Modern Sewing Starts Here Edition 4

Modern Sewing Starts Here is the digital publication which features articles, reviews and handy tips for anyone with an interest in contemporary sewing This month we bring you: Patterns for real people ... We talk to Émilie Fournier part of the mother-daughter duo behind the sewing pattern brand, Jalie Here comes Summer ... A look at the swimwear patterns & how to sew stretchy fabrics designed for swimwear Traditional made modern ... How age-old quilting techniques play their part in contemporary designs + Pick Of The Patterns, Silhouette Swap by Rachel Pinhero, Trendsetter & Focus Of Fabrics

Modern Sewing Starts Here is the digital publication which features articles, reviews and handy tips for anyone with an interest in contemporary sewing
This month we bring you:
Patterns for real people ... We talk to Émilie Fournier part of the mother-daughter duo behind the sewing pattern brand, Jalie
Here comes Summer ... A look at the swimwear patterns & how to sew stretchy fabrics designed for swimwear
Traditional made modern ... How age-old quilting techniques play their part in contemporary designs
+ Pick Of The Patterns, Silhouette Swap by Rachel Pinhero, Trendsetter & Focus Of Fabrics


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<strong>Modern</strong><br />

sewing<br />

starts here...<br />

<strong>Edition</strong> 4 - May 2019<br />


made modern<br />

How age-old quilting techniques play<br />

their part in contemporary designs<br />

<strong>Here</strong> comes<br />

SUMMER<br />

A look at the swimwear<br />

patterns & how to<br />

sew stretchy fabrics<br />

designed for swimwear<br />

Patterns for<br />

REAL<br />

PEOPLE<br />

We talk to Émilie<br />

Fournier part of the<br />

mother-daughter duo<br />

behind the sewing<br />

pattern brand, Jalie<br />

Cottesloe is the latest classic one-piece<br />

swimsuit and mix and match bikini set<br />

sewing pattern from Megan Nielsen<br />

www.modernsewingstartshere.co.uk<br />

www.hantex.co.uk 1

WIN WIN WIN!<br />

Editor’s Letter<br />

Hello<br />

May is a month when we all to start to look forward to the summer months ahead.<br />

This issue, we focus on sewing swimsuits and the latest swimwear patterns from the designers.<br />

Julie Bonnar also explains how to go about choosing fabrics for making this garment.<br />

We’re so pleased to be talking with Émilie Fournier and Jeanne Binet, the mother-daughter<br />

duo behind Jalie who together design practical patterns for the whole family, as well as<br />

Sarah Ashford who will be discussing how traditional quilting techniques can play their part<br />

in contemporary designs too. Fancy refreshing your wardrobe? Rachel Pinheiro shares how to<br />

take a new garment silhouette and choose fabric that’s a bit different from the norm!<br />

