Thursday, May 23, 2013

Modern Quilting

My head is spinning these days because I have an opportunity to design for a "modern" quilt magazine.

If I had to describe myself as a quilter it would be "traditional with a twist."  I love scrappy quilts with traditional piecing and maybe a bit of wool appliqué thrown into the mix.  My favorite quilt blocks are sawtooth stars and flying geese.  I cut my teeth on Kansas Troubles fabrics and I still favor muted, darker colors - especially red.  I love red.  And I own all of Kim Diehl's books -- even though I become absolutely green with envy every time I open one of them.

So why would I even think of attempting to design a modern quilt?

Because I just can't help myself.

After I got over the initial surge of fear at the thought of attempting modern design, my juices started flowing.  I spent hours on EQ 7 playing with the ideas pouring out of me; countless color and block combinations spinning in my head.  Now this may have been due to the fact that I accidentally drank a pot of full strength coffee rather than the decaf I thought I'd made -- a hypothesis I plan to test when I'm feeling brave enough to withstand the accompanying racing heartbeat and shaking hands.  But I really think I was reinvigorated by the challenge of designing something totally different.

Bright, clear colors.  High contrast.  Simple, graphic patterns.  Negative space.  It's like learning a new language.

Maybe I'll work with solids.  Maybe I'll explore asymmetry -- shudder.  Perhaps, dare I say it, I'll even try some improvisational piecing.  Even the word "improvisational" gives me a thrill!

I don't know if I'll be successful and my designs may be a disaster.  But I do know, that right now, quilting feels like play again.  And that's good enough for me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Spring Fling

Ahhh.... spring has finally arrived in New Hampshire.  We've been having the most amazing weather for the past week.  Sunny and 70° every day and still no bugs!

I decided to celebrate with a little on-line fabric shopping and to my delight discovered mini charm packs -- collections of 2½" x 2½" squares of fabric.

Now, I LOVE regular charm packs -- a whole fabric line of color-coordinated perfection in a tidy little bundle for only $10 -- but mini charm packs are a revelation!!!

Look how cute they are in their tiny packaging with their darling pinked edges -- like gorgeous pieces of candy that fit perfectly in the palm of your hand!!  And at less than $5, they are absolutely guilt-free.

Of course, I realize that inch for inch, mini charm packs are much more expensive than full-size charm packs.  And I know that the number of pattern possibilities are more limited for 2½" x 2½" squares.  And, to be honest, I have to admit that I'm deeply hesitant to even remove the paper bands from the mini charm packs to get a closer look at the fabrics, much less sew them into a project.

But I really don't care!  I love them and love knows no reason.  It makes me happy just to look at them sitting on the corner of my cutting table, looking sweet.  Joy for $4.50?  Sold!