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!
Every year, we receive hundreds of books in the office to feature in our magazines. And although we try, it’s impossible to showcase each book. In the fall issue of Quilts and More magazine our staff is announcing a blog hop to highlight the books that we couldn’t review in the magazines, but that our staff absolutely loves! We pulled around 20 books to review for the blog hop (watch for that August 12) and narrowed it down to include a variety of topics and publishers. But we can’t totally forget about the books that weren’t chosen for the blog hop. Below we give a shout-out to those books and encourage you to read a few before we announce our editor’s choice books for fall next month!
Quilts for Sweet Jane: Easy Quilt Patterns Using Precuts
By Sue Pfau for Martingale
Fun to start and quick to finish, these enticing quilts simplify the fabric-selection process. Almost all projects use one set of precut fabrics plus a neutral background fabric, such as white or cream, with terrific results. The collection of 10 easy quilt patterns appeal to a wide range of tastes. And you’ll discover doable projects that even beginners can make successfully!
I Love Color! Quilt Collection
By Marcia Harmening of Happy Stash Quilts for Leisure Arts
If you love happy hues and pretty patterns, Marcia’s gorgeous designs are for you! The quilts include a wide variety of quilting techniques, such as curved borders, applique, and little flanges for a dimensional touch.Designs include throws, table runners, and crib quilts.
Quilting-on-the-Go: Taking It Further
By Carolyn Forster for Landauer Publishing
Carrying a block or two with you to piece and quilt wherever and whenever you have time is the heart of Carolyn’s quilting-on-the-go techniques. Choose one of the 11 projects and enjoy the freedom of quilting-on-the-go, including learning how to piece and quilt borders on-the-go!
Patchwork Quilts: Traditional Scandinavian Designs for the Modern Quiltmaker
By Trine Bakke for Skyhorse Publishing
Learn the art of traditional Scandinavian quilt-making by following Trine’s simple designs and detailed instructions. Here readers can learn how to use traditional block patterns in new ways that make for beautiful results! Trine believes that a good quilt is a well-loved quilt—one that can be used, washed, and loved again. She also gives tips on how to find both beautiful and durable fabrics to piece together amazing creations for the bedroom, kitchen, and the rest of the home.
Jelly Roll Jambalaya Quilts
By Jean Ann Wright for Landauer Publishing
Stitch along with author Jean Ann Wright as she creates easy, fun projects with jelly roll pre-cuts. Ten bright, easy-to-complete, colorful quilts encompass a variety of techniques, including y-seams and speed strip stitching.
Patchwork Plus: East One-Block Quilts with Seasonal Applique
By Geralyn J. Powers for Martingale
Find quilts for all seasons–and other fun reasons! Create nine projects for year-round giving and home decor. Each trouble-free quilt pattern uses one basic patchwork block to create a background for a dash of appliqué.Find appliqué accents to customize your patchwork patterns for springtime, patriotic holidays, Halloween, Christmas, and more.
Each month, we highlight the books we’re reading in the office. This month, we’re all about finding more time to sew. The sun is out, the weather is nice, and we don’t want to be stuck inside sewing. These books include on-the-go projects, as well as tips for finding more time to sew!
Quilting on the Go
By Jessica Alexandrakis for Potter Craft
Learn to break free from your sewing machine with this beginner-friendly book. Whether your style is classic or modern, Jessica offers a range of stunning projects, from small home accessories to full-size quilts, for all skill levels. She includes tips on packing sewing supplies for traveling, stash organization tips, and 10 step-by-step projects that you can easily do in the car or on the beach.
The Busy Girl’s Guide to Sewing
By Carrie Maclennan
This title is designed for crafters who find there is never enough time in the day – which is most of them! The fun projects can be completed in a day, or spaced over a few weekends, so crafters can fit them into their time constraints. This book is written by a truly busy gal with tons of personality, as she learns to fit sewing into her lifestyle. It includes advice on sourcing fabric, upcycling, blogging, joining online communities, and more for the ultimate experience for busy girls who sew.
Playful Little Paper-Pieced Projects
Compiled by Tacha Bruecher for Stash Books
This collection of paper-pieced projects features some of the best work from today’s most talented modern quilters. You can learn everything you need to know about foundation paper piecing, and then test your skills with 37 projects ranging in difficulty and complexity. Bursting with ideas and ingenuity, this book will inspire you to include paper piecing in all your sewing projects.
Help children gain color confidence using activities, quizzes, and games from The Wonderful Colorful Wonder Wheel of Color ($12.99; ctpub.com). Host a Color Wheel Party with stations for kids to learn about the color wheel, color schemes, and how colors affect each other.