Thursday, January 2, 2014


Guest Blogger:  Julie Q

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I just made a new, "modern" quilt and in a word, it’s sparkling!  Designed by Lee Heinrich, an award-winning modern quilter, “Sparkler” is a quilt I really enjoyed making.

What is Modern Quilting? Many of today’s modern quilters use traditional blocks but they use them in unique ways.  Modern quilters use bold colors and graphic prints, often combining them with open, solid areas of fabric.  Today’s modern quilters take improvisation to a new, exciting level and Lee is a leader in the modern quilt movement. 

With Lee's well written, easy to follow instructions it's easy to cut and piece this modern quilt.  I started by cutting fat quarters into 2½” strips.  It helps if you have rulers measuring 2 1/2”, 4 1/2” and 6 1/2” wide.   With these you can make your sub-cuts quickly.

fresh 2 Sewing each block took just a few minutes, using chain piecing. I followed Lee’s pressing instructions for the top half and bottom half of the block and then pressed all the completed Sparkler blocks in the same direction at the center, toward the top.  When I sewed the blocks together in rows I flipped the white Sparkler blocks so all the seams nestled neatly.  Using a scant quarter inch with my seaming all the blocks were easy to square up and the quilt top went together easily.  

The beauty of this quilt lies in the simplicity of the piecing and the creative structure that allows you to design your own look.  Solids give a real wow factor and a crisp, modern look. I used several Kona solid cool colors in blue, purple, green and turquoise.  Think about how this quilt would look using a group of black and greys, all blues, greens, reds, or mix it up using your favorite cool or warm colors.  The options are endless!

Patched Works quilted this version using a new pantograph called  “Diagonal Plaid Pantograph.”

fresh 4Lee has her own line of modern quilt patterns and her blog is Freshly Pieced.  We have all of Lee's patterns at Patched Works and a large collection of Kona solids.   "Sparkler" is the perfect quilt to make if you're thinking about making a modern quilt.

Lee’s newest book Vintage Quilt Revival which is authored along with Katie Blakesley & Faith Jones is a fantastic book with fresh layouts and today’s modern colors. 

The quilts in the book are very exciting and elicited many positive comments from customers as they hung for the last few weeks at Patched Works.

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