Happy stitching!<br />

Hantex<br />

www.hantex.co.uk<br />

www.modernsewingstartshere.co.uk<br />

Subscribe free to get your copy – click here<br />


Over the forthcoming<br />

months, the capsule<br />

concept of bringing<br />

fabrics together in one<br />

range will be available in<br />

more fabric lines, so do<br />

watch this space! In this<br />

issue, we’ve mentioned<br />

Hamburger Liebe’s At the<br />

Beach fabric collection,<br />

which brings together<br />

a combination of zingy<br />

designs with six different<br />

fabric substrates, so<br />

whether it’s a swimsuit for the pool, a dress in cotton<br />

sateen or a towelling beach robe - there’s something<br />

for everyone.<br />

To find out more about this collection – click here<br />

The Gelato is one of the super<br />

new sewing pattern releases from<br />

Liesl + Co, and features a relaxed<br />

A-line dress with angled doublewelt<br />

pockets and a pretty peplum<br />

blouse. For a chance to win one of<br />

10 of these patterns up for grabs<br />

– click here to enter<br />

Closing date is 30th<br />

June 2019<br />


There are millions of ways to make a shopping<br />

tote and avoid using plastic bags but this one from<br />

Cloud9 has a little zipper pouch to keep things tidy<br />

and uses less than a metre of fabric. It’s shown here<br />

in the newly launched fabric collection, Ethereal<br />

Jungle designed by Elizabeth Olwen.<br />

To download this quick and easy sewing project –<br />

click here<br />


Whether you like making your own clothes or are<br />

already an avid seamstress then the Fashion Multi Tool<br />

Ruler from pattern designer, Sew to Grow, is a musthave.<br />

This tool has everything you need to design<br />

and make garments all in one convenient tool. It has<br />

a French curve, seam gauge, point turner, and can be<br />

used for mitring corners, hemming and buttonhole<br />

placement. It’s made from 1/8 of an inch thick acrylic<br />

making it easy to use to mark and follow the curves.<br />

It has imperial measurements, and there’s a guide on<br />

how to use this tool included with the packaging.<br />

To view the Fashion Multi Tool Ruler – click here

Pick of the<br />


New sewing pattern releases that will<br />

become wardrobe essentials<br />

9 TO 5<br />

This is one of three brand<br />

new patterns from Liesl + Co.<br />

The Rush Hour fitted lined<br />

sleeveless sheath dress features<br />

strategically placed princess<br />

seams and a pencil skirt with<br />

back vent. This pattern is all<br />

about getting a good fit and can<br />

be worn for work or transformed<br />

into a stylish little black dress for<br />

evenings out.<br />

The pattern includes a lovely<br />

blouse with short or long sleeves<br />

and asymmetrical peplum.<br />

To find out more about the<br />

Rush Hour from Liesl + Co –<br />

click here<br />



Thread Theory Designs are<br />

probably the best-known<br />

company for men’s sewing<br />

patterns. The company has<br />

just released printed sewing patterns of five of it’s<br />

best-selling PDF patterns – Belvedere Waistcoat, Sayward<br />

Raglan, Eastwood Pajamas and two pairs of jeans, the<br />

Quadra and Fulford.<br />

To find out more about these Thread Theory patterns –<br />

click here<br />


The Seoul Blossom blouse from Sew to Grow has such a soft<br />

silhouette and feminine details such as flattering front diamond<br />

darts, V-neck, and a curved back hem with side slits making<br />

this top perfect for the French tuck. The optional bow cuff<br />

completes the design making this the top a great addition to<br />

your handmade wardrobe. We think it would also make a great<br />

dress lengthened and made in a lightweight rayon or lawn.<br />

To take a closer look at this Sew to Grow pattern – click here<br />

Check out the free-to-use resource listing of the very best Indie patterns and filter by fabric, garment, brand<br />

