstone as they create quilts together.  I drew up a design, dyed a bunch of red and orange fabric, pieced a sample row, posted pictures, mailed out fabric, and then the members of the bee each pieced a row for me and mailed it back. 

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of solids and minimalist design.  It also showcases the collaboration that is an important part of the modern movement.

You kind find a tutorial for making a quilt like this on my blog: Kelp Quilt Tutorial.  (I already told you this, but...) I blog at www.r0ssie.blogspot.com  and am on Instagram as r0ssie_fmq


Just Passing Through by Rosalie
Just Passing Through by Rosalie
9.
Just Passing Through
Made by Rosalie Everett
Quilted by Joyce Brenner  

I've been quilting since 1994, this is my first try at modern quilt!  Love it!  This is a merging of my husband and my favorite colors and our gray golden doodle thinks it’s hers!   The pattern is Just Passing Through by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr  

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of solids and expansive negative space.

Rosalie isn't using a blog or Instagram, so if you want to see more of her work, you'll just have to come to a guild meeting and chat with her!



Single Girl by Rebekah
Single Girl by Rebekah
10.
Single Girl
Made by Rebekah 
Quilted by Kathy Koch

I purchased this Denyse Schmidt pattern in 2008 and spent 5 years staring at it and mustering up the courage to make my own version.  This pattern is an updated version of the Double Wedding Ring Quilt-- which makes it a modern twist on a traditional pattern.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because it was made using a pattern that has become absolutely iconic for modern quilters.

(I already told you this, but...) Rebekah is a long-time blogger, you can find her at Don't Call Me Becky. On Instagram she's rebekah725 and her flickr account is jrcraft.



Atomic Pinwheels by Lynn
Atomic Pinwheels by Lynn
11.
Atomic Pinwheels
Made by Lynn Harris
Quilted by Lynn Harris

Atomic Pinwheels was inspired by an old tile design.  I was interested in the challenge of piecing the interlocking rectangles and squares that allow the pinwheels to spin in opposite directions and I loved being able to show off large pieces of this large scale retro fabric!

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of bold colors and graphic print.

Lynn is a blogger, quilt designer, and professional long-arm quilter.  You can follow Lynn on her blog, The Little Red Hen  and on Instagram at thelittleredhen_lh.   You can buy Lynn's pattern for this quilt here: Atomic Pinwheels Quilt Pattern.  



Twisted by Pam
Twisted by Pam
12.
Twisted
Made by Pam Kleinschmidt
Quilted by Pam Kleinschmidt

I made this quilt following the  “Twisted” pattern by Carolina Patchwork.  This quilt is a gift and my fabric choices were influenced by a desire to match the modern, cool lifestyle of its intended owners.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of alternate gridwork and highly geometric look.

(I already told you this, but...)  Pam served as the tireless chair of our committee for this exhibit.  You can follow Pam on Instagram as pamyjam.



Daisy Chain by Lynn
Daisy Chain by Lynn
13.
Daisy Chain
Made by Lynn Harris
Quilted by Lynn Harris

I saw this reverse appliqué block in an antique red and white quilt. I wanted to try it out!  My son influenced my color choices and childhood memories shaped the placement of the blocks.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of minimalism and expansive negative space.  It is a good example of reverse appliqué being used in a modern quilt.

You can see far better images of this quilt iMinimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston and buy Lynn's pattern for this quilt here: Daisy Chain Pattern   (I already told you this, but...) Lynn is a blogger, quilt designer, and professional long-arm quilter.  You can follow Lynn on her blog, The Little Red Hen  and on Instagram at thelittleredhen_lh.  


Boats! Boats! Boats! by Brenda
Boats! Boats! Boats! by Brenda
14.
Boats Boats Boats!
Made by Brenda Ratliff
Quilted by Kathy Koch

This quilt is the July 2015 pattern for the national Modern Quilt Guild.  It features alternate grid layout and negative space to create a modern take on a half square triangle. 

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because it is improvisational, uses solids, and contains a lot of negative space. 

Brenda is a quilt designer, blogger, and owner of Pink Castle Fabrics.  She's also the President of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild.  Follow this busy lady on instagram (justabitfrayed) and on her blog: 
Just a Bit Frayed. The pattern for this quilt will be available to the public at a later date!



Zephyr by Debbie
Zephyr by Debbie
15.
Zephyr
Made by Debbie Grifka
Quilted by Debbie Grifka

Simplified leaves have enduring appeal for me, as does a beautiful blue sky. Creating this quilt helped me endure this long winter. I was honored to have my quilt pattern for Zephyr distributed to all of the members of the Modern Quilt Guild in February.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of negative space and solid fabric.  It is a good example of appliqué being used in a modern quilt.

(I already told you this, but...) Debbie is a professional quilt designer and a blogger.  You can follow her blog Esch House Quilts and she's eschhousequilts on Instagram.   



Lotta Plusses by Debbie
Lotta Plusses by Debbie
16.
Lotta Plusses
Made by Debbie Grifka
Quilted by Debbie Grifka

I've long admired the work of Yoshiko Jinzenji and the way her background fabrics and blocks sometimes meld. This fabric by Lotta Jansdotter was the perfect opportunity for me to play with this idea. The pattern is my own: Think Positive from Esch House Quilts.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of negative space and alternative grid work.

