Fast Quilts was a new magazine to me, though I see there are a few issues, at least, out. I picked it up, my lip curling, in an unattractive manner, at the name. I expected to look at another batch of boring quilts. You know my firm and fast opinion: quilts are not fast, simple or easy. Quilts take time.
My sneer quickly dissipated. Yes, these quilts are fast, but they are not boring. The people who selected the quilts for the magazine were smart. They chose quilts that are not difficult (I refuse to use the word ‘easy’) to make, but use interesting designs.
This McCall’s magazine includes only patterns. There are no articles except a brief introduction by the editor. A few of the quilts use clever techniques such as wonky applique and button embellishment to add interest to various quilts within the pages.
Primarily, however, there is an excellent use of fabric and block settings. a couple of the quilts include an additional colorway with the pattern. You know I love that! Funfetti (pg.50) is a two block quilt made with Textured Basics, like Fresh Fruit. The setting looks unusual, but a closer look tells us that the 2 different blocks and the way they are set do all of the work. The fabric choices don’t slack either. While looking at this quilt, it occurred to me that using a plus type block as an alternate block can create all kinds of interest in a quilt. This quilt is fresh and fun while making good use of the fabric.
As I said, the settings are interesting, sometime unusual without being gimmicky. Raspberry Cheesecake (evocative name, don’t you think?) (pg.69) has similar blocks to the Orange & Grey Donation quilt. The wide sashing between the blocks and the way the fabric sashing blends with the background fabric in the block provides an interesting row quilt look in one version while also showing an interesting grid arrangement in the alternate version.
The quilts in this magazine reminded me of donation quilts. Nobody wants make a boring or ugly quilt and the quilts in this issue would be great donation quilt patterns. Odds & Ends (pg.67), which includes more plus-type blocks would make good blocks for the leaders and enders technique. It would also be interesting to make with a consistent background and scrappy pluses.
Zig & Zag (pg.56) is really the reason I bought this magazine issue. I was interested in the other quilts, but this one was really interesting. I like the colors and the strong diagonal line. I also wanted to study the construction a little more than a quick glance at Barnes & Noble allowed. It is one of my favorite quilts in the magazines.
McCall’s really shows their dominance in the quilt world with Pickup Sticks (pg.52). I know that phrase sounds quite pompous, but Pickup Sticks is really just a bunch of strips, yet the designer (and the editor for picking the quilt0 was a genius, because she really takes a simple technique of strip cutting and makes blocks that are not boring and uses fabrics that moves the eye around the quilt. This is the type of quilt where I can see the possibilities using different fabric.
Check it out.