or skill level by visiting www.hantex.co.uk

SWIM IN<br />

STYLE<br />

4 stylish swimsuits to suit all body shapes<br />

1Costumes for curves and beginners<br />

The Cottesloe sewing pattern has classic one-piece<br />

swimsuits, and mix and match bikini sets. The pattern<br />

has athletic elements, four variations and includes<br />

detailed instructions to guide the sewer through<br />

swimsuit construction techniques. Megan Nielsen has designed<br />

it so that beginners can tackle what could be a tricky make.<br />

To view more of the options for the Cottesloe – click here<br />

2<br />

Bikini beauty<br />

The Vernazza two-piece will have you<br />

feeling glamorous and comfortable. The<br />

design includes tank straps, adjustable<br />

tie front and a soft waistband. The<br />

bottoms hit at about your belly button<br />

and can easily be adjusted for a higher<br />

or lower rise.<br />

For more details about the Vernazzo –<br />

click here<br />

3<br />

Cool in colour-block<br />

Soak up the sun in the modern Ipswich<br />

swimsuit pattern from Cashmerette.<br />

It has two cleverly colour-blocked<br />

variations including a one-piece<br />

swimsuit with contrast waistband and<br />

a high-waist bikini with piping detail.<br />

Both suits include supportive straps,<br />

optional underwired foam swim bra<br />

and boning so that you’re comfortable<br />

for lounging by the pool or playing<br />

volleyball on the beach. Mix prints and<br />

colours for a swimsuit that celebrates<br />

your body and your creativity.<br />

To view the Ipswich swimsuit – click here<br />

4<br />

Sporty styles<br />

This swimsuit has a sporty<br />

feel, but also has some feminine<br />

detailing such as a sweetheart neckline<br />

and twist-front option. It includes<br />

sizing for both women and girls.<br />

To view the Jalie 3350 pattern –<br />

click here

SEW &<br />

SWIM<br />

Julie Bonnar discusses how to sew and choose fabrics for swimwear<br />

At The Beach collection<br />

from Hamburger Liebe<br />

Modelo swimwear fabrics<br />

– plain and pattern<br />

It can be difficult to find a<br />

swimsuit that you not only like<br />

the colour of but that is a good<br />

fit and suits your body shape<br />

– so why not make your own<br />

with a good sewing pattern<br />

and some practical sewing tips.<br />

Fabrics<br />

A fabric suitable for making<br />

swimsuits needs to have<br />

the right stretch and be<br />

comfortable for swimming<br />

(and sunbathing). Pick a fourway<br />

stretch fabric (you can<br />

use a two-way stretch for<br />

a bikini). This fabric type is<br />

man-made fibres and made<br />

up from 80 to 90% nylon<br />

and the rest from Elastane or<br />

Spandex, making it durable<br />

and water-resistant.<br />

A poor choice of fabric<br />

could absorb water, and worse<br />

of all, become transparent<br />

when wet!<br />

Suitable fabrics include:<br />

• At the Beach Collection<br />

from Hamburger Liebe –<br />

click here<br />


• Modelo do a wide range<br />

of swimwear fabrics<br />

including patterned and<br />

solid colours – click here<br />

Pattern cutting<br />

A swimwear pattern is usually<br />

How does it look when it is stretched:<br />

Does the print become distorted?<br />

Is it transparent when wet?<br />

Does it stretch and return to original shape?<br />

Ipswich<br />

Swimsuit from<br />

Cashmerette<br />

designed with negative ease,<br />

which means that the finished<br />

garment measurements<br />

are smaller than the body<br />

measurements because it has<br />

been drafted to work with a<br />

stretch fabric.<br />

Place pattern pieces on<br />

the fabric in the direction of<br />

greater stretch and make sure<br />

all your pattern pieces are on<br />

grain before cutting. Cutting<br />

slippery fabrics for swimwear

Modelo has a capsule collection of fabrics called<br />

Summer Breeze that includes new swimwear fabrics like<br />

