I’m very excited to review Elizabeth Hartman‘s gorgeous new book Modern Patchwork today, and we’re so looking forward to Elizabeth sharing some of her quilts in a special presentation at tomorrow night’s PMQG meeting!
Modern Patchwork includes a dozen new quilt designs to take you beyond the basics – territory beautifully covered in her first book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork. Along with full, detailed instructions for creating each quilt, she shares many extra tips and ideas in the back of the book (more on that in a minute).
I wanted to spotlight two of my favorite quilts from the collection. Looptastic is a stylish and striking design of concentric circles, created through a surprisingly simple, straightforward sew-and-turn applique method. I love the aqua and citrus colors Elizabeth used in this quilt – inviting and full of life.
But if you have another vision in mind, she offers a lovely alternative: two other totally different color and style options, each created as a mini one-block quilt. Each quilt in the book gets this wonderfully open-ended treatment!
I also love Xylophone, a lively, colorful, angular design that sweeps across a neutral background. It reminds me of her Chopped Vegetables pillow patterns, another instant favorite.
And of course she has some interesting alternate takes on this one to share as well!
After the quilt patterns, Elizabeth offers a thorough guide to constructing a quilt, from choosing fabrics and piecing to quilting and binding. Along the way she shares tips for making a design wall,
keeping your work organized,
and some of her signature patterns for free-motion machine quilting. (If you’re interested in free-motion, I highly recommend her class at Modern Domestic, or if you’re not local, checking out her posts on the topic over at her blog).
We are so thrilled that Elizabeth will present at tomorrow evening’s PMQG meeting (7 pm in room S1 in the Stagecraft Building, across the street from the main PNCA building). She’ll be giving away copies of the book*, fabric, and templates** to lucky winners, so make sure to put your name in the bucket. And check out her blog, Oh Fransson, for a July 1 announcement of a new Modern Patchwork quilt-along!
*Thank you to Stash for sending a review copy of the book, plus the ones to give away at our meeting!
**Speaking of templates, our own Jill Collins of PMQG offers templates from many of the Modern Patchwork quilts (including Looptastic, Honey, Fire Drill, Happy Hour and Owl Eyes) in her Tabslot Etsy shop!
I am a big fan of Marisa McClellan’s Food in Jars blog, and was lucky to take her pear-vanilla jam class here in Portland last year. She’s coming back this week to teach a strawberry-lemon jam class again, plus she’s having a book party at Powell’s on Hawthorne/Pastaworks to celebrate her new cookbook – also called Food in Jars!
I got a review copy from Running Press last week, and have loved hanging out with it and planning some summer projects… Marisa not only clearly explains the techniques behind water-bath canning and preserving, she really engages the reader to show how fun it can be to choose your favorite fresh ingredients, make something amazing with them, and save your work for six months out, when you’re thoroughly bored with the contents of your pantry and could use a summery treat. My grandmother canned a household’s worth of vegetables every summer and fall – I know I can’t pull that off, no matter how industrious I am. But I can make homemade jam for a year’s worth of my daughter’s favorite PB&J roll-ups, and maybe half a year’s tomato sauce for the four of us (if I’m ambitious).
First up will hopefully be the jam. I am so excited to take my kids to pick berries… raspberries, marionberries, and blueberries are our favorites. That’s what feels like summer in Oregon to me – I have high hopes for July.
I’ve also been wanting to make more homemade drinks, and the syrup recipes Marisa shares (to mix with seltzer, or make cocktails) are super inspiring.
She also offers a nice selection of food-safe, shelf-stable tomato sauce recipes to try. Last summer I froze all my homemade sauces, but I want to try my hand at some shelf-stable recipes this time around… I have six tomato plants in my garden, a case of quart jars downstairs, and my fingers crossed.
I didn’t take any photos of her recipe pages, but some of the ones I’ve bookmarked and I’m super excited to try are lime curd, roasted corn salsa, cranberry syrup, blueberry-lemon syrup, vanilla salt, pear-ginger jam, and slow-cooker pear butter. We have a Bartlett pear tree in its third summer and two dozen tiny pears growing this year!
In addition to all the water-bath canning tips, techniques and recipes, Marisa offers some alternate ideas – helpful details on freezing and preserving all kinds of other things (including both a favorite chocolate cake and beer bread dry mix to give as gifts!), and pressure canning. I really appreciate her focus on avoiding BPA and other leaching toxins, and practical, real-life advice on food safety.
