I've been admiring Sylvia Schaefer's work for a couple years, so when she invited me to participate in this blog hop to help launch her new book, The Quilter's Negative Space Handbook, I was excited for the opportunity.
Sylvia's book is a wealth of information. It contains eight full patterns which illustrate the different design techniques in each of her eight chapters. These are vibrant, modern quilts in bold colors. They utilize negative space in different, interesting ways. Below are a couple of my favorites from the book. In addition to these patterns, Sylvia walks you through the process to design in each of her techniques, with step by step diagrams, commentary on what works and what doesn't work, and multiple examples for each technique. These techniques can be used whether you design on a computer or with paper and pencil.
River of Fire by Sylvia Schaefer
This quilt illustrates Sylvia's technique of Making Shapes. I love the bold color, the use of one simple block construction in multiple sizes, and of how it makes me think of a fractal.
Every Which Way by Sylvia Schaefer
This quilt illustrates Sylvia's technique of Scattering. I love the randomness of this design as well as her choice to have soft grey for some of the arrows. I especially love the arrows that are so faint you can barely see them.
Sometimes when you see or experience something it affects you without you realizing it. When I received my copy of the book I flipped through it immediately. But I didn't take it all in. Then I designed my Island Batik project for this month. Our theme this month for the Island Batik Ambassador challenge is Vintage Reimagined. I like working from a traditional block and adapting it to a new design. When I came back to read The Quilter's Negative Space Handbook cover to cover, I realized that my designs fit right in with Sylvia's Extending Lines chapter. Surely, skimming through the book earlier had already influenced me.
I work in Illustrator to mock up design ideas. For this project I chose the Antique Tile quilt block.
My next step was to recolor it in four colors since I had chosen four fabrics in my initial fabric pull. Generally I work in random (and often obnoxious) contrasting colors until I settle on a layout I like. These are not indicative of my fabric choices.
From there I used three blocks on the quilt top and extended the light blue from the block above to the edges of the quilt. I tried with different background colors.
Then I adjusted the scale of the blocks and plugged in the colors of my fabrics.
I realized that I didn't have enough of the dark teal fabric for the size project I was creating, so I replaced the orange in my palette with red and rearranged by color placement.
I tried these colors with my original scale.
One other design option that came about didn't feature the Extending Lines technique, but rather another of Sylvia's techniques, Standing Alone.
I've settled on which quilt I'm making this month, though I could see myself making another version, or further iterating on the design. I'd love to hear which of these designs catches your eye, or how you would adjust the design. (I've numbered the quilts 01-07 to make it easier to reference them in the comments.)
Buckles by Sylvia Schaefer
This is Sylvia's example of Extending Lines. The intersecting lines remind me of Celtic knots. I like her choice of straight line quilting and enjoy the color palette.
Sylvia and C&T Publishing have offered one digital (PDF) version of The Quilter’s Negative Space Handbook. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter below. By entering, you agree that you are 18 years of age or older. International participants are welcome. The giveaway is open through Wednesday, March 27th, at Midnight PDT. A winner will be randomly selected and emailed to be notified. Good luck!
Blog Hop Schedule
March 11 – C&T Publishing – blog tour kickoff
March 12 – Nicole Neblett – Mama Love Quilts
March 13 – Christa Watson – Christa Quilts
March 14 – Jessica Caldwell – Desert Bloom Quilting
March 15 – Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill – Whole Circle Studio
March 18 – Cassandra Ireland Beaver – The (Not So) Dramatic Life
March 19 – Yvonne Fuchs – Quilting Jetgirl
March 20 – Sarah Ruiz – Saroy
March 21 – Sarah Goer – Sarah Goer Quilts (you’re here!)
March 22 – Sylvia Schaefer – Flying Parrot Quilts – tour wrap-up