This is the third installment in this little mini-series and probably the last. (If you haven't read Part 1 and Part 2 you might want to backtrack as I describe just how wrong I've been and why). In this one we tackle the thing I’ve found the trickiest to love - that is the use of lots of printed fabrics in quilts. But again, over the last few years I have found more and more examples of quilts I love, that have this characteristic. There are beautiful examples of this kind of patchwork all over the place if you just start looking….
This style of patchwork involves the cutting up of a beautiful print and putting it next to another beautiful print – sometimes in a traditional pattern and sometimes not. And the thing that I have found tricky about it in the past, is the sense of overwhelm I feel. Sometimes it feels visually a bit too much – but I think that was because I was looking at the wrong quilts. Done right this can bring so much life and depth to a quilt.
So I thought I would show you just a few examples to demonstrate how mixing printed fabrics can be done in a way that is thoughtful, considered and ultimately stunning.
I haven't had quite enough time to gather all the permissions I wanted to to use other people photos so this post is a little link heavy. Still I hope that you enjoy the assortment of quilts I have pulled together that yet again demonstrate how wrong I was about patchwork!
First up – those of you that have followed The Craft Sessions over the last year will probably realize that I have a little crush on Naomi Ito’s Nani Iro fabrics. Little is possibly an understatement. I have just a small pile which I occasionally dive into when I’m feeling brave.
And that is how I came across today’s first quilt. I was looking for things to do with double gauze. I wanted to see how it would work best – a garment or a quilt. I remember seeing this quilt for the first time and thinking “wow!! that is clever”. And it is. It is the use of the print to enhance the simple design. It is the fact that there is quiet in the quilt. It is the simplicity of it – the use of a traditional pattern in a simple way using beautiful fabrics to make something stunning.
And then after a little digging I discovered that the quilter is Australian Siobhan Rogers of Beaspokequilts. Her work has been featured in magazine after magazine and she seems to just have an incredible output. You can find more of her gorgeous work at her blog or her instagram.
This simple traditional square cross quilt comes from Leslie who we will talk about some more below. And I wanted to include it because I love the simplicity of it.
And then this stellar quilt by Toshiko Jinzenji. It is crazy good.
Old School Traditional
If you like the idea of Old School Traditional quilts but want something considered and modern then you can't go past the lovely Karyn of Make Something. Karyn runs a shop called The Workroom in Toronto and has consistently made quilt after amazing quilt for years. Watching her work over the last few years and the work of her teachers and students, has been a big part of my patchwork turnaround. So thanks Karyn!
Next quilt style up is totally different in it’s style - freestyle quilting.
The first example is by one of our awesome teachers Leslie Keating of Maze and Vale. Leslie designs and prints her own fabrics and then uses them in her improvised patchwork quilts. She taught this style of patchwork at last year’s event and had people raving about “freedom” and “joy” and …. Have a look at some photo’s here.
I think the thing that really makes Leslie’s quilts quietly sing is that fact that her fabrics all have a similar tone to them. I love the use of different neutrals and the different basecloths. And then there is the style. I love an improvised quilt – but it isn’t something I think I would feel free enough to do. Leslie's Improv technique achieves these random unplanned and stunning results.
Another quilt that demonstrates this style beautifully is by the lovely Siri Hayes. Siri is my friend. She is an amazing artistic photographer but one of the benefits of being her friend means that I also get to see some of her amazing craft work. The woman is clever. And one place she always floors me is her use of colour.
Siri took Leslie’s class last year and put together a beautiful quilt top that I was a little obsessed with. And then just before I left, I went for craft night at her house and saw another one she was putting together and it is just stunning. This is one of those times when someone’s inate (or learned?) understanding and use of colour is what makes the quilt top sing. I asked her to take some photos for me. They don’t do it justice –said with total love for the quilt as the photos are gorgeous. There is always a subtlety to what makes the colour in a particular work sing. Maybe it goes back to some of the points in my last post or maybe it doesn’t’? I still don’t feel I undertand this one enough. But I love watching other people achieve it. Still so much to learn.
I also love this quilt again by Siobhan that she did in collaboration with the wonderful CLOTH fabrics. Gorgeous colours and use of prints.
Three more people/quilts you should look at if you like this style of quilting are
Maggie and Sparrow - An Australian quilt maker with a gorgeous sense of colour. Her colour palates are so interesting to me. They are harmonius and very very calm. But she uses colourways I just wouldn’t think of. Again another person that gets colour.
And have a look at this one by Insung from Namoo here.
And with that I have to get to bed. I think I've mentioned it on each patchwork post but just in case I haven't - if any of these lovely quilts have inspired you to give patchwork a try then please join us at The Craft Sessions this year. The lovely Melissa of Tiny Happy fame is teaching Freedom Patchwork which will have you capable, confident and joyful by the end of the day.