The book ends with a few pages you can write your own notes in, a really nice touch. During her class I added two pages of notes to my family cookbook – I love keeping track of things like that.
If you can make it to her Portland book party, here are all the details!
Food in Jars signing + party
Powell’s on Hawthorne
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
Saturday, June 16, 2-4 pm
(and if you can’t make it, you can pre-order a signed copy!)
PS: Also on Saturday, I’m super excited to be a judge at the Second Annual Captain Picard Day!!! at 6 pm at Floating World Comics (400 NW Couch St. downtown). Please make a TNG craft or art piece, bring it on by, and hang out with us… or just enjoy everyone else’s Picard awesomeness. I’ll be adding some World of Geekcraft comics magnet kits to the prizes and would love to say hello. Thank you to Zachary for asking me to be part of the evening!
I’m so happy to be part of Katie and Jacquie‘s blog party weekend of posts celebrating their stellar new book, Quilting Modern! Katie is president of the SMQG and Jacquie is past president of the KCMQG, a current member of the CMQG, and on the national board too. These two know their modern improvisational quilting, and they generously share so many beautiful ideas, packed into one gorgeous book!
I love improvisational patchwork (and was very lucky to take Denyse Schmidt’s classes at PNCA), and Katie and Jacquie’s thoughtful designs, techniques, tips, and details are wonderfully illuminating. They cover many facets of modern quilting, like improvisationally piecing curves, creating sharp, perfect triangle designs, and one of my favorites, the log cabin makeover – they offer seven core techniques in all, each with three projects to sew. The table of contents gives a nice peek at the diversity of approaches and techniques (and I love the names they chose for their quilts!).
I’m sure many of the other bloggers will cover the 16 beautiful quilt designs in the book – but for my review I wanted to spotlight the striking smaller projects Katie and Jacquie designed for the home. With two little ones and not much free sewing time lately, a beautiful pillow or table runner is more my realistic speed, and these projects are also very scrap- and stash-friendly… a nice bonus! When I first got my copy and read right through it, I was immediately drawn to the Winging It Pillow, which builds a simple, stunning design around a focus-fabric scrap. The mix of erratic-height vertical piecing, bright, strong colors, and ultra-streamlined background is so appealing. This one is at the top of my to-sew list (and I love Katie’s invisible zipper technique, which is also included in the book).
The Southwestern Pillows are similarly striking. I especially love the Tumbleweed (the center asterisk-like design) – it’s such a fresh take on my favorite design style, mid-century modern. I’m picturing how fantastic a quilt made up of all Tumbleweed blocks could be… hmm, maybe when Pearl starts kindergarten…
My favorite of the three is the Sardinia Table Runner, a calm, serene, and gorgeous design with neatly curved “pods” (that Jacquie’s husband thought looked like sardines, so that’s where the name came from). This is another one I could see as a larger quilt. Angela Walters did a great deal of the quilting in the book, but Katie and Jacquie quilted these three projects. I loved the simplicity of these neatly alternating-angle diagonal lines over the curves and solids – a beautiful texture.
I will bring a copy of Quilting Modern for everyone to check out at our PMQG All-Day Sew tomorrow afternoon (at Fabric Depot from 9-9, though the book and I won’t be there til around 1:30), and I’m so thrilled that we’ll also be giving a copy away at the June 21 PMQG meeting. Thank you to Katie and Jacquie for including me in their book party, and to Interweave for sending two copies of the book for me to review and offer up at PMQG!
Be sure to visit the other bloggers reviewing (and giving away!) the book, too at the Quilting Modern blog celebration weekend:
A Stitch in Dye – Malka Dubrawsky
Fat Quarterly blog – Tacha Bruecher
Film in the Fridge – Ashley Newcomb
Generation Q – Jake Finch
Handmade by Alissa – Alissa Haight Carlton
Happy Zombie – Monica Solorio-Snow
iheartlinen – Rashida Coleman-Hale
Oh Fransson – Elizabeth Hartman
One Shabby Chick – Amber Carrillo
Pink Chalk Studio – Kathy Mack
Quilting is my Therapy – Angela Waters
Red Pepper Quilts – Rita Hodge
Sew Take a Hike – Penny Layman
West Coast Crafty – Susan Beal
Whip Up – Kathreen Ricketson
Wise Craft – Blair Stocker