Any mom will tell you: from a salt dough hand-print paperweight to a beautifully stitched lap quilt, gifts from the hand and the heart are the best.
Many of us cherish the heirloom block quilts handed down to us--or even the ones we discover at flea markets and thrift shops. But when it comes to our own quilting, we like a more contemporary style.
Quilters have many jokes about owning several irons--but never ironing laundry. That's because quilters don't iron, we press.
I know quilters who enjoy piecing quilts and quilters who enjoy free-motion stitching quilts. But I don't know too many whose favorite part of quilting is cutting the fabric--especially if they're preparing to make a large patchwork quilt. Cutting takes a long time and it can be back-breaking work.
Kevin Kosbab, of Feed Dog Designs, is one of a small but extremely
talented group of male quilters in the female-dominated world of fiber
art. Kevin has designed projects for our sister publication Stitch since the second issue and more recently his designs have been featured in Modern Patchwork magazine.
Here it is, the second week of January, and I still haven't settled on
my Word of the Year. You know, the mantra that you use to help you focus
on what you want to accomplish before the next time the ball drops.
When I'm on vacation I always like to set aside a few hours in the studio for catching up on fiber art techniques I've wanted to explore. With a New Year beginning, it's a great time to make a list of art goals and then strategize on ways to learn techniques, explore supplies, and improve your skills.
At our weekly office show-and-tell, assistant editors Kristine Lundblad and Barbara Delaney both had quilts to reveal. Barb showed hers without a quilt binding, because as soon as she finished adding it, she will rush to the post office and mail the quilt to her new baby granddaughter.
I am simply in love with Lotta Jansdotter's designs. Maybe it's our
shared Scandinavian heritage (she's Swedish; my ancestors hail from
Denmark), but there is something about her simple, colorful, and modern
fabric collections that I can't resist.
What is modern quilting? There's no set definition. Typically, though, modern quilts have large fields of solid colors, take an improvisational approach to cutting and piecing, and highlight contemporary commercial fabrics.
You would think that everything you could do with fabric, fibers, and
shapes had been done before. But from art quilts to modern quilts to
traditional quilts, each one offered a new experience in fiber art.
Every year I set aside one or two Saturdays to sew something special for
the women in my life that would treasure a handmade gift. I usually
work production-style, cutting, basting, sewing, and finishing, until I
have an array of small gifts ready to go.
Fall has definitely arrived here in New England. Time to haul out the patchwork comforters, haul in the firewood, and make sure there are plenty of cocoa fixings in the cupboard.
Many people ask me for beginning quilting
projects. When you are learning how to quilt, often it's best to start
with a easy sewing project that has quilted or patchwork element, like
coasters, place mats, or a little bag.