In this new showcase I’m featuring four Modern Quilters that you will love!
Robert James Bosscher
I grew up around quilts; I can remember playing with my toys under my mom’s handquilting frame that my dad built for her when I was very little. I always had a quilt from my mom on my bed growing up, and I can remember using the sewing machine at a very young age (with her supervision). I graduated from college with a degree in Art and Art History, and I’ve always been interested in design and making, but I didn’t really turn my attention to using quilts to express myself until about 7 years ago. I’m not sure why I picked up quilting, but it was the right medium at the right time, and I’ve been diving in further ever since! And I fully credit my mom for teaching me quilting, even if it was never a formal lesson.
In my quilts, I love playing with color. While I like to reinterpret traditional blocks, I also like to simplify the shapes that I use, often using only squares, and letting the color take priority in communicating the idea I’m going for. I often work and rework ideas in my sketch book until I have a complete idea for what I want the finished quilt to look like before I even touch the fabric. However I do enjoy the process of making, especially in incorporating handwork.
Right now I’ve been enjoying exploring different emotions and how they appear to me in my life. It has been a really good experience and I love causing people to ask questions and reevaluate how they look at different ideas with my quilts.
Hello fellow fiber lovers! I’m Shannon, the modern quilt pattern designer and teacher behind @shannonfraserdesigns based in Montreal, Canada. I’m a self taught sewist who had completely discounted quilting as something I’d be interested in! Ha! That all changed when I stumbled upon a YouTube video on how to make half-square triangles. The technique was so cool, I immediately gave it a go! And before I knew it I was well on my way to creating my first quilt. That was 6 years ago and I’ve been hooked since!
What I love most about quilting is the opportunity to play with colour, texture and geometric designs. It’s the trifecta of what gets me fired up to create! Plus, getting to explore new ideas and new colour combinations is just so FUN! The hard part is finding time to dive into all the creative ideas I have!
In terms of design elements, I’ve worked quite a bit with HSTs as that’s where my journey started, but I’ve been branching out into curves and also have a soft spot for improv quilting. After completing a quilt from a pattern, I find myself gravitating towards a less structured quilt approach to see what organically emerges from my ‘freedom sessions’. I love being able to switch up my quilty practice between more structured and looser stitching sessions!
I pinch myself daily that I found my creative home and get to share the tips and tricks I’ve picked up through my quilty trials and tribulations to encourage you to explore this creative artform too.
I learned sewing from a young age from my mom, and have always been inspired by my grandmother’s love for sewing and handwork. I began quilting in 2012 when I was determined to make a quilt for my sister’s new baby. After that first quilt, I was hooked. I started reading more quilting books and teaching myself from video tutorials and sewing blogs to try and improve my skills. I found the Austin MQG in 2014, and that’s when my love for quilting really took off.
Recently my work has been centered around needle turn applique curves. In 2018 did a 100 day project on Instagram – 100 days of curved applique, and many of my recent designs have come from iterations of blocks I created during that time. I love sneaking curves into traditional blocks, and incorporating interesting fabric textures. I tend to use linens or solid colors, and lately my color palettes have lots of blues mixed with neutrals, or I’ll go the opposite direction and pick something super bright to work with. I always like to add at least a little hand quilting to my projects, and have recently taken a hand piecing class at Quiltcon Together (taught by Tara Faughnan), so I’m thrilled to add another element of handwork to my quilts and see what direction that might take me.
On a typical day I’m busy with my 4 year old and 2 year old daughters, and production sewing for my Etsy shop where I sell handmade oven mitts and home goods. Finding time to create quilts can be tricky, but it’s so important for my mental health! I sometimes come up with designs while my daughters and I are coloring or doing crafts. I’ve been known to cut out my crayon quilt sketches and tape them into my design notebook to come back to later. Or I’ll jump out of bed and run into my studio to sketch an idea so I don’t lose it before I fall asleep. It’s always a work in progress, but it is something I enjoy so
I made my first quilt in 2014, for a good friend who was having a baby. I’d tried a few different crafts before but none really stuck. Then I took a beginner’s patchwork class in Melbourne, and loved it. I went straight out and bought the same Janome sewing machine I’d used in class (which is the one I still use today!). Since then, I’ve learned from other quilters on blogs, on Instagram, on YouTube, and in my local guild. The modern quilting community can be incredibly generous with advice and guidance.
I’m not a prolific quilter. I design way more quilts than I sew! I decided early on that I would need to make a habit out of creativity if I wanted to keep going. So that’s what I’ve done: every week I post a new quilt design on my IG feed and my blog. Having that weekly
deadline for my Sunday sketches motivates me to keep practising. And it gives me an excuse to think about quilting all the time!
My designs tend to reflect my sewing skills – so I use lots of half-square triangles and half- rectangle triangles. Lately I’ve been using more drunkard’s path blocks and semi-circles in my designs, as I become more skilled at sewing decent curves. Each time I tackle a new skill, I find that I incorporate that feature more in my designs. I’d like to try sewing skinny strips and curves next. I’d also love to get more comfortable with Y-seams. That would open up a lot more design possibilities.
My favourite colours at the moment are probably warm yellows and oranges. But I’ve been getting into blues and greens lately too. I’m not great with colour – I find it challenging to discover new colour combinations – so I’m always trying to learn.