Accentuate the Negative: Making the Most of Negative Space in Modern Quilts
by Trisch Price
$22.95; Kansas City Star Quilts
Review by Linda Augsburg, executive editor
An inspiration for both traditional and modern quilters, Accentuate the Negative: Making the Most of Negative Space in Modern Quilts covers different approaches to the backgrounds or negative space in quilt projects. Trisch Price starts with an overall lesson on negative space, but dives deeper into the topic in each chapter. I was inspired as I read along, with Price sharing her hard-learned knowledge with me and coaching me through the color selection and placement process rather than just telling me which fabrics to put where. After all, once you understand the reasons behind the choices, you’re better able to apply the learnings. Each chapter covers one method of working successfully with negative space and each is accompanied by three projects to illustrate the concepts.
She shares how to select fabrics for Gradations without having to dye your own. She even includes fabric brands and color names so you’d be able to recreate the quilt as shown or compare the colors used to recreate the project in a different colorway. The Reversal chapter focused on how the perceived positive space was where the patterns and colors played, while the negative space was reserved for a soothing solid that ended up packing the punch. Interruption — carrying the negative space forward into the design — added an unexpected secondary design on some already striking quilts. Modern design aesthetics abound in the Negative Form chapter with bold shapes driving the quilt designs. The Ghosting technique intrigued me — high contrast and low contrast blocks let you shift the viewer’s attention. In the Piecing chapter, subtle piecing in the negative space forms a secondary image, grounds a design, and adds subtleties to the quilt. Throughout the book, images of the quilting designs are crisp and clear, so you can see how negative space can also be transformed by the quilting you add — that’s a huge help for me and I bet it is for many of you as well. Moreover, as I read each chapter, ideas for incorporating the concepts into my own quilt designs, both traditional and modern, started to take form. I could see how the tips and lessons provided in Accentuate the Negative: Making the Most of Negative Space in Modern Quilts could help me make all types of quilts much more interesting.
On my “to-make” list (which feels more like a “to experiment with” list): Confetti Drop (page 28), String of Pearls (page 50), Phantom Square Dance (page 80), and Mod Roses (page 108).
Lizzie’s Legacy: More Quilts from a Pioneer Woman’s Journal
27.95; Kansas City Star Quilts
Review by Jody Sanders, editor
Lizzie’s Legacy is the second book by Betsy Chutchian based on the journals of her great great grandmother Lizzie Carpenter. In her book, Gone to Texas: Quilts from a Pioneer Woman’s Journal (2009) Betsy started the very personal journey of re-creating quilts inspired by 25 years of journal entries by Lizzie from 1857-1882. In this follow-up book, patterns are provided for 13 quilts and a pincushion are made with Civil War-era reproduction fabrics.
Projects include classic patterns such as Courthouse Steps, Churn Dash, and Single Wedding Ring. Family photos, easy-to-read instructions and diagrams, and detailed photographs of the quilts showcase scrappy projects that promote the make-do and use-it-up mentality popular during the 19th century. As a co-founder of the 19th Century Patchwork Divas, Betsy is passionate about recreating quilts that have the authentic look of vintage quilts, but can be made using 21st century tools and techniques.
It’s so hard to decide what project I will make first from the book. As a fan of little quilts, maybe it will be the 40x48” Broken Dishes quilt called Milla’s Babe. However, the foundation square, quilt-as-you-go technique used to make the Bird Trap Courthouse Steps quilt is intriguing. The myriad prints used in A Quilt for the Help, with its pinwheel blocks has me heading for my scrap basket to see how many fabrics I can include in one quilt! Maybe I’ll just start at the beginning and work my way through the whole book!
Fabrics: Mixed Bag collection by Studio M for Moda Fabrics
Here’s a place mat that’s so easy you’ll be eager to sew a set of four! This quilt-as-you-go project means that when the top is done, so is the quilting! Add binding and you’ve completed a pretty place mat! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
Want to see it? Watch the video for our quilt-as-you-go place mat here.
Materials for one place mat:
- 18×21″ piece (fat quarter) print for place mat backing
- 9 assorted print 2-1/2×14″ strips for place mat top
- 1/4 yard dot or print for place mat binding
- 14×20″ piece thin quilt batting
- Quilt basting spray (optional)
- Water-soluble marking pen
Finished place mat: 18×12″
Sew this project with 1/4″ seams. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42″ of usable fabric width.
Cut the Fabrics:
From backing fabric, cut:
- 1—14×20″ rectangle
From binding fabric, cut:
- 2—2-1/2×42″ strips
Assemble (and Quilt) the Place Mat:
1. Lay backing fabric rectangle on work surface with right side down.
2. Place thin quilt batting piece on top. (If desired, use quilt-basting spray to secure the layers together.)
3. Using a water-soluble marking pen, mark a line 2-1/2″ from left short edge.
4. Align a print 2-1/2×14″ strip, right side up, between the left short edge and the drawn line.
5. Place a second print 2-1/2×14″ strip, right side down, atop the first strip.
6. Sew together along one edge through all layers.
TIP: Use a walking foot attachment on your machine during the construction to avoid puckers on the placemat front and back. With a walking foot, all layers of fabric move through machine at the same speed.
7. Finger-press the top strip open.
8. Continue adding assorted print strips in same manner, one at a time, finger pressing each open, until all nine strips have been added.
9. Finger-press ninth strip open. Press unit flat.
10. Centering strips, trim unit to make an 18×12″ place mat top.
11. Machine baste around outer edges of place mat top about 1/8″ from cut edges.
12. To bind and finish the edges of place mat use 2-1/2×42″ binding strips.
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
If you love stars, this quilt is perfect for you! Ranging in size, these stars are great for using scraps and showcasing your fave fabrics.
Use Cuddle precuts in an adorable and quick-to-make quilt that any child would love to snuggle up with!
Mesa Verde by Julia Gray for Fabri-Quilt
Southwestern prints and stunning blocks make this quilt standout.
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
This month, we’re all about minis! Mini quilts are a great summer project and the perfect way to test color combinations, new techniques, and block designs without a big commitment of time and money. Plus, they’re so cute! See these patterns for mini quilts and get started on one today.
Mini items for your shopping list (in order going clockwise):
- Mini Stitch by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co
- Mini Swoon by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
- Shine Mini by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
- Fun-Size Quilts: 17 Popular Designers Play with Fat Quarters for Martingale
- Mini Come What May by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts
- Cut.Press.Sew.Quilt by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet Designs