Beach Towels and White Sprigs on Coral shown here<br />

All fabrics, components and<br />

notions need to be chlorine<br />

resistant and stand up to<br />

salt water!<br />

can be quite a challenge so<br />

use a rotary cutter, pattern<br />

weights and always cut fabric<br />

in single layers.<br />

If the fabric has a large<br />

pattern, cut with the right<br />

side facing up and watch<br />

your print placement.<br />

Linings<br />

Although it is never on show<br />

– the swimsuit lining is an<br />

integral part of a well-made<br />

swimsuit and should be<br />

lightweight, breathable and<br />

not susceptible to laddering<br />

when sewn. The lining affects<br />

how comfortable the garment<br />

is, as well as prolonging the<br />

life of your swimsuit. I would<br />

recommend choosing a<br />

skin-coloured lining for the<br />

best results.<br />

Elastic<br />

The elastic holds the garment<br />

close to your body and<br />

finishes the edges neatly and<br />

also needs to stand up to the<br />

affects of salt water, chlorine<br />

and the sun.<br />

Swimwear elastic is<br />

made of cotton and woven<br />

with rubber to give it extra<br />

strength and stretch. The<br />

best method of applying your<br />

elastic is the sewn and turned<br />

method. This is where the<br />

plastic is pinned to the wrong<br />

side of the raw edge, stitched<br />

and then turned towards the<br />

wrong side of the garment<br />

and topstitched in place with<br />

a three-step zigzag stitch.<br />

Support<br />

Getting the right support<br />

for your bust is an important<br />

factor and retaining your<br />

modesty in a wet swimsuit!<br />

Read the pattern to see what<br />

is recommended.<br />

If you’re looking for a light<br />

support you can use foam<br />

cups but make sure they are<br />

designed for swimwear rather<br />

than lingerie. If you’re looking<br />

for a more reliable support –<br />

choose an underwire.<br />

SEWING<br />

Use a ballpoint needle<br />

Use an overlocker to sew your seams<br />

(You can use a regular sewing machine – use a wide but<br />

short zigzag stitch). Test your stitch on a scrap piece of<br />

fabric first)<br />

A polyester thread is the best choice as threads can<br />

weaken with excessive exposure to salt water and chlorine<br />

such as the new Scanfil polyester range.<br />

To find out more – click here<br />

Use a transparent, seamless elastic PU tape for shoulder<br />

seams, top edges, seams, armholes, and creative accents<br />

like Vlieseline’s Framilastic. To view – click here

SilhouetteSwap<br />

Brazilian-born sewing blogger, Rachel Pinheiro, shares<br />

how to refresh your wardrobe with a new silhouette and a<br />

different fabric choice. Make it work for you by choosing<br />

structured patterns and fabrics with textures<br />

THE TREND:<br />

Wearing a one-colour outfit top-totoe<br />

will feel like a breath of fresh air<br />

especially following months of wearing<br />

dark wintery colours, and it’s really<br />

trending right now.<br />

Why not experiment with different<br />

fabric textures to add interest. I chose<br />

fluffy knitwear, white needlecord<br />

trousers, animal print flats, and finished<br />

the look with a panama hat!<br />

While I don’t think you can ever get<br />

bored of wearing jeans – there’s<br />

something oddly refreshing about<br />

wearing a different trouser shape. I’ve<br />

been inspired by the trouser trends that<br />

have been flooding my Instagram feed<br />

recently, and love the cropped white<br />

trousers look.<br />

Creating the look<br />

I recreated the look from a jumpsuit<br />

pattern and made with a wonderful<br />

off-white needlecord. If you want to<br />

recreate my look, I recommend using<br />

the following sewing patterns – Morgan<br />

Jeans by Closet Case Files or Dawn<br />

Jeans by Megan Nielsen.<br />

Wearing neutrals top-to-toe<br />

Top tips for<br />

