I want to talk about the just released Vintage Quilt Revival because I think it’s a great bridge between traditional and modern quilting. The three authors (Katie Clark Blakesley, Lee Heinrich, and Faith Jones) are all modern quilters and bloggers with an interest in what they call vintage quilt blocks. (I just call them quilt blocks but I’m much older than they are. I guess that makes me vintage, too.)
In this book they introduce 20 classic blocks done modern. In addition to the individual block presentations, the book shows sampler quilts each author made of the 20 blocks.
The authors present how to make each block, some design notes (suggestions for color/size changes, etc.), a bit of history about the block, and a complete quilt pattern for the block. Techniques, especially foundation piecing and partial seams, are reviewed. I was intrigued to see how much they use foundation piecing, though they’re right about how that technique increases accuracy. There’s a CD of printable templates included with the book.
In no particular order, here are my favorites from the book.
Dancing Squares is actually rolling squares blocks made in three colorings and set on point to create a great secondary pattern. One of the block variations is cut in half to make the setting triangles. I took the picture at an angle so you could see the original block better.
Rosy Windows shows how changing color placement transforms the look of a quilt. This uses the diamond panes block and different color cornerstones to make an impact with solid colors. Several different red solids are used. It’s very contemporary yet very Amish.
I hope this book will encourage traditional quilters to experiment with that modern stuff, and not just curl their lips at what one acquaintance calls “Amish on white.” I also hope it will encourage modern quilters to try some more challenging blocks and techniques.
Honestly, many quilt blocks are timeless. It’s all in how they’re used.