(I already told you this, but...) Debbie is a professional quilt designer and a blogger.  You can follow her blog Esch House Quilts and she's eschhousequilts on Instagram.   



Lyric Quilt by Emily
Lyric Quilt by Emily
17.
Lyric Quilt
Made by Emily Schildhouse
Quilted by Emily Schildhouse

This is a wedding quilt I made for my sister.  I chose a stanza of lyrics from the musical Rent - a favorite of my sister and I, and fitting for a wedding quilt.   The piecing technique is from Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci.

This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because it is improvisational and uses text.

A vintage sheet aficionado, garment sewer, and quilter, Emily spends most of her days parenting her lovely family.  You can follow her glitter- and bubble-filled adventures on instagram emmmylizzzy  and on her blog emmmylizzzy.


Somewhat Herringbone by Dorie
Somewhat Herringbone by Dorie
18.
Somewhat Herringbone
Made by Dorie Schwarz
Quilted by Dorie Schwarz

This quilt is an interpretation of a braid or herringbone pattern. It was inspired by the Improv Chevrons tutorial on the blog Six White Horses.


This quilt was chosen by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild because of its use of improvisational piecing and negative space.  The use of white and the limited color palette are typical of many modern quilts.

Dorie is computer whiz who writes patterns for quilts and handmade toys.  You can find her on her blog: Tumbling Blocks and on instagram: tumblingblocks 

Modern Lily by Ginia
And, this story seems like it would be incomplete without mentioning that A2MQG member and GAAQG President Ginia Forrester won the "viewer's choice" award for her quilt "Modern Lily," which was hanging in the larger show.  Here's a picture of Ginia with this beautiful quilt, which she made for her nephew.  

I was not surprised by this win, as every time I was near this quilt in the show, I could see visitors gathered around it, marveling at the artistry and workmanship.  You can find Ginia on her blog Early Morning Quilter and on Instagram as earlymorningquilter.


26 July 2014

Writing about Modern Quilts (part 1 of 2)

This weekend is the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild's biennial show.  This is an enormous show put on by the big guild in town--a guild that has all kinds of quilters--traditional, art, modern, et cetera.  There's some overlap with the membership of GAAQG and our modern guild (in fact, their President, Ginia,  is a member of A2MQG) and so communication has always been pretty free flowing.  Last year, they approached our guild and asked if we'd put together a "special exhibit" for their show.  They called it "Modern Quilts."

Modern Quilt Show Poster 2014 We talked about it as a guild, did a rough count of the number of quilts we thought we might be able to have on hand, and then agreed to put together a show.  A committee was formed from volunteers and we slogged through a TON of organizational stuff.  We had to get quilt submissions, figure out a smart and fair way to jury them, organize drop offs and pick ups and working shifts, etc.  The chair of the committee, Pam (Instagram: pamyjam), did a huge amount of work. THANK YOU PAM!!

I helped where I could.  My main contribution was in making posters to promote the show (see left) and in working on signage within the show.

Since I worked PRETTY HARD on my short essay to introduce the exhibit, I wanted to share it here.  Also, importantly, this essay benefits from the input of many blog commenters over the years, and particularly from the conversation that and I had with  Sarah @ No Hats  in the comments of my post on my ocean waves quilt (and my feeling that my quilt isn't modern.)  I learn so much from my community here on this blog (and on flickr and instagram, at events and so one!) It seems like the essay belongs here as it is the continuation of a conversation so many of us have been having.


= = = = = =

What is a modern quilt?

There is no simple, singular, agreed-upon answer to this question.

For me, a modern quilt is one that matches a particular aesthetic. There is probably some expanded negative space, heavy use of solids, something simple/minimal/stark about it. And these quilts can be from any time. I have seen many vintage quilts that have the modern aesthetic. Utility quilts from decades past look just like the improv quilts so many modern quilters produce today.
For others, modern quilting is less about the actual quilts and more about the people making them--people who came together online before they came together in person, people who are all about making things for themselves, to suit themselves, without worrying overmuch about rules and labels and aesthetic categories. For these folks, modern quilting is a movement, it's a community, it's a trend within the general renaissance of the handmade, it's something that seems new and yet traditional. Blossoming and rooted.

This exhibit is of quilts made by members of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild. We're a group that started meeting in 2011 with a few women sitting around a table at the library. Slowly, we've grown, with new people arriving all the time (you are welcome to join us). We meet to share our projects and our skills and our enthusiasm. And we were asked to exhibit some of our members' work at this show. We tried to select quilts that illustrate some of the aesthetic trends in modern quilts, but you will also see quilts that represent the movement more than a particular aesthetic--we've got a couple of collaborative quilts here. And some that show how traditional patterns have been interpreted with a twist or that simply show a particular method or look that has been popular.

I hope you leave our exhibit with some understanding of what people mean when they talk about modern quilting. If you'd like to know more about the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild please talk to one of our members (at least one will be hanging around the exhibit) or check out our blog a2mqg.blogspot.com or email us a2modernquiltguild@gmail.com

Enjoy!
Rossie Hutchinson
VP of Membership, A2MQG

= = = = = =

Tune in next time for pictures of the quilts in the show and the text I wrote to accompany them!