Making Modern Blocks for Calgary

>> Friday, July 19, 2013

My local quilt shop, Cindy Bee's,  collected blocks for quilts for Calgary.

You can see the amazingness of quilters at the facebook page Quilting for Calgary

 I received an email and knew I would make one, maybe two blocks. I don't have a lot of scraps right now (yay!) and very few that read one colour (surprised!) which is what the blocks were to be made with.  I went into the shop for the instructions - and was pleasantly surprised.

I found out surfing on the net later that they are called 'slab blocks'. They are made with modern block making techniques. Lots of the blocks at my local quilt shop didn't look modern, they looked like nine patches and rail fences. (The owner said not to make mine look like that!)

I finally GET what is really different about modern quilts.
 Or at least modern quilt blocks.

It's not asymmetry, or negative space, or size of blocks, or using all solids, or pieced with no applique, or or or all the other things that I have read. 

It's thinking from the inside out instead of the outside in.

With traditional blocks, the pieces that make up the block are based on a predetermined finished size. We might make them asymmetrical or all pieced, but we know that we need to join A to B to C to get our block. There is an order to follow to get to the finished block that we can refer back to as we go and compare our finished block to - is it the right size? are the pieces in the right position etc.

Traditional blocks are defined by a specific space.
Modern blocks are created differently because they use space differently.

Here's my original layout for my blue block. I love building modern blocks because you can start wherever you want!
The finished size required for these blocks is 15 inches. I planned my block by laying out my fabrics on my cutting board for a reference - the traditional quilter in me I suppose.
Once I got these different units built I laid them beside each other and didn't like it. It looks too much like I was trying to get my block this big, like I was desperately adding bits of anything to get it big enough. 
 It looks too busy.

I moved the strip on the left to the right and like it much better. Maybe I like it better because it put the white piece more in the centre which creates an automatic focus for the eye?

In the end you'll see I did have to add another strip to get my block up to the required 15 inches. 

I liked making these blocks. It is a different way of making and thinking to create modern blocks.

What do you think? Do you like making modern blocks?

With Joy,
Sarah Vee


mtnquiltr July 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM  

I admire your slab block. It looks great! As a Calgarian (thankfully not flooded out myself) I want to thank you for the time. It's so precious to know others are thinking of us!

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