Thursday, June 16, 2011

...sampler quilts.

So I collected my copy from the post office this morning of the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. And I can't wait to get started on making the blocks in this Quilt Along. But since I went straight on to work after collecting it and am only now getting home I haven't had a chance yet.

Haven't heard about this Quilt Along? Where have you been? Go and check out the information at our hosts Amanda and Angela's blogs or the flickr group. The block patterns might be 'traditional' but these quilts certainly won't have that 'look' to them.  

And perhaps it has something to do with my long car trips to work and back but I have had sampler quilts on the brain a little lately and I'm wondering about a 'modern' sampler.
Let me take a step back, but not too far back because that might get too confusing and bring up all sorts of unlooked for debate. I know this might end up as a 'modern' vs 'traditional' debate and about what is better and proper but I don't want it to because I tend to believe noting in life is that simple and besides that in't where my stream of consciousness was going when I was thinking about this. In what follows I use the terms 'modern' and 'traditional' only because I can't think of anything better to describe the two 'styles' I'm referring to. I just hope your constructions is vageuley similar to mine or the rest of this just won't make the sense I want it to.  

So for my step back, when I bought the book for the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along I also bought the Sylvia Bride Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts and the Dear Jane Quilt book. From my googling of late these seem pretty much to be the sampler quilts, although I might well be wrong, there are a couple of civil war ones that seems quite popular too. There are certainly many on-line groups about them and the people that belong to then have proudced quilts as varied prom this same pattern as if they had been working from completely different designs. In my musing I can see a lot of similarities in these three quilts, although one was designed and sewn over 100 years with the others being much more recent but inspired by times past. And naturally the blocks are quite, for want of a better word, 'traditional' although not all of the incarnations of these quilts would be called that - this traditionallity is one of the similaries I noted. The other is that the blocks are quite small between 4" and 6", smaller than most blocks you might see most quilters that labels themselves 'modern' making. And they are all sashed and set square or on point, with at least two borders.

I guess what I noted was what wasn't represented in these sampler quilts, wonky blocks, spiderwebs, bento blocks, houses, many pieced curves are ones that sping almost immeadietly to my mind. You might think of others. And they layouts were all based on a straight grid or on-pioint layout, there was not random block placement.

Which got me to thinking about what I might look at and consider a 'modern' sampler to look like, and what blocks it might include. I guess a simple staring point might be to think about what comes out of the 3x6 Bee. The blocks would be bigger, 12" finished seems to be standard. I guess the colours would be different too but any quilt can look different in different fabrics and with different quilting.  

So what is your take, what would be the 'modern' sampler be like?

As an aside, it is more than a little embarassing when you have so many packages delivered to your PO Box in such a short space of time that the postmaster knows, and greets you, by name...


Kirsty said...

I have seen a few blogs doing a modern version of the Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt and I would love to start one myself, but I have a traditional Dear Jane that I have been working on for past 5 years, I really should try and get it finished so I can start one like this

lisajanlovestoquilt said...

I can't remember where I saw it but somewhere online there is a gorgeous Kaffe Fassett version of Dear Jane. It is so sumptuous! And have you noticed that the next Doll Quilt Swap is going back to what is probably considered 'traditional' designs, i.e. peiced blocks and needle turn applique? Interesting isn't it? I've been considering joining the Farmer's Wife QA - I just honestly can't decide on a colour theme, and I really don't like 'anything goes' scrappy. Might have a look at the stash this weekend and make a decision...
Sorry I can't use my blogger profile to comment - I think this is a common blogger problem at the moment!

Linni said...

I am doing the FWS in 1930's but am loving all the modern style fabrics that are being used. I never considered doing my one in traditional 1800's repro's because I thought it was all a bit dark for me.
To me the use of fabric really is what makes it modern or traditional rather than the block, a "modern" pattern in 1800's is still going to look more traditional than a traditional pattern in modern fabrics....hmmm did that make sense.
My local post office don't even wait for me to hand in the little red cards when I turn up, they go get my packages as soon as they see me..LOL. When we got deliveries at home the lady who delivered them (on a way to regular basis) actually stopped one day to ask me what I was getting from the US all the time. We then had a really lovely conversation about fabrics and what we make with hubby just shook his head....LOL