Friday, August 15, 2014

Modern Quilt Month: Beautiful in Black and White

Black and white quilts almost always look modern! A bright spot of color can be introduced for contrast and interest.  In today's post we're featuring pieced and appliqued quilts that we really admire.  We hope you will enjoy these black-and-white works of art.

Does He Make My Butt Look Big?  by Kristen Bryson (Houston, Texas), 2013 Houston IQF

Kristen Bryson gave a very humorous title to this wonderful zebra quilt.  She says, "This quilt was made in response to a challenge to enter the Ultimate Guild Challenge. Our chosen theme was “Out of Africa.” When I saw the photo taken by Maqsood Mughal, I had my inspiration.” The techniques used were raw-edge fused applique and machine quilting.

Close up, Does He Make My Butt Look Big?  by Kristen Bryson

The little bird might be considered the focal point of the quilt, as the viewer's eye is immediately drawn to the bright, tropical colors. Even though the bird and the zebra are different, both in color and stature, they have a great affinity for each other. Kristen's charming quilt was assembled using raw-edge fused applique and machine quilting.

Kaleidoscope by Dawn Guglielmino, quilted by Beth Hummel, 2014 Road to California

Black-and-white fabrics look great in a kaleidoscope design. This fun quilt was featured on page 54 of Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! 3rd edition by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes, and in a special exhibit at the 2014 Road to California. The fabrics were from the Licorice Fizz collection by Carol van Zandt.

Black and White Desert by Eileen Wintemute, 2013 PIQF

We admire the graphic cactus shapes and the touches of golden yellow that enliven this quilt. Eileen Wintemute says, “Living in the southwestern United States affords me many opportunities to visit the desert. I have learned to appreciate its beauty and diversity of plant and wildlife. I love the wonderful shapes of desert plants in particular. My favorite “souvenir” from a visit to the desert is a sketch made from something I have seen on my visit. This fiber art piece is a compilation of a few of my desert sketches.”

Doodling by Beth Shibley (Los Alamitos, California), 2013 PIQF

Beth Shibley says, “This quilt began with a doodle. Lots of swirls, flowers, circles and squares. It was fun to transfer my pen and ink into fabric and thread.” Notice how the white background is closely quilted, which causes the whimsical black flowers and vines to really "pop".  To us, it looks as if Beth received much joy from creating this fanciful, enchanting quilt.

The Light by Mary Tabar (San Diego, California), 2013 PIQF

Mary Tabar says, "I have been studying abstract design with an all-over pattern of circles. Look and see how many patterns you can find." Mary's quilt, along with the two above, was part of the Black and White Challenge exhibition, sponsored by a well-known Southern California art quilt group, Quilts on the Wall.  The show-within-a-show appeared at the 2012 Long Beach (California) Quilt Festival and later traveled to the 2013 Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Snail's Trail miniature quilt by Jeannie Coleman, 2014 Tucson Quilters Guild show

In this auction mini-quilt, snail's trail blocks were combined with storm-at-sea sashing.  The sashing is all done in two fabrics, creating stars at the intersections of the blocks. Jeannie Coleman says, "Black and white fabrics are my favorites. Adding a little red really perks it up."

Close up, Snail's Trail 

Jeannie Coleman says, "I’m delighted that the money raised from this auction will go to World Care."
How many different black and white fabrics can you count here? It always amazes us how much interesting contrast can be achieved simply by varying the printed shapes and values of each fabric pattern.

Serenity Squared , 69 x 69, by Marla Whalen (Arlington, Tennessee), 2014 AQS Quilt Week

This is a medallion quilt with three borders and an incredible amount of piecing and applique work. It really has something for every quilt enthusiast --  geometric pieced stars, a stunning appliqued floral focal point surrounded by graceful scroll work,  and an intricate patchwork border which  reminds us of  the  "Burgoyne Surrounded" pattern.

Close up, Serenity Squared by Marla Whalen

Marla's gray scroll work provides an elegant and restful juxtaposition between the diamond shaped medallion and the high contrast bold stars set "en pointe".  She's done a lovely job of displaying a wide range of light, medium, and dark values.

We've always been intrigued by black-and-white flower bouquets... this basket even has a basket-weave appearance!

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. Love, love them all! Every one is sensational! I couldn't pick a favorite.....but "Does He Make My Butt Look Big" and "Doodling"are the most interesting and pleasing to me. I can surely appreciate all the hard work that went into each of them.....they're all beautiful!

  2. I have made quilts in blue and white ... kaleidoscope too. I like them all and might like to try that snail's trail some day.

  3. I would love to purchase the pattern for the zebra quilt, "Does This Make My Butt Look Big?". Can you send me the information please? Thanks!


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