working with<br />

needlecord:<br />

Needlecord is a napped fabric,<br />

which has ribs (also known<br />

as wales) running down the<br />

lengthwise grain. This means the<br />

pile looks different when viewed<br />

up or down causing a shade.<br />

As the fabric shades, it means<br />

the cutting layout is crucial and<br />

you may need additional fabric<br />

to follow the napped layout so<br />

that all pattern pieces lay in<br />

the same direction. Keep the<br />

ribs straight.<br />

Lengthwise folds: Nap will run<br />

in the same direction on both<br />

layers. However if you fold<br />

crosswise, the nap will run in<br />

opposite directions.<br />

The fabric has a spongy<br />

medium thickness so it’s worth<br />

doing a test sample and even<br />

releasing some of the presser<br />

foot pressure to avoid crushing<br />

the fibres.<br />

Using light pressure, press with<br />

a damp cloth.<br />

Project thoughts<br />

Where I<br />

needed<br />

to reduce<br />

bulk, I used<br />

lightweight<br />

floral cotton<br />

on these<br />

areas. Because I love making the inside<br />

pretty, I used the same floral on the<br />

pocket and to bias-bind key areas<br />

including the hem seam. A detail I<br />

copied from a pair of replay jeans I<br />

have. When you cuff the leg, you get a<br />

surprise – a very light hint of floral!<br />

I used the off-white chunky<br />

stretch needlecord from Modelo.<br />

The mix of cotton and elastane<br />

makes for a particularly durable<br />

yet wonderfully soft fabric with<br />

a really cosy feel, which is great<br />

for jeans, dungarees, skirts and<br />

jackets. To find more out about<br />

this needlecord – click here<br />

To find out more about the sewing<br />

patterns recommended:<br />

Dawn – 4-in-1 rigid<br />

jean pattern set from<br />

Megan Nielsen –<br />

click here<br />

The Morgan<br />

Jeans from Closet<br />

Case Files –<br />

click here

Trendsetter<br />

4 ways to add colour to your wardrobe<br />

Choosing fail-safe colours can be an easy option when<br />

planning your wardrobe but why not step out of your<br />

comfort zone this summer by adding some colour to your<br />

sewing projects. It can instantly boost your mood!<br />

Make a bold statement<br />

Be brave and go the whole hog with a bold<br />

print design. At the Beach is the new collection<br />

from fabric designer, Hamburger Liebe. This<br />

beautiful range includes this navy floral and<br />

pineapple cotton sateen, and is perfect for making a<br />

simple skirt or dress.<br />

To find out more – click here<br />

Patterns with<br />

simple lines<br />

The Tania culottes from Megan Nielsen and the Springfield<br />

Top from Cashmerette are great sewing patterns for working<br />

with the seasonal colours like orange and lilac. Both sewing<br />

patterns have a simple silhouette that will beautifully skim the<br />

curves and look stunning made in solid colours.<br />

Tania Culottes from Megan Nielsen – click here<br />

Springfield Top from Cashmerette – click here<br />

Wear the<br />

colour in<br />

your bag<br />

Pick a colour to<br />

make a bag that will go with<br />

most of the garments you<br />

already own. The Redwood<br />

Tote from Noodlehead is the<br />

ideal mid-sized bag for every<br />

day and has handy short<br />

handles, as well as a crossbody<br />

strap.<br />

To view the Redwood Tote<br />

sewing pattern – click here<br />

Add accents<br />

of colour<br />

to your<br />

garment<br />

Why not add<br />

additional colour<br />

to a plain blouse<br />

with a pussy<br />

bow tie or colour<br />

blocking on sleeves.<br />

The Rose button-down<br />

shirt features a shoulder<br />

ruffle and necktie that is<br />

perfect for adding extra colour<br />

to your wardrobe.<br />

To view this pattern and others from Jalie – click here

Patterns for<br />


We talk to Émilie Fournier part of the mother-daughter duo behind Jalie who<br />

