Modern-Designs for Classic-Quilts : Book Review


Modern Designs for Classic Quilts by Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson

I am hoping everyone is having a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. I am lounging around watching my grandson play and taking advantage of the fact that I do not have to work today. I just finished going through the mail and I came across a couple of packages that had been stashed in the wrong place. The WRONG PLACE being somewhere hidden so that I did not know they had arrived. I ordered the book, MODERN DESIGNS for CLASSIC QUILTS. after seeing it on the internet. I picked it up planning to just surf through it today but end up spending a lot of time reading through it.


THE FIRST CHAPTER is a collection of brief essays on what the author thinks MODERN vs TRADITIONAL is, their theories on stash building, the use of colors and fabrics. I can say I agree with some of their opinions and others my thoughts are, “WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?” But I love to disagree, just to disagree.


The SECOND CHAPTER lists tools that are helpful in the making of quilts, things most quilters have in their basic sewing kit. They then review many of the basic techniques used in making the quilts in the book. I am going to re-read this section as there were several points I disagree with and it could just be my reading of the directions and not the directions themselves; but I recommend reading several books and learning many ways of doing the same thing whenever possible.


Being open to learning different techniques and methods is good for your brain.   Did you know quilting is good for your brain, so says recent research in Alzheimer and dementia.  Quilting ( learning anything new and different) is good for brain health.  

BACK TO THE BOOK …… What I enjoyed most with the book was when they took a traditional block and put it into a modern design.  The DRESDEN FILES, IN THE CLOUDS (flying geese,) MESHUGANA (known to me as Crazy Block, giblets and gravy,) PANTONE POCKET CHANGE ( Chinese Coins) LES ELEFANTS et HIPPOS ( aka Disappearing 4 Patch) and one of my favorite quilts URBAN CABIN ( updated LOG CABIN.)   There are 12 projects in the book made from traditional patterns in interesting modern designs.

I do enjoy the majority of the book, I love the different interpretation of classic traditional blocks as used by the modern quilters.  I find I love the negative space and how it is being used in the modern quilts.  I am finding I love quilts with lot of negative space… in part because I think I am getting lazier and want to make more quilts with less work ( blocks)  I also find I like the open spaces, especially with interesting FREE MOTION QUILTING.

I am not always fond of the color choices but that hold true of any quilt style.  I have very defined color sensibilities, as I have said before I do not LIKE complementary color schemes very often.  I also found lately I am bored by orange, cyan color combination, I think it is rather garish.  But it always depend upon the setting and the use of the colors in the quilt.

GREY is the new brown.  Where older traditional quilters used cream and brown profusely I now see grey being used as the neutral.   I think this is in part influence by what is available to match HOME DECOR.  Daughters and young quilters decorate their home in different styles and colors when compared to their mothers and grandmothers, so that is to be expected.   I have always liked grey but found it hard to use in a quilt or in decor.

I have only gone thru the book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts once but have “post-em-ed”  several patterns I want to make in my own interpretation.  ( I never make a quilt according to the pattern, in part because I do not know how to follow a pattern.  I usually go off on my own regardless of who writes the pattern.)  I think this is one reason I am attracted to THE MODERN QUILT MOVEMENT.  They are not married to the rules of quilting as much as making quilts that they love and enjoy.

I do recommend this book, if you like Modern Quilts and are a new quilter,  as I found many patterns I liked and can dream of making.  I liked the use of negative space in the patterns and how they have their own style.   For the most part the directions were well writen and a good jumping off point for new quilters.  I do recommend reading and learning quilt techniques from more quilt books and have recommended several books in the past and will add links to this blog for several of my favorite quilt HOW to books.

Any projects I make will of course I will be making them from my stash … so they probably won’t be very modern when I get done with them…. BUT it is the thought that counts….

Happy Quilting to all…



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