Modern Designs for Classic Quilts


I’m a big fan of logic. Now I’m not saying I’m all Vulcan like Mr. Spock, but there is certainly a little bit of Sheldon (from Big Bang Theory) in me. Any of you out there who have ever met me have probably figured this out. Now, what the heck does this have to do with Kelly and Andie’s new book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts, you know outside of the odd mechanics of my brain? Well, here it goes…

This book feels like a logical necessity, a book that almost had to exist. What at first blush seems like it is going to be an exercise in translation, transforming traditional elements into modern quilts, turns out to be something at once far grander and smaller than that.

The book is grander in that it extends beyond the aesthetics and technique of traditional and modern quilting in an effort to explore the common essences of each school and extend our understanding of the quilting tradition. While both words—Modern and Traditional—have become excessively loaded as of late, Andie and Kelly really strive to get beyond and behind the terms to get readers into their studios and make quilts.

At the same time this seems to revel in the details; so many of the quilts expose a real joy in thinking about and understanding traditional elements for what they are and then finding those elements a new home, which brings me back to that whole logic thing. My favorite quilts in this book stem from playing out a certain logical consistency inherent to the traditional blocks themselves.


In the Clouds, is a wonderfully logical extension of the nature of Flying Geese; to me it has always seems an odd block to pen in or use as a border. In this quilt Andie lets the geese fly. In giving the geese plenty of space the fundamental negative spaces between the counter-directional geese really get some attention as well—yay parallelograms!!!


And with The Dresden Files the addition of the simple stripes connecting the Dresden plates transforms those iconic blocks into yo-yos or beads. These decorative blocks act almost like ornaments, delicate baubles. Any fussiness that I might have associated with Dresden plates recedes as the plates are transformed into playful objects.

The thing about Modern Designs for Classic Quilts is that all of these transformations truly do make logical sense even as they are playful, elegant, and/or expressive. That is the point of this book, it seems to me; it is thoughtful even as it relishes the simple act of making. This book engages the intellect and the eye; the art and craft of quilting. It is a book to grow with, both as a maker of and appreciator of quilts. At its core it is a genuinely honest look at making quilts, an honesty that seems best summed up in what may be my favorite line from the book:

Our points aren’t always perfect, sometimes our seams are not a perfect quarter-inch, and occasionally we want to throw our sewing machines out the window and take up badminton.

I like badminton too, but I like quilts even more. And I’m glad Kelly and Andie do as well. Thanks for writing this book and not trading it all on for a sew of ruffled shuttlecocks…

Yay Andie and Kelly!!!


Oh, and I almost forgot. I have a copy of Modern Designs for Classic Quilts to give away!!! Yay!!! To enter the giveaway just comment below and I’ll pick a winner next week (I’m always terrible at sticking to a schedule).

Also, check out the rest of the blog tour (note that I am a day late, as usual)…

Monday, Nov. 5 (Andie and Kelly, AndieJohnsonSews and Stitchy Quilt Stuff)
Tuesday, Nov. 6 (Lindsay, CraftBuds)
Wed., Nov. 7 (Jill, Darling Jill Quilts)
Thursday, Nov. 8 (Faith, Fresh Lemons)
Friday, Nov. 9 (Tracy, Generation Q)
Saturday, Nov. 10 (Angela, Quilting is my Therapy)
Sunday, Nov. 11 (Shannon, Stitch Craft Create)
Monday, Nov. 12 (Laurie, Scarlet Fig)
Tuesday, Nov. 13 (Lindsay, The Cottage Mama)
Wed., Nov. 14 (Jessica, A Little Gray)
Thursday, Nov. 15 (Mary, The Tulip Patch)
Friday, Nov. 16 (Deborah, Whipstitch)
Saturday, Nov. 17 (Kaysie, KZJo’s Studio)
Sunday, Nov. 18 (Jenny, Sew Kind of Wonderful)
Monday, Nov. 19 (Carla, LollyQuiltz)
Tuesday, Nov. 20 (Thomas, Thomas Knauer Sews)
Wed., Nov. 21 (Brenda, Pink Castle Fabrics)
Thursday, Nov. 22 (Lindsay & Liz Rea, CraftBuds, Inspire Me Grey)
Friday, Nov. 23 (Andie and Kelly, AndieJohnsonSews and Stitchy Quilt Stuff)

This entry was posted in general and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Modern Designs for Classic Quilts

  1. 1

    This sounds like a book I would love to own…..and use.

  2. 2
    Colleen says:

    Loves this book! I would love to win a copy for my modern quilt guild library (we have one book so far that I won in another giveaway).

  3. 3
    Jill says:

    thanks for some insight into the book; I had seen the title floating around on the internet but honestly wasn’t sure if it would be worth it to me to buy. after the examples that you have shared, though, I certainly am intrigued…

  4. 4
    mjb says:

    I love the style of this book.

  5. 5
    Carola says:

    I never did like log cabin or flying geese all that much. but the modern log cabin quilt on the cover or the colorful spacy flying geese are stunning! I’d love to win a copy of this book!

  6. 6
    Denise in PA says:

    Looks like a great book – thanks for the chance to win!

  7. 7

    I love that Dresden Files quilt, too – I’d love this book!

