4.22.2013

Quilting Resources for Crafty Folks


(Spine Quilt by Meg Callahan.)

I recently taught a section on quilting for the INTERWOVEN online workshop that I co-taught with the lovely and talented, Lisa Solomon. (We are brainstorming about offering this class a second time this fall--stay tuned for details.) After offering the workshop, my little inbox filled up with questions from students, friends, and fellow crafters asking about quilting resources.

So, I decided to share a tiny portion of what I shared one day in the private class here on my public blog. Of course, this is just a fraction of what we shared in the INTERWOVEN class as we shared video tutorials, interviews, contextualized each project in the art and craft worlds, and offered enough resources to make most of the wonderful students dizzy with links and lists. Admittedly, we realized we wanted to share everything we possibly could because we believe in the work that much. It's true.

I want to share just a sample of my quilting resources here for two reasons: 1.) I want this blog to be a space where I can keep giving you inspiration to make things with your own two hands and 2.) I believe in building community and sharing resources with like-minded folks. I'm also going to share some Gorgeous quilt images (Yes, that's a capital "G") that I've taken from my Pinterest boards. I've cited each of the quilters with links to their sites, so please peruse those sites too--I've shared quilt images from some of my favorite contemporary quilters.


(Albuquerque Foreclosure Quilt by Kathryn Clark.)

I think it's a very exciting time to be a quilter. There are so many exciting fabric designers, quilters, communities, and resources that with some focused experimentation and navigation we can find our way to the heart of what we find most inspiring. The online quilt movement has a fierce and exciting momentum that I encourage you to join. It's endless!

Of course, there is no possible way I could list all the worthy bloggers, designers, artists, and crafters working with quilts (though I would applaud any of you who want to try--what an amazing website that would be for other quilters). But, I am going to share some of the folks making the quilt world a vibrant and exciting place, in my humble opinion.
Source: auburn.edu via Katrina on Pinterest


Quilts start with the designs, so I thought I'd start with a shortlist of fabric designers that you might consider when making a quilt. I think Lotta Jansdotter, Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, Heather Ross, and Lizzy House are probably some of the most exciting designers in the contemporary fabric world. (We should also tip our hats to Marimekko too, of course.)

I've seen wonderful fabrics designed by Lena Corwin, Leah Duncan, and Denyse Schmidt though I'm not sure they are producing fabric lines with the same consistency of the first list--but I could be wrong. If your local fabric store doesn't carry these designers you can find them online and typically you can order fat quarters (a 1/4 yard) or charm squares (5 inches) or other pre-cut offerings if you don't want to purchase by the yard.

Also, the world of solids is exploding. Many quilters are using solid colors to make gorgeous quilts as they argue that solids are timeless and also allow for more concentration on the handwork and stitches. Exciting stuff. For solids, lots of folks like Kona solids but I'd also look to the inspired work of Folk Fibers--she makes her quilts using mostly solids and they are gorgeous. And up-cycling is a great way to use fabric scraps like denim, linen, cotton t-shirts, or other solid fabrics.


(Zen Quilt by Maura Grace Ambrose of Folk Fibers.)

Okay, so the list of quilters is far too vast but here are some spaces to poke around online. I'd suggesting starting with one of the modern quilt master (that's quite a title, right?) like Denyse Schmidt. She's amazing. Her books are some of my favorites and her website is full of inspiration and anybody working with modern quilts should check out her work--it's inspiring. Check it out.

I'd also look at some of the crafter's featuring their own quilts on their beautiful blogs and this list is really, really huge but it includes folks like Bijou Lovely, Wisecraft, The Silly BooDilly, Make Something, Fussy Cut, Crazy Mom Quilts, Sew Katie Did, A Cuppa and a Catch Up, Red Pepper Quilts, Fresh Lemons Quilts, and West Coast Crafty to name just a few. (Many of those folks have books or have quilts in other books so I warn you that following those links will be amazingly inspiring but endless.) Phew! There are SO many more modern quilters--I'd love it if you add your personal favorites in the comment section too.


