26 November, 2010

The Modern Quilt Workshop

Even though I've quilted for over a decade, it wasn't until about four years ago that I would say I became focused and intentional with my quilting. Before that it was a creative hobby that helped me destress, but that's about it. I was on mat leave with The Monster and started to spend a lot of time online. (That girl could sleep!)

One day I very distinctly remember typing in "Modern Quilts" on a Google search. I knew what I was creating wasn't conventional, but I felt very alone among the quilters I knew. Such a simple term and it opened up a new world. I do recall that the first blog I came across was Samantha's and that led me to The Modern Quilt Workshop. Now this was more like it!

The quilts in The Modern Quilt Workshop are creative, bold, sometimes simple, and all very refreshing from the calico world I was used to.

Now, I didn't run out and buy the book then, and even after hearing Bill Kerr speak earlier this year I didn't. That has more to do with me not being a pattern follower. When I saw it at the library the other week, however, I picked it up.

Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr put together a truly inspiring book. It is still essentially a book of patterns, but they add in a lot to encourage the quilter to make each quilt their own. They provide alternate colourways for projects. And there is a section on design essentials which would be good for someone just branching out into design.

My biggest complaint about the book is that while it is incredibly precise and the attention to detail is impeccable, the personality I saw in Bill is somewhat absent. Yes, he is a designer by nature and self admits to being precise and anal, but he is far from dry. The book is kind of dry as a read. Yes, I read these books from cover to cover. It's a small complaint and maybe no one else cares.

As far as the patterns go, one great feature is that they also share options for making the quilts in alternate sizes. This is fantastic. They aren't encouraging you to remake their quilt, they want you to make your quilt. Now that is inspirational.


Amy said...

I love this book too. The nap size is really perfect (long enough to cover a full-grown person from chin to toes!) and the different options they show for every quilt are really helpful!

elle said...

I tend to read cover to cover, too. Mind you, I have a few stacked up that I've not finished. Might be a sign I have too many, but I will keep an eye pealed for this one. Thanks, Cheryl.

julia said...

i've contemplated about buying this book too but then i went with weeks' & bill's new book, quilts made modern. while i really like it i have found it, too, a bit dry to read - but nonetheless recommendable.
thanks for sharing your thoughts,

Weeks Ringle said...

Hi Julia and Cheryl--

I was surprised to read that you find the writing in our books dry. As we are in the process of writing another book, I'd be interested in hearing what you feel is lacking. We've only ever seen positive reviews on Amazon for both books so I'd be interested in hearing what specifically didn't click with you. Please email me at weeks@funquilts.com if you'd be willing to share your thoughts.

Weeks Ringle

Trudi said...

I Love this book too! For all the same reasons :) I'm not a sit down and go cover to cover kinda girl, but I do like a book that piques my interst and makes me think 'what if....?' This one did!

live a colorful life said...

I have all three of their books, including the newest one that just arrived on Wednesday (thank you, Amazon.com!!). I love all three books and would highly recommend them.

Suzanne said...

This book has been on my wish list for a long while. I never thought to look to look at the library. I have heard about it from several reputable quilting sources and look forward to thumbing through it.

Andrea said...

Oooh Cheryl, you have rockstar status! Weeks Ringle posted a comment here!??

I have to say, I'm not too sure why you find this dry. I can certainly understand it if you have met the author and know his/her personalities. As a technique book however, I'm not sure how entertaining it could or should be without becoming annoying? Can you recommend a quilting book that isn't dry, so I can understand what you are saying?

I'm just sayin. ;-)

brown robin said...

Holy cow, girl! You've got so much going on.... for a stay at home mama. I've got to check in more often. Good for you for keeping your mind clicking... and taking the time to write about it. Also, caught up on you with all the old posts. You're just a wonderful mama, it's never easy doing it all alone, but look at what you create!

snore stop said...

This is very interesting post.I like so much.

Dianne said...

I won this book at one of my friend Krista's (http://poppyprintcreates.blogspot.com/)quilting days. she always has such great stuff for us!!! It isn't as visually stimulating as some books out there but is full of good info and I too love that they give different size info. I just bought their new book but haven't had time to tea and toes up with it yet.

emma said...

To me, this is the perfect quilt book. What all other quilt books aspire to be. I agree that most of the books are glorified collections of patterns. But I do feel this is as good as quilt books get. That said, I don't mean to say there is no potential to improve. Quilt books could be even better.
But this is my go-to, need inspiration book.