Friday 29 June 2012

the chicken or the egg?

 Yesterday I found the Material Obsession book in my local library,
this was my first ever look at one in the flesh.
They mention that a lot of their inspiration comes from antique quilts,
I think it's all too easy to become blinkered by the internet
and to forget that most designs have been around the block
(excuse the pun)
for a few hundred years.
I thought I'd share my first and favourite quilting book.
I think it fuses the traditional with the modern
in a subtley elegant way.
 Many of the quilts we've seen before..
 and some that we haven't
I guess what I'm trying to say is 
dont always be looking to far forward.

Well now we have a summer of busy weekends
how does that happen?
Whatever you're up to have a happy weekend!!


  1. I'm always amazed when I'm looking at old quilting books - how modern the quilts often appear! Like Badly Drawn Boy sings, 'sometimes you've got to rewind, to go forward'. Love that tablecloth quilt.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. Your "Country Quilts" book looks to be a real treasure! You know what they say- everything old is new again! I love the cover quilt and the Heavenly Stars especially Thanks for sharing this lovely book Clare!

  3. Lovely quilts and book also. I have Country Living Patchwork book which is a sum of many magazine issues in a book , very nice.
    It too has some very colorful quilts, like your book does.I mentioned that once as well, the patterns are all out there and have been for a long time. Most are not new, and are free if you look for them. I remember when quilting was not a business and people did not have copy rites to any patterns that have been public for yrs..

  4. I completely agree. Traditional quilts are timeless. I love the thought of carrying on the tradition. No need to reinvent the wheel. I think quilting is cyclical and every so often we meet back at the beginning. Every once in a while I see a 'new' idea that was 'new' 30 yrs ago as well. I am so thankful we have a documented history of these early quilts and quilters. And I must add - quilts that took time and commitment to complete.

  5. I love looking through old quilting books - I have a few in my collection from my gram. The designs themselves are so impressive and can lend themselves to "modern" quilting by choosing the right fabrics. A perfect blend of old and new!

  6. I think that quilts can change so much with just using different colours. I like the Material Obsession books for inspiration. Di x

  7. This is so true, Claire. I often think as I'm reading rave reviews of someone's "modern" quilt on flickr, blogs, etc., that it really is traditional... and what's wrong with that? Embracing the tradition of our craft, just as our grandmothers did, and putting our own twist on it?

  8. this book looks fabulous! I'll have to see if I can find a copy :) I love antique quilts, and I've learned so much about color and design from them :)

  9. I definitely have one foot in the traditional and one in the modern camp! Love both traditions and sometimes find it hard to see any difference! Thanks Clare for the reminder!

  10. One of my favorite older quilting books is The Passionate Quilter by Michele Walker. It is a collection of well written articles about individual quilters who used (mostly) traditional techniques to make the kinds of quilts they chose. There is a wonderful article called "Mosaic Patchwork" about quilter Lucinda Gane about how she took up EPP and what she went on to make with it. Other articles include one about Janet Bolton, another about Jean Sheers and her amazing "Pieced Pictures" of houses, and another called "Hand-Sewn Patchwork" about quilter Setsuko Obi with intriguing pictures of her quilts.

    The subtitle is "Ideas and Techniques from Leading Quilters" and was originally published in the UK. But it's really about the quilters and how they chose to make their own style of quilts using mostly simple techniques either by hand or by machine. It's available on Amazon in the US and in the UK in paperback for a very low price and I think if you are a Rose Star and Self-Sewn fan, you'll also like this book.

    Thanks, Clare, for your book recommendation and this topic of looking back at older quilts, also one of my favorite topics.


  11. That book is pure eye candy. I am a lover of English paper piecing ; )

  12. I spend happy hours looking through the pages of antique quilt books. It is a great source of inspiration. What usually surprises me is finding a pattern I have made myself. I even named a quilt Deja Vu once because I thought I had made it up but then found several old versions of it in books. Each one looked different, individual. Make tradition your way I always say. kathy


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Clare x