Robert Kaufman (the Modern Quilt Perspectives blog tour…)

(You can head over to the Robert Kaufman blog here for their stop on the blog tour. They are giving away a copy of the book along with ten yards of Essex Linen, enough to make the cover quilt…)

The moment I signed the contract to make this book a realization hit me: “Oh crap! Now I have to make all these quilts…”

So, I started planning, and working out just what fabrics I wanted. I tried to make a fabric plan for each quilt, but that never ends up working for me. More often than not I do my sketches in greys and figure out the colors and fabrics as I sew. I did know one thing for certain though: I was going to need a lot of fabrics…


The first quilt that made that certain was Mitosis, my quilt for Babbit. The story behind this quilt is in the book (and it remains one of my favorite quilts ever), but on the practical level it called for 129 different colors. (This one also looks great in prints, but I knew I wanted all solids for the book version.)

And for that range of colors I knew just who I needed to talk to: Robert Kaufman. With all those Kona colors – especially all those subtle, in-between colors – it was an easy choice as to which solids to use. And as I started planning out my quilts I realized I was going to be talking with Robert Kaufman a lot…

(Here is the thing about doing a book: without the support of material suppliers – and a very generous and talented quilter – they are incredibly expensive to make. It adds up to a lot of fabric, a lot of batting, thread, shipping, quilting, etc, etc, etc…)

And here is the thing: Robert Kaufman was incredibly supportive and generous. They sent me cuts of every single Kona solid, which allowed me to explore and experiment as I transformed the quilts from greyscale sketches into finished pieces.

thomas-knauer-sews-robert-kaufman-2And then there is the Essex Linen. I have loved these since I started quilting; in fact one of the first few quilts I ever made used a whole lot of Essex Linen, and I’ve been coming back to it ever since. Perhaps it is the sculptor in me, but the extra weight and texture just fits my hand as I work, though the extra stability it has over pure linen keeps me from going crazy. That quilt on the cover is all Essex Linens, and not only do I love how it feels, that extra matte quality to it, the extra light absorption because of the texture, just gives an extra hint of subtlety to a very graphic layout.

So, thank you so much to everyone at Robert Kaufman, for the faith in this book, all of the fabric, and for taking part in the blog tour. Once more I am in your debt…


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