Denyse Schmidt never ceases to inspire us! A long-time friend of Purl Soho's, we love Denyse for her fresh, innovative designs and her unique approach to quilting. And so, we are very excited to announce her latest book, the simply breathtaking Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration. Delving back to the traditional styles that first sparked her passion for quilting, Denyse gives these twenty quilt patterns a modern spin with bold, beautiful fabric choices.
Entries in Machine Quilting (22)
As a rule, I am not a very patient or meticulous person. For example, even though I have knit since I was a child, I have never even made an adult sweater…. It would just take too long! Hand quilting is my one exception to this rule. I have loved this slow and contemplative process ever since Joelle first taught it to me many years ago.
For the uninitiated: Hand quilting is the method of sewing together the three layers of a quilt (the backing, the batting, and the top) in patterns of hand sewn stitches. It’s certainly not fast, but it is stunningly beautiful. The gentle rocking motion of the needle is so soothing, and I love all of those neat rows of tiny little stitches!
My favorite way to showcase hand quilting is with the simplicity of a wholecloth quilt. For the top of my Windowpane Quilt I used the classic Betsy print from the very special Liberty of London Tana Lawn collection. The silky smoothness of this fabric and the exquisite detail of its pretty pattern truly made this project a joy. And for the back, the Yarn Dyed Essex in Denim reminded me of a well loved pair of jeans and really added some old fashioned charm. I chose a baby size for this quilt because the hundreds of small hand stitches seem to infuse it with a little extra love! -Molly
December marks the end of our year long Mini Quilt of the Month series. It’s been such a fun and informative project for all of us here at The Purl Bee. We’ve learned how to machine appliqué a garden of vegetables, stitch together a bevy of yoyos, and even draft a quilt from an inspiring photograph. It’s a little sad to see it end but I know we will be referencing many of these skills and techniques for a long time to come.
Since this is the final mini quilt we wanted to combine our favorite aspects of all of the previous project into one last effort. To that end we think December’s Golden Wreath Mini Quilt has it all: an unusual technique, a fun exploration of color, and a small approachable size! As an added plus, it’s a playful reinterpretation of Joelle’s Color Wheel Quilt from her now classic book, Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.
We used the golden “Sunbeam” spectrum bundle for this project because, in this blustery cold season, it reminded us of the warm colors of the hearth. However, you could make it in any color spectrum you like, from calming blues to Christmas reds! It’s straightforward and fun to sew even though it involves curved seams, which really aren’t as daunting as you might think.
Thanks and happy sewing!-- Molly
ps- If you’d like to take a look at all the other quilts in this series please click here.
My great-great grandmother and her daughter, my great grandmother, were both from Herber Springs, Arkansas, and like many women of their time and place, they were accomplished quilt makers. One of my great-great grandmother's creations, a queen-size quilt with appliquéd sunflowers, hung in my childhood home. I remember spending hours studying its delicate stitches and beautiful colors! We also had a large unfinished quilt top made by my great grandmother. It was comprised of hundreds of tiny cotton feed sack diamonds, all hand sewn together to form a gigantic eight pointed star. Later in life, I learned that this pattern is usually called a "Lone Star". (If you're unfamiliar with the traditional Lone Star quilt pattern, here is a link to a nice example.)
I have always loved this pattern, but I've never sewn one because it usually involves slanted angles and scary "Y" seams. With our Mini Quilt of the Month Series almost finished, I thought now would be the perfect time to tackle this seemingly impossible shape. But since we’re not our great-great grandmothers, I decided to give the pattern a more approachable modern spin, eliminating the "Y" seams and the hundreds of tiny diamonds. Phew!
This Striped Star Mini Quilt is a simple take on a complicated classic. Strip-pieced stripes convey a sense of dimensionality and movement, and a pretty assortment of neutral dots and stripes add a clean, modern aesthetic. The pattern comes together unexpectedly in fascinating puzzle that will delight your quilting mind!
To the modern eye, early Amish quilts can look more like bold abstract paintings than bed-topping quilts! Dating back to the mid 1800's, Amish quilts used dark jewel-toned, solid wool fabrics and uncomplicated piecing. (Here's a link to a nice gallery of older Amish Quilts. )
One of the most classic Amish piecing patterns is a center diamond where the focal point is a square turned on its corner. This simple pattern is particularly appealing because of its clear, graphic quality and its large blocks of color that seem to vibrate and sing. Working with just solid colored wool, the early Amish conjured some truly spectacular color schemes (like this one!).
In homage to these vibrant and wild combinations, we chose for our October Mini Quilt of the Month an eclectic mix of solids, from bright Kona Cotton in Coral to heathery Shot Cotton in Lilac . And since we weren't bound by the same rules as the original Amish quilters, we also threw in a smattering of small dots and subtle prints to round out our beautiful, unruly fabric selections.
I had a real blast throwing my color preferences to the wind, purposefully putting together color combinations that I would normally avoid. The process was so creative and fun! Even the piecing itself is a bit more freewheeling than a normal quilt because you cut the pieces to size as you need them. Plus as an added bonus, once you get this pattern down you can make it any size, from a pin cushion to a queen-size bed! --Molly
PS- If you'd like to see all of the Mini Quilts in our series plese click here.