  8. 8
    Lauren aka Giddy99 says:

    This book is on my Amazon Wish List (so Santa will know, right)? But I’d love to have it sooner… Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. 9
    Lisa Marie says:

    From everything I’ve seen online this book looks like a good one! Thanks for the chance to win.

  10. 10
    Tamie says:

    I’d love to add this book to my library. Thanks for participating in the tour.

  11. 11
    Ramona says:

    What a wonderful review. Makes me want to rush out and buy it. :-)). Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  12. 12
    Anna says:

    I too have this book on my wishlist, it looks lovely! Thanks for the give away!

  13. 13
    Ella says:

    The book looks fab! Thanks for a chance to win a copy (and if I don’t win, it’s going on the Xmas wish list).

  14. 14
    audrey says:

    I would LOVE to win this book! Thanks for a great giveaway!

  15. 15
    Amy Losordo says:

    Your review of the book is quite entertaining. I hope I win and if I don’t it will be on my wish list. Lucky for me I have 3 chances to get the book – birthday, anniversary, and Christmas. Happy Holidays

  16. 16
    Linda says:


  17. 17
    LJ says:

    Your words about this book has definitely been worth the wait. 🙂 You wrote about The Dresden Files, “These decorative blocks act almost like ornaments, delicate baubles.” This was just one instance where I thought you really hit the nail on the head; you voiced so many of my sentiments about the quilts I’ve been seeing from the book. Thanks for putting it into words.

  18. 18
    Caitlin says:

    I need a pattern for all my souvenir fat quarters and love the diamond pattern in book.

  19. 19
    Lyn says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I usually like repro quilts but am interested in trying some modern ones.

  20. 20
    Sallie says:

    I love In the Clouds. Thanks for the chance to win this great-looking book!

  21. 21
    Cathy Kizerian says:

    I’ve already added their book to my Christmas Wish List, but winning it instead would be grand! (Then I could move on down my book list, hehe). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Cathy

  22. 22
    Becky Greene says:

    Thanks for the peek inside this wonderful book and for the chance to win!

  23. 23
    Irene says:

    Thanks for participating on the tour, sharing your opinion about the book and giving us another chance to win this gorgeous book!

  24. 24
    Debbie R. says:

    Looks like a fabulous book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  25. 25
    Lizzie says:

    Thanks for your great review of this book! Now I’d like even more to look inside!

  26. 26
    MelodyJ says:

    Seems look a good book.


  27. 27
    SandraH says:

    Enjoyed your review. I am finding modern quilts more and more intriguing. Would love to have the book.

  28. 28
    Gill says:

    This looks a great book – I love the flying geese quilt!

  29. 29
    Helen says:

    Looks like a great book! Pick me, please! 😉

  30. 30
    Lisa E says:

    Love the review. Your comments about the “logical consistency” of the quilts is spot-on. I really enjoyed the way you looked at the book. Makes me want it even more. Thanks for the giveaway.

  31. 31
    Sally Nicol says:

    This book looks fab – love those Dresden flowers.

  32. 32
    Kathryn says:

    This looks like a great book. I really like the quilts you have shown and would love to see the rest. Thanks for a great blog!

  33. 33
    Carla G says:

    This book sounds fabulous! I really like the dresdens quilt! 🙂 Thanks for a chance to win!

  34. 34
    Marcia W. says:

    Thank you for the review of this book. I want it! It’s good to have the point of view of a fabric and quilt designer.

  35. 35
    Barb in MI says:

    Beautiful! And if all else fails, I really need to get a Badminton racket…

  36. 36
    ritainalaska says:

    a great review … would love to have this book in my library! thanx for the chance to win the copy.

  37. 37
    Peggy says:

    Just love your blog and your fabrics! Your stories of your creativity and family add a nice touch to any day. Would love to read the book!

  38. 38
    Beth T. says:

    Please toss my name in the hat for this book. The quilts are inspiring and their voices are refreshingly real.

  39. 39
    Deborah says:

    Would love to win this book. Just started quilting and I love the look of modern colourful quilts. Thanks for the chance!

  40. 40
    Esther says:

    I’d love a copy of this book, hoping to make the dresden plate quilt for my mum next year.

  41. 41
    Emily C says:

    Book looks great. Love that qoute you put in, very funny. I want to do that to my computer sometimes.

  42. 42

    I hadn’t heard about this book, but now it’s on my must read list. I’d love to own it, too! Thanks!

  43. 43
    Maegan says:

    Hi there! I hope I’m not too late to put my name in the hat for the book. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  44. 44
    Claudia W says:

    Thomas, your review of this beautiful book makes me want to buy enough copies to give everyone on my gift list this year! (Whether or not they quilt!) I’m certain this book will transform some people from badmitton players to quilters in short time!

  45. 45
    SarahZ says:

    This looks like a wonderful book…I hope I made it into the drawing!!!!

  46. 46
    Maggie Magee says:

    If I don’t win–will just have to go out and buy a copy! I’ve been collecting books on Modern Quilting, which I find delicious–another quilting cookbook would be nice!

    Maggie Magee

  47. 47
    Margaret says:

    This is definitely going on my list of must-have books. Hoping I’m not too late for a chance at the giveaway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *