Book Review, Directional Fabric

Leisurely perusing the quilting books at the library, I stumbled across Plaids & Stripes The Use of Directional Fabric in Quilts by Roberta Horton. I glanced through, and put it in my “yes” pile. Back in my mind, I’m remembering my friend Cyn’s post at XOXO quilts showing all her directional ready-to-be-upcycled stash and my curiosity was piqued. Little did I know the book is a neat little treasure with some interesting thoughts to offer a beginner quilter such as myself.

Horton talks about grainline, weave and patterns, value and scale (no surprise there) and number of colors used in a given cloth.  Each of these things can give either a calm or busy effect – depending on the choices made by the quilter.

I would give you a photo of the nice little chart in the book, but I lost my camera this week -sigh- so here goes (just imagine two columns lined up here):

CALM: on-grain, symmetrical (in the pattern), even, stripes, solid lines, low value contrast, small, two color

BUSY: off-grain, asymmetrical, uneven, plaids, ikat, high value contrast, large, multicolor

Horton recommends, to get a good feel for how plaids and directionals work or don’t work together, you do a quilt with ONLY directionals.  No solids or prints.  Whoa – that sounds awfully brave but also very fun!

She has a couple of lessons on drafting your own patterns, which I love.  I have not encountered this type of tutorial in other quilt books, and wonder if this is unique or if I just haven’t read enough quilt books in my day to come across it.

Lastly, there was a great demonstration about how “speed cutting” and “traditional cutting” can really change the way a pieced block will look.  Speed cutting is what she terms a shortcut in cutting but results in extra seams in piecing.  (Again, I wish I could show you a photo of the book, sorry!)  The extra seams are especially noticeable with directional fabrics which is one more artistic choice the quilter gets to make.  The bow tie block is one often found done the “speed cutting” way, where the center square is actually four triangles meeting in the center to make a square.

Anyway, I learned a bunch, and you’ll have to check this book out from your local library to see for yourself!  Might I see an upcoming EBMQG challenge in the future?? Hmmm?

Just a quick edit –  aside from the fact that I may be suffering from early onset alzheimers’ disease, I found my camera which I am really happy about.  Turns out I never even took the camera to the lake (where I thought I left it), or if I did, there were no pictures from the lake on my memory card or my memory bank!

Here is the photo of the chart showing calm vs. busy.

CALM / BUSY directionals from the book Plaids & Stripes the use of directional fabrics in quilts


And the photo of the effects of traditional vs. speed cutting – I highlighted areas for you to compare.  If you envision plaids in those areas you can imagine (unless one is an extremely fussy cutter) that there would/could be quite noticable seams.  Which the quilter may or may not want to highlight.


East Bay Modern Quilt Guild November Meeting Notes

Wow! I don’t know what it is about the holiday season, but so many new people showed up for this meeting! For the first time ever we had to use name tags! Welcome to all the new people and we hope you enjoyed our little (or not so little!) group. Thanks also to Sharona, and New Pieces Quilt Store for hosting the meeting and providing some yummy treats.

1. East Bay Modern November Meeting, 2. East Bay Modern November Meeting, 3. East Bay Modern November Meeting, 4. Adrianne’s quilt for her daughter, 5. Adrianne’s quilt for Project Modern, 6. Adrianne’s quilt for Project Modern, 7. Birgit’s Turkey embroidery project, 8. Some Swiss fabric from Birgit, 9. Adrianne’s quilt for her daughter, 10. Deanna’s Quilt, 11. Deanna’s quilt – Elephants in Africa, 12. Deanna’s cute satin pj’s, 13. Dan’s hand-embroidered quilt tag, 14. Kristen’s advent calendar, 15. The back of Dan’s quilt., 16. Linda’s baby quilt, 17. Edith’s hand-quilted triangles back, 18. One of the quilts created for Deanna’s Children’s Quilts project, 19. Linda’s baby quilt, 20. Edith’s hand-quilted triangles front, 21. Sharona’s journal quilts, 22. Cyn’s hand beading on her yoga quilt, 23. Treats!, 24. Dan’s gorgeous quilt, 25. Deanna’s Ipad cover made by her daughter, 26. Dan’s gorgeous quilt, 27. Cyn’s hand beading on her yoga quilt, 28. Bari’s bag that started it all!, 29. Janis’ large felted bag (by Susan Hagen), 30. Quilt kits for Deanna’s Children’s Quilts project, 31. Cyn’s bird applique, 32. Stacey’s peppermint quilt top, 33. Edith’s hand-tied baby quilt, 34. Sharona’s lantern quilt, 35. Kristen’s sashiko runner

So, I just spent the evening writing up a long and detailed description of the meeting…clicked over to work on the photos…and “poof”  all gone except the opening paragraph.  What happened?  Don’t know, but I can’t face writing it again! Instead of doing it all over, I’m just going to put little commentaries under the pictures of Flickr.  Click on the link below the photos to see the full sized picture.

Also, a quick list of links to things discussed:

I will be working on setting up a mailing list and will let you know where to sign up once that’s finished.

There will be no meeting during the month of December, but we’ll get back together again on the last Tuesday of January.  Bring along a project that has gone horribly awry.  We want to see all those big mistakes, or little ones, or even mistakes that ended up making the piece better.  Or you can bring along something beautiful and perfect.  It’s up to you!

One of the main topics of conversation at the meeting was what separates “modern” quilters from other types of quilters.  I invite you to leave comments below as to why you identify as  “modern” quilter.  I’m so interested in reading the responses!

Creative endeavor

Children can be surprisingly inventive.  Designer Charlotte and  I, the executor, made this pillow for a birthday gift last weekend.  Didn’t she choose her fabric and trims well?  I LOVED it, and of course had to photograph it before giving it away!!  She used crayola fabric markers and also fabric crayons – both required ironing to set. We still need to work on the concept of leaving a seam allowance. Some parts of the art got sewn inside and she wasn’t pleased with that.  Otherwise it was a super fun, fast and easy project.

Final photo of my quilt after the wash, dry and fold (I’m still calling it MY quilt, and it’s not…sigh).  It went off to the post office yesterday even though it was ready 2 weeks ago… it was harder to let go than I thought!