Even though I've quilted for over a decade, it wasn't until about four years ago that I would say I became focused and intentional with my quilting. Before that it was a creative hobby that helped me destress, but that's about it. I was on mat leave with The Monster and started to spend a lot of time online. (That girl could sleep!)
One day I very distinctly remember typing in "Modern Quilts" on a Google search. I knew what I was creating wasn't conventional, but I felt very alone among the quilters I knew. Such a simple term and it opened up a new world. I do recall that the first blog I came across was Samantha's and that led me to The Modern Quilt Workshop. Now this was more like it!
The quilts in The Modern Quilt Workshop are creative, bold, sometimes simple, and all very refreshing from the calico world I was used to.
Now, I didn't run out and buy the book then, and even after hearing Bill Kerr speak earlier this year I didn't. That has more to do with me not being a pattern follower. When I saw it at the library the other week, however, I picked it up.
Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr put together a truly inspiring book. It is still essentially a book of patterns, but they add in a lot to encourage the quilter to make each quilt their own. They provide alternate colourways for projects. And there is a section on design essentials which would be good for someone just branching out into design.
My biggest complaint about the book is that while it is incredibly precise and the attention to detail is impeccable, the personality I saw in Bill is somewhat absent. Yes, he is a designer by nature and self admits to being precise and anal, but he is far from dry. The book is kind of dry as a read. Yes, I read these books from cover to cover. It's a small complaint and maybe no one else cares.
As far as the patterns go, one great feature is that they also share options for making the quilts in alternate sizes. This is fantastic. They aren't encouraging you to remake their quilt, they want you to make your quilt. Now that is inspirational.