How to create a stained glass quilt

 A review of the new C&T Publishing book  "Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined" by Allie Aller

It's a truth universally acknowledged that stained glass is an art form. The stained glass artist uses color, design, meaning, expression, technique…the same qualities used by quilters, stitchers, weavers and other textile artists. Reproducing stained glass ideas in fiber seems like a natural marriage, and it's the subject of the newest quilting book from C&T Publishing and Allie Aller.

Allie is the friend we all need—kind, brilliant, funny, creative, warm, encouraging, champion, food lover, family focused, teacher, supporter. With her quilt books, you have her at arm's length. We met Allie years ago at Quilt Market through her gorgeous crazy quilt work. She has created and taught stunning design work using Kreinik threads for embroidery on quilts, inspiring us and thousands of quilters to explore threads, stitches and techniques.

For quilters, Allie's newest book, "Stained Glass Quilts Reminagined," will educate and inspire. Why? It pushes the boundaries of what you thought stained glass quilts could be, teaches you fresh ideas, and shows you how to create your own patterns. "Many areas of design can lend themselves to stained glass quilt work," Allie says. "If you think of stained glass quilting as "outlined" art, any design based on simple line drawings or shapes can be transformed into a pattern." Imagine the possibilities: making custom, personalized designs for family, church, community centers, schools, etc.

Ideas for making stained glass quilts easier and better fill the 100-page softcover, full-coior book. You are going to like the three ideas to add "leading" between the pieces—it's time to expand your world from bias tape. You can have a little fun here. Wait until you see what she's done with Kreinik metallic threads. (Side note: stained glass is glass that has been colored by adding metallic oxide to the raw materials.)

These quilts by nature are not heavily embellished, but there are ways to add depth and dimension through outlining options. She uses Kreinik 1/14" Ribbon—our widest metallic—to create gold leading in the "Windy Sunshine" quilt, for instance. The metallic is a simple update that transforms the design from "lovely!" to "Oh wow!" As Allie notes, "Those outlines don't always have to be black."

And that is one of the best messages of the book: you don't have to do things the way they always been done. Take a common theme, classic motif, or age-old design and explore. Try a variety of materials, explore different techniques, break out of the box. Whether you're creating in glass, fabric or threads, expanding you're artistic endeavors will free your imagination. That is what creativity is all about.

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Designs copyright © 2017 by Allie Aller from the book Allie Aller's Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined from C&T Publishing, Inc.



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