Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review of Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman

I took advantage yet again of being part of the Creative Troupe at C&T Publishing and got Elizabeth Hartman's new release Modern Patchwork.
This book is an excellent sequel to Ms. Hartman's first book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork. It has many of the same elements for layout and projects- some easier, simple piecing progressing to more challenging work and different skill sets. Luckily for us, she also kept the alternate fabric suggestions at the end of each project along with example photos. This little touch really makes the difference for me; I love to see what else can be done, because often the first time I see a pattern I don't like it, but love it in different fabrics. These alternates are a stroke of genius. The other genius bit is instructions for completing the back, in case you don't want just a whole piece plain-jane backing. Plenty of the backs would make a great quilt on their own! I found at least 5 projects in here I would love to do immediately, and several more I put on my longer term to-do list.
I knew I wanted to do a project for this review, so I just set my sights on making one block to see how well the instructions read, etc. Well, of course they read well, the author is an experienced pattern writer and blogger, but just to tell you, they are easy to use. There are lots of diagrams and photos to compare what you are doing at each step, which is extremely helpful. I'd rather everyone went way overboard with photos and diagrams for step-by-step rather than being stingy.

The fail in my block is not Ms. Hartman's design or instructions but my fabric and color choices. I do love to experiment and see what I can get away with, and I had these old pillowcases and pair of pants lying around...well, bad news there.

The non-quilting cotton fabrics were really difficult to work with and the lines got all wonky (not in the good way) and made the whole bit look rather, well, ill done is the nicest way to put it. I fought the urge to pitch it every step of the way past piecing block 3.

My second mistake? Using fabric that behaves badly and has lines it in that make it super obvious that you have messed something up. Heh. It stands to reason (in hindsight) that there was a reason that the author used a lot of solids and few patterned fabrics- gets a little wild, even within the same line (Peacock Lane by Violet Craft from Michael Miller if you're asking. Not that this is its most shining use here.) Lesson learned and all that.

So imagine I made better fabric choices for my block- it would be pretty cool huh?
Stay tuned for another try at a block from the book, and eventually maybe a whole quilt. After Memorial Day though, for sure.

1 comment:

  1. I do like the interwoven pattern. Plus, you had to try working with random material at some point. Now you know not to use lined badly behaved material. :-) You can always put some light weight fused interfacing on the back of said material if you REALLLLLY want to use some though!