(Two of a Kind, by Bijou Lovely Designs.)

And other websites that deserve to be mentioned include the PurlBee site as it's a treasure trove for all things textile. Also the Modern Quilt Guild as they offer a searchable database of the local modern quilt guild in your area and this search is global! I'd add SewMamaSew to the list because it's a great hub and then I'd also add sites like The Workroom and Selvedge and the textile posts on Poppytalk and then the list just becomes endless! Even in the quilting world the sites are endless but once we open that up to fabric and sewing in general? Well, then I completely lose my way because it's so amazingly massive.

Source: flickr.com via Katrina on Pinterest

 (Spring Fling Art Quilt by Victoria Gertenbach of The Silly Boo Dilly.)

ENJOY perusing all these glorious fabric and quilting sites--they are certain to inspire another project, or two, or maybe seventeen. Remember, quilting takes time so be patient with your sweet self as you work through the many stages of making your own beautiful heirloom quilt. 

xoxo,
k.

6 comments:

  1. Me commenting on quilting? oh yes indeed. I love quilts. I know very little, but I love them. For 18 years I have been driving along the edges of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, wishing one day to stop and buy one of theirs. Alas, the day has not yet come. Someone once explained to me how they stitch, as opposed to the modern world. I don't remember a thing about it, other than it was very tight and very regular.
    I have a great quilt memory "woven" into my soul. (sorry) I would spend summers in Hudson with my Aunt, and I slept with a quilt my grandma made of my mom's old clothes. It was quite crude but very cozy. After Auntie died, I took it home with me and used it until it was literally in shreds. It's still in a comforter bag in my closet. Everytime I think of that quilt (which is actually more often than you'd think) it brings me back to Hudson, Route 9, the bullfrogs at night and the asparagus in the garden. Oddly then, it made me think of my mom in those clothes, and what she did and how she'd run by the orphanage wonder what the kids were like. (Side note: it's now a public library and yes, we have been all over it inside, unlocking a little bit of what my mom wondered and passed on to me). I am sure my memory was not accurate, seeing that I always pictured my dad as a baby with a mustache.

    Anyway, keep quilting away because the end user will be ultimately in love. They are quite magical.

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    1. beth: i love this quilt story. love the idea of you imagining a younger version of your mom. love your family ties to the hudson, ny area. and i LOVE the image of your dad as a baby with a mustache!

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  2. Great post, Katrina... chock full of wonderful resources. Thanks so very much for including me on your list! As for what Beth said about the Pennsylvania Dutch quilting, I live in that neck of the woods, and yes, generally it is small, close stitches, very traditional, and generally white thread. I sat in on a Amish/Mennonite quilting bee once... I sweated bullets to keep my stitches up to their standards. (And it was very awkward for me as I wasn't use to sitting at a frame, and working my line of stitches away from my body). No one said a word to me all morning, (they spoke dutch to each other, so I couldn't even follow the conversation) but they were eyeing my work. Finally, when we broke for lunch they complimented me on my quilting and tiny, even stitches. Whew! I felt like I passed a major exam. But I was so worn out by the experience, I packed up my thimble and left when they all went to eat!

    I also love Beth's wonderful story of her grandma's quilt and childhood memories. Fabulous.

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    1. victoria: you make the most beautiful quilts and i am thrilled to include you in my quilter's resources list. and your stitches are so gorgeous--i can't imagine you being intimidated at any quilting bee. i'm sure you passed with flying colors! nice to see you over here. hello, you.

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  3. mmmm. quilts. [someday i will make one]
    and can you believe i've never been to big sur???? shhhhh

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    1. you need to go to big sur! and take the little one, she'll love it, i think. and quilts are dreamy. i look forward to some time this summer to make a dress and maybe a quilt. delightful.

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Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.