design practical patterns for the whole family<br />

Tell us a bit about how<br />

the Jalie pattern brand<br />

came about, and went<br />

on to became a family<br />

business?<br />

Jeanne Binet (my mother)<br />

started sewing when she was<br />

a little girl and learned by<br />

watching her mother sew.<br />

My grandmother would sew<br />

day and night to provide for<br />

her 10 children. From gowns<br />

in fancy fabrics for ladies in<br />

town to winter coats made<br />

out of hand-me-down wool<br />

blankets – there was nothing<br />

she could not make!<br />

Following her mother’s<br />

footsteps, and at 16 years<br />

old Jeanne started to sew<br />

for a living and has never<br />

stopped. She started by<br />

mending jeans and 10 years<br />

later, she was doing custom<br />

clothing for a very diverse<br />

clientele, including people<br />

with disabilities. When I was<br />

born, she used to buy knit<br />

fabrics in the remnants bins<br />

because she was on a budget.<br />

She eventually came up with<br />

a sewing technique to sew<br />

knits with a regular machine,<br />

which quickly became her<br />

trademark. She started<br />

teaching her technique and<br />

her students started to ask<br />

her for the sewing patterns<br />

so they could make clothes at<br />

home for their families. The<br />

first patterns were printed in<br />

1983 when I was 3 years old.<br />

I grew up at Jalie, learning<br />

to do a little bit of everything<br />

and joined the company<br />

officially in 2005.<br />

Sewers will know the<br />

sewing brand for its<br />

wonderful sportswear<br />

patterns but the<br />

company is more than<br />

specialised sports and<br />

leisurewear, isn’t it?<br />

Jalie’s core value is to help<br />

people make practical,<br />

timeless clothes that fit well.<br />

Basics designed for knits<br />

were an untapped niche back<br />

in 1983. Every collection<br />

would include a few patterns<br />

for stretch or active wear so<br />

before long we had more<br />

sportswear and leisurewear<br />

patterns in our line than any<br />

other pattern companies.<br />

Many people discovered<br />

us through those patterns<br />

that were not easy to find in<br />

other brand’s ranges, and it<br />

explains why people think it’s<br />

our ‘specialty’.<br />

What would you say is<br />

your USP? Is it the wide<br />

selection of sizes or that<br />

your patterns are easy to<br />

grade, or something else?<br />

The quality of our pattern<br />

paper and the number<br />

of sizes definitely sets us<br />

apart from other brands,<br />

and people notice it when

as well as a few PDF-only<br />

styles that would not fit on<br />

our standard paper sheet).<br />

We usually release one<br />

12-pattern collection per<br />

year, as well as one or two<br />

patterns between collections.<br />

opening the envelope. Those<br />

that sew for themselves love<br />

our grading because our<br />

steps are smaller than what<br />

is common in the market.<br />

This means that you can<br />

easily blend sizes together<br />

for a perfect fit and if you are<br />

one size off, your garment<br />

will still fit! We want to avoid<br />

that ‘way too big or way too<br />

small’ gap that is common in<br />

the ready-to-wear market.<br />

That being said, our unique<br />

selling point goes beyond<br />

that, and is the way we draft<br />

our patterns, and our grading<br />

really reflects real bodies. We<br />

blend our children, regular<br />

size and plus sizes blocks<br />

together and make sure<br />

the garment is adapted to<br />

each group. We test on real<br />

people and not just on dress<br />

forms. Our sewing techniques<br />

are known to be efficient<br />

and closer to what would be<br />

done in factories.<br />

What are plans for the<br />

forthcoming season?<br />

We have 12 new patterns<br />

coming up! In this collection,<br />

we’ll have something for<br />

everyone – patterns for knits<br />

and woven, dresses, tops,<br />

sportswear, menswear and<br />

new gymnastics and dance<br />

leotards, and all in 28 sizes!<br />

Our new designs are a<br />

great mix of what we like to<br />

wear and what customers<br />

have been asking for. Being<br />

a small company has made<br />

it possible over the years to<br />

tailor our offering and create<br />

patterns that are not based<br />

solely on trends but on staple<br />

items that can be made for<br />

children and adults.<br />

To view Jalie sewing<br />

patterns – click here<br />

How many patterns do<br />

you now have and how<br />

many new patterns do<br />

you release every year?<br />

We have about 100 paper<br />

patterns and 160+ PDF<br />

patterns (PDF offering<br />

includes out-of-print patterns,


Albstoffe is a fabric brand that embraces GOTS<br />

organic fabric and is OekoTex certificated<br />

throughout its range, and all finished to the<br />

highest quality in Germany. Working with<br />

the renowned designer Hamburger Liebe,<br />

this company has two new collections to offer.<br />

Wanderlust is a collection printed on jersey<br />

and jacquard fabrics and has it’s own range<br />

of trims in zingy colours, and Glow includes a<br />

beautiful range printed on jersey and sweatshirt<br />

fabrics. The collections are ideal for getting a<br />

unified look to your wardrobe, and you will<br />

love the quality!<br />

To take a closer look at the Wanderlust range<br />

– click here<br />

Or to view the Glow collection – click here<br />

Focus on<br />


Feast your eyes on the latest<br />

fabrics for your summer sewing<br />


Modelo has just added more<br />

lightweight denims to its<br />

existing range, which<br />

has 3% Elastane,<br />

great quality and<br />

a wonderful<br />

selection of<br />

bright colours<br />

making it perfect<br />

for comfort and<br />

summer sewing.<br />

To see the wide<br />

selection of denim<br />

fabrics available –<br />

click here<br />


One of the latest collection from Cloud9 is Ethereal Jungle<br />

designed by Elizabeth Olwen. She has gone wild with this<br />

range, and it features beautiful medium-weight organic<br />

cottons with jungle-themed prints such as vines, large cats,<br />

botanical babes, tropical creatures and one of our favourites<br />

dragonfruit. This is such a lovely collection for garments for<br />

adult and children, as well as bag and accessory making.<br />

To view all this Cloud9 collection – click here


Katie Skoog has created her first collection, West Palm<br />

for Art Gallery Fabrics, and includes candid flamingos<br />

and seashore-infused motifs celebrating coastal lifestyle<br />

in beautiful shades of coral, aquamarine and refreshing<br />

touches of lemon yellow. The collection includes cottons<br />

and rayons.<br />

To view more from the West Palm fabric collection from<br />

Art Gallery Fabrics - click here<br />


Sisu is an untranslatable Finnish word that’s more of a mindset<br />

that allows us to keep going just when we think we’re about<br />

to give up. This cotton fabric range includes lovely designs<br />

such as paper planes, colourful squiggles and numbers, and<br />

balloons. To see more of the Sisu collection from Art Gallery<br />

Fabrics – click here<br />


Cloud9 Lush fabric collection has been designed by Juliet Meeks,<br />

and is 100% organic Batiste cotton, which is perfect for hot summer<br />

weather and not too translucent. The fabric line features some pretty<br />

floral prints including these pink poppies, daisies and more whimsical<br />

designs like these mushrooms.<br />

To view this fabric collection from Cloud9 – click here<br />

T-shirt illustrations are from the popular Lark Tee sewing pattern from Grainline

