Alissa Haight Carlton from Handmade by Alissa and the creators of Sew, Mama, Sew! teamed up and delivered an outstanding 2011-2012 Modern Block of the Month (BOM) series. While I have never been a fan of “quilt alongs” and block of the month programs, having not participated in one since 1997, the simplicity of the Modern BOM kept my enthusiasm and challenged my comfort zone from beginning to end.
BOM Quilt Top
This introduction to modern patchwork showcases improvisation, asymmetry, triangles, partial seams, english paper piecing, strip piecing and solid color theory. Although these techniques are rooted in the traditional world of quilting, Alissa’s innovative design aesthetic modernizes the BOM series and keeps it fun.
(L-R, Top-Bottom) April, August, November, May, September, March, October, January, July, December, February, and June.
I truly enjoyed piecing every block, and look forward to the challenge of developing the quilt design.
To: TaMara Howard firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Elizabeth Green-Hartman email@example.com
Subject: QuiltCon Block Challenge
Date: September 3, 2012 12:53 AM
Thank you so much for submitting a block to the QuiltCon Block Challenge! I’m truly overwhelmed by the beautiful block you made.
I’m just sending you this e-mail to confirm that your block will be featured on the MQG blog on Thursday, September 6, 2012. You can follow the blog during the next few weeks to see more fabulous blocks and be sure to check the blog starting September 24th, for the announcement of the blocks that were selected to be included in the QuiltCon Raffle Quilt.
The blocks that aren’t selected for the raffle quilt will be used to make bed quilts for the Austin Children’s Shelter so, even if your block doesn’t end up in the raffle quilt, it is definitely going to a good cause! We’re currently looking for guilds interested in finishing one of the quilts for the children’s shelter so, if you think your guild might be interested, please let me know.
Thank you, again, for participating in the QuiltCon Block Challenge!
The Modern Quilt Guild
Just in time! I submitted my QuiltCon block entry TODAY. Measuring 12.5″ x 14.5″, I created a Rectangular Log Cabin Block that utilizes six of the QuiltCon logo colors: White, Coal, Tangerine, Chartreuse, Lemon, and Turquoise all in Kona Cotton solids.
A traditional Log Cabin block begins with a red or yellow center square (called the “hearth”) with strips or “logs” pieced around it in varying light and dark values. According to www.womenfolk.com, the alternating values represent the sunny and shady sides of a home. In addition, most Log Cabin quilts are composed of multiple blocks arranged to produce secondary patterns and are foundation-pieced for precision and stability.
Reflecting those traditions, my machine pieced rectangular Coal colored center, surrounded by Tangerine, emulates the warmth from the hearth of a home. But the alternating width of the logs in light and dark values adds a modern element to a timeless block.
This is my first quilt challenge entry and the blocks that have been submitted thus far are all AMAZING! Sneak a peak at the QuiltCon Block Challenge flickr group.
I’ve accepted the challenge to use the colors of the QuiltCon logo to make a quilt block that reflects what modern quilting means to me. The block has to be 12½” tall x a width of my choice, machine pieced, and made from a “quilt shop quality” 100% cotton or cotton/linen fabric in any combination of tangerine, gold, citrine, lime, aqua, turquoise, white, and/or gray.
Modern Quilt Guild Board Member, Elizabeth Hartman, will curate the submitted blocks, selecting 20 or more of her favorite to be featured on The Modern Quilt Guild’s blog and to be used to make a quilt honoring the QuiltCon inaugural conference and show in Austin TX. But as a way of saying “thank you” to the City of Austin, the remaining blocks will be used to make quilts for the Austin Children’s Shelter.
With that said, when I think of what modern quilting means to me, I immediately think of the Quilts of Gee’s Bend. Their quilts reflect both artistry and freedom, making quilting accessible to all sewers.
My favorite pattern within the Gee’s Bend collective is the Log Cabin Block in all it’s varied versions. The Log Cabin quilt has a rich history and is an “ideal example of early American quilt-work, representing home, warmth, love and security”.
With only five days to meet the August 15th deadline, a Gee’s Bend Log Cabin Quilt will be the inspiration for my QuiltCon block entry.
My first Folk Quilt project of 2012 is off to a great start. It is a String Pieced Floor Pillow that fuses Jinny Beyer Fabrics with recycled scraps of polyester, rayon, linen, and knit culled from the back of my Grandmother, Mary Beatrice Shorter (1914-2008).
The aesthetic is both fresh and modern, but deeply rooted in traditional techniques such as paper string piecing for stability and body with an added sprinkle of floral applique artistry.
However, my pattern is heavily influenced by the book Signs & Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts by Maude Southwell Wahlman. The dominant design element, multi-patterned string piecing, reflects a symmetrical interpretation of the Kongo cosmogram of birth, life, death, and rebirth – the four stations of our life cycle.
Be sure to add this book to your library. It is a wonderful history of African-American textiles and is an inspirational resource for both traditional and modern quilters alike.