If you have a a black and white fabric stash and have been looking for ideas, or have always wanted to make or own a black and white quilt, we have some inspiration to share.
Winter Aspens, 26 x 34, by Jayme Crow
We love the sumptuous Winter Aspens quilt, above, with its clever use of dotted fabrics to portray a stand of trees in a wintry landscape. Thanks to Jayme Crow for supplying us with this gorgeous photo of the original quilt in a natural setting. The pattern can be obtained from the Bella Nonna Design Studio. Jayme's design studio also has some very cool designer Japanese fabrics in heavy cotton.
Duet in Black and White, 39 x 39, by Connie Kauffman, at Kauffman Designs
The very elegant "Duet" pattern by Connie Kauffman, above, is also easy. The shading of the quarter triangles gives a three-dimensional appearance to the center medallion. The solid black and white appliques are fusible; buttons add sparkle to the quilt. The pattern makes good use of fat quarters in black and white. The pattern can be obtained from Quilters Warehouse.
Stormy Evolution, 90 x 90, by Susan Varanka
Do you believe in evolution? "Stormy Evolution" by Susan Varanka takes the Storm At Sea pattern to a new level. Notice that the individual stars surrounding the center are reverse images of the star design embedded within the Storm at Sea blocks, and that the pieced border is made up of the points of the blocks. The repeating patterns in the stars and border unify the design. The quilt can be made with fabrics planned in advance, but is also perfect for scrap usage. For more information, and to purchase the pattern, visit Susan's Quilt Creations.
Midwinter garden, 48 x 48, by Ellen Crimi-Trent for Clothworks
Midwinter garden is one of our favorite black-and-white fabric lines, with 12 different fabrics designed by Ellen Crimi-Trent (we're showing four of them, above). The quilt above incorporates the fabrics in a barn raising pattern, giving a subtle shadowy effect. For a free download of the pattern and to see the other fabrics, visit Clothworks.
Mod Quads, 48 x 60, by Janine Burke at Blue Underground Studios
The "Mod Quads" design by Janine Burke at Blue Underground Studios can be made with many different fabrics. The skinny "quads" add just a hint of color for visual interest. For those who desire a speedy project, a complete quilt kit is available at The Quilters Garden.
Spinning Nine Patch Notes, 39.5 x 39.5, by Connie Kauffman, at Kauffman Designs
We love this modern and musical wall hanging by Connie Kauffman. Black and white notes radiate out from the nine-patch blocks, which are set on point, such that the blocks appear to be spinning like whirlygigs. The brightly colored center blocks stand out nicely from the background. The pattern can be obtained online from the Quilters Warehouse.
Zebra Fandango, 73 x 73, by Elizabeth Bren
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a Fandango is "a lively Spanish or Spanish-American dance in triple time that is usually performed by a man and a woman to the accompaniment of guitar and castanets." O-kay! The Zebra Fandango quilt features intricate foundation pieced blocks set at a slight angle to create the lively design. The pattern was published by Down Under Quilts in November, 2004. A version of "Zebra Fandango", by Ana Buzzalino, can also be seen at American Quilter.
Red Eye, 30 x 30, by Shirley Ament-Bergey
In 2006 the Rising Star Quilters Guild of Lexington, MA, held a quilt challenge: Black and white with one accent color. Shirley Ament-Bergey won second prize for her fabulous cathedral windows quilt, above. The wall hanging was made for Shirley's son, who is a devotee of contemporary design. The red "eyes" make an outstanding contrast amidst the black and white, and the variation of prints - some nearly all black, and some nearly all white - creates a lively design. You can see Shirley's quilt and 30 other black-and-white challenge quilts on the RSQG website, here (A-J) and here (K-Z).
Books and patterns by Kay M. Capps Cross
As you may know, Kay M. Capps Cross wrote the books on black-and-white quilts (literally). Kay says: "I use black and white (with the ever-present dash of vivid color) because it challenges me and seems to work the best for expressing my ideas and spirit. Some have called me “the black and white lady,” and I just love that!" Kay's books, shown above, are available at Amazon, at local quilt stores, and many other places. Kay's patterns, including "Hello, Heliconia" (above, 21.5 x 38.5) are available at the Quilters Warehouse. For more information, visit Kay's site at Cross Cuts Quilting.
For even more black-and-white inspiration
See the Winter 2008 issue of Fabric Trends for Quilters. You may also be interested in the recent black and white quilt challenge (the challenge group's photos are on Flickr). If you know of other black-and-white challenges or exhibits - we'd love to hear about them!