Saturday, October 31, 2015

Traditional to Modern a Front Range Guild Challenge

There seems to be much interest in looking at our Quilting roots but making them perhaps more relevant to the newer sewing/quilting esthetic that appeals to new and established quilters.

The Front Range Modern Quilt Guild took up the challenge earlier this year with just this thought in mind. Take an older block and make it modern. And just to make it interesting you could only, use black and white (solids/prints and shades within the black and white spectrum) and one other color. Simple right???!!!

I chose a very simple block. The tried and true Split rail. Three equal strip of fabric, often rotated 90" in a single, simple block.

block by phoebemoon
Based on your color choice and placement the secondary design comes into play.
So, 3 colors to work with, a simple block with 3 strips of fabric.
Now, toss them in the air and maybe vary the length and width of said strips and you get…..

Modern Spelunking ( the name derives from the fact that when all was said and done, the placement and the design reminds me a bit of the stalactites and stalagmites you see in caves)

53 x 48.5"

I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could work with transparency without strict measurements. I did sketch the design roughly on graph paper to get the proportions correct, but did not add any numerical measurements;  the actual construction of the quilt was done on the fly. I did end up with some spectacular failed attempts at getting those transparency sections to work, and I did make my life a little bit harder by having many of the sections at angles, and not the same angles to boot. But that made the whole process  a bit more interesting and very satisfying in the end.

Front, no flash
Front, with flash
The nano particle fabric reads bright white
Top: 100% quilting cotton; Kona snow, black, caribbean, breakers, and retroreflective nano particle fabric.
Back: IKEA 100% cotton bedding

Threads: Aurifil 100% cotton, 50 wt in 2021, 4241, 2810. Superior metallic in peacock blue

Binding: 2" SOG, kona snow

Quilting: straight line and FMQ triangles. Matchstick quilting focally


  1. I love this quilt on so many levels! The reflective fabric blew my mind!

  2. Very cool. I love your use of transparency, which is something I still struggle with!

  3. I love seeing the modern twist on traditional blocks but this is an amazing transformation. And all those angles to get bang on.....

  4. Stephanie, I just love this interpretation of a split rail! Nicely done, and such an attractive quilt out of it.

  5. The angles definitely amped up the difficulty level, but give you such a stunning effect that it was worth any angst the making caused. It's a beautiful finish!


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