Traditional<br />

made modern<br />

Sarah Ashford, obsessive quilter and fabric lover discusses how traditional<br />

quilting techniques can play their part in contemporary designs<br />

One thing I love about<br />

patchwork is the rich history,<br />

stories and symbolism that<br />

can be discovered within<br />

a quilt. So often quilts tell<br />

us a story or carry a special<br />

meaning, and quilts from the<br />

past can give us an indication<br />

about a period in time,<br />

culture, historical events and<br />

human relationships.<br />

So while today, we’re often<br />

seduced by the wonderful<br />

array of modern fabrics that<br />

are now available – let’s face<br />

it the designs, colours and<br />

coordinating bundles are just<br />

so irresistible! We can still<br />

make quilts that pay homage<br />

to the quilters and makers<br />

that have come before us,<br />

by including traditional<br />

elements, and quilt blocks,<br />

in a fresh modern style that<br />

appeals to modern quilters in<br />

a way that is relevant today.<br />

I’ve been having good<br />

fun playing with Art Gallery<br />

Fabrics’ Grid collection by<br />

Katarina Roccella. This is a<br />

strong, geometric collection<br />

with steely greys, black and<br />

cool blues, sharply contrasted<br />

against monochromatic<br />

blooms, hot pink and soft<br />

aqua, as well as a pixilation<br />

theme running through<br />

it. It sounds like a curious<br />

combination but it certainly<br />

works, and I thought I’d take<br />

this opportunity to use this<br />

ultra modern collection to<br />

make some traditional blocks.<br />

The ultimate modern and<br />

traditional hybrid!<br />

The Churn Dash Block<br />

The first block I made is the<br />

Churn Dash. This nine-patch<br />

block is thought to have<br />

originated between 1800 and<br />

1849, and is representative<br />

of the butter churn where<br />

the centre square is the<br />

butter stick or dash of the<br />

butter churn. So many blocks<br />

were representative of what<br />

American women saw around<br />

them in their daily lives.<br />

I decided to use the<br />

centre of the block as an<br />

opportunity to showcase a<br />

beautiful rose print, fussy<br />

cutting the rose and then<br />

framing it with the churn<br />

using two different colours.<br />

I love this block, as there<br />

are so many opportunities<br />

for variation, including fussy<br />

cutting, play with negative<br />

space, size and lots of<br />

quilting opportunities within<br />

the geometric shapes too.<br />

Friendship Star Block<br />

Next I made the Friendship<br />

star block. This is one of my<br />

favourite blocks because<br />

of its simplicity but also it’s<br />

such a pretty and symbolic<br />

asymmetric star. In America<br />

in the 1900s, this block was<br />

used to make Friendship<br />

quilts, which were often<br />

made in secret then given to<br />

women who were leaving to<br />

travel from the East through<br />

the vast prairies in the West.<br />

Often it would be made by<br />

a group of women who made<br />

one of the blocks each, they<br />

would embroider their name<br />

in the centre as a reminder<br />

of their friendship and<br />

connection with the traveller’s<br />

former way of life.<br />

My modern version has<br />

showcased this fabulous<br />

pixelated print, and I love<br />

how the pixels pop against<br />

the green background. One<br />

thing I also love about this<br />

block is the opportunity to<br />

play with negative space.<br />

For example, you could have<br />

a white star encased within<br />

a colourful background.<br />

Wouldn’t that be fun!<br />

The Pinwheel Block<br />

Finally, I stitched a Pinwheel<br />

block. This simple decorative<br />

block has a wonderful sense<br />

of movement, and became<br />

popular in the 1800s. Up<br />

until this time quilts were<br />

made for utilitarian purposes<br />

such as bed and window<br />

coverings, divide up living<br />

quarters and for warmth,<br />

but the introduction of the<br />

pinwheel block meant quilts<br />

could be decorative as<br />

well as practical. And who<br />

knew that when we make<br />

pinwheel blocks today we’d<br />

be referencing the water<br />

pump windmills that were<br />

common on farms and small<br />

towns along the Oregon trail!<br />

In my version, I’ve mixed up<br />

the fabrics for the pinwheel,<br />

but you could keep them<br />

all the same or indeed use<br />

up to four different fabrics<br />

along with a contrasting<br />

background fabric.

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