BLOCK PARTY … a modern quilting bee
By Alissa Haight Carlton
And Kristen Lejnikes
This book has been around since 2011, but it is new to me. I got it as payment from a friend who owns a quilt shop. (Long story but off topic.)
This book is different in that it was more of a chronicle of an on line QUILTING BLOCK PARTY ( BEE.) The book discusses a yearlong project among friends. They each took turns designing quilt blocks and sending instructions and fabric to the others in the group. Once the blocks were made they sent them back to the originator who assembled them into a quilt.
Today, I recognize most of the names of the quilters who made the blocks, but if I had read the book in 2011 I would not have recognized any of the quilters. I knew little or nothing about the Modern Quilt Movement. I probably would have rated it very low as I had little or no appreciation of modern quilts and what they were about. I will also be the first to admit that I am rather HIDE BOUND and ridged in some of my opinions. I do not think I would liked many of the blocks / quilts in the book. I have learned a lot about the MODERN QUILT MOVEMENT and what they are trying to accomplish. I have a growing appreciation of MODERN QUILTS and have even made several blocks and quilts using patterns that are considered modern.
I enjoyed the quilters statements that are include with each of the monthly projects. They each discussed what they learned through the projects / quilt party and how it impacted their quilting lives .
There were no real patterns supplied for the quilt blocks, more general directions and instructions. Since most modern quilters feel you should express your own creativity they give you enough instructions to make similar quilts but no real details.
The book includes a chapter called, COLLECTIVE WISDOM. In this chapter they go thru general instructions for making a quilt including fabric selection, batting, quilt backings, general block construction and binding application, among other lessons.
BECAUSE there was a lack of detailed block construction I would only recommend this book to quilters with some experience who want to dive into modern style quilting. I really liked some of the quilts but others left me cold. I think some of the issues I had with the quilts were the background fabrics and the colors selected. I am sure you will remember I dislike complementary colorways as I find them garish, so if the quilts were strongly complementary I tended to dislike it… but colorways are personal preferences. I also find that I do not care for most grey backgrounds as I think they muddy the other colors. That is another matter for personal preference. I might like grey better in the future as I have just painted the majority of the shared areas ( landing, hallways and computer room) of the house a pale blue grey.
I rated this book a 3.4 out of 5 ( GOOD READS) as I enjoyed the quilter narratives and some of the quilts were interesting, all of them were creative and innovative. I decreased the rating and would only recommend this book to experienced quilters who have some understanding of how to construct blocks. As I have stated there are no detailed directions for block construction in this book.
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