We are really excited to be a part of the book tour for Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen for Interweave Press.

All of us in the Fat Quarterly team are long time admirers of both Jacquie and Katie. We have all been lucky enough at some time or another, to have participated in online bees or swaps with this talented pair. Their creations have always been a huge source of inspiration to us so we were unbelievably excited when we found out that they were writing a book.

This book is not your normal quilt book with start to finish instructions for quilt patterns. Rather it teaches how to create improvisational quilts. Improv quilts can be some of the most striking quilts and yet it can be hard for some of us to let go of the “rules” and create without measuring and cutting exactly to plan.

Enter Katie and Jacquie!

What I love about this book is that it is not a book that tells you to turn up your nose at traditional techniques but rather it explains how understanding traditional techniques can improve your improvisational skills. If you understand why traditionally quilt blocks are pieced in certain ways, you will be able to understand how to manipulate those techniques to make your own unique creations.

Another good piece of advice given in this book is that it is OK to fail. In fact more than that – it is good to fail sometimes. We have all envisioned an idea and tried to recapture it in fabric. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes in the process of trying to create one thing we end up creating something else altogether. This is all OK! In fact some of the best quilt designs came about by mistake or only after multiple failed attempts. I think this is very important to remember that not every quilt design is going to be a winner.

The book starts by walking you through the basics of quilt design and construction such as; squaring up your fabric, sewing a ¼” seam accurately, pressing, and lining up seams when piecing. All these techniques are just as important for improvisational work as for traditional piecing.

Jacquie and Katie also discuss colour choices and quilt composition to guide you in choosing fabrics for your quilt designs. This is followed by an overview of quilting designs, and binding techniques.

In the second section Jacquie and Katie outline a number of improvisational techniques and include step by step instructions for how to recreate a number of quilt designs for each techniques. The techniques included are; free piecing, log cabin makeover, slice and dice, stitch and flip, strip piecing, crazy piecing and modern curved piecing.

This book is a definite must have. It is full with inspiring photos and the quilt designs included are just breathtaking. It is not only a book of pretty pictures. It is also a book packed with great advice and tips for making your own designs.