Review: Modern Memory Quilts

Today I’m reviewing Modern Memory Quilts, a Quilting Arts Workshop with Lesley Riley.

modern memory quilts

Here is the description from the publisher:

Tell stories through quilting.
Combine memories, photo transfers, and crazy piecing to make unique and personal art quilts.

Take your family photographs out of the drawer they’ve been hiding in and allow them to take center stage in your next art quilt. Internationally-know artist Lesley Riley will teach you how to tell stories in fabric using image transfers, improvisational piecing, and more in her new Quilting Arts Workshop™ DVD Modern Memory Quilts. Lesley shares photo editing hints in Adobe® Photoshop® that will freshen up an old family photograph. Then, she introduces Lesley Riley’s TAP™ Transfer Artist Paper, a unique product she developed that allows you to transfer the photo to fabric in a few easy steps. Now the fun begins! Unlock all of the possibilities this process has to offer as you audition a variety of compositions and experiment with improvisational piecing, or what she calls “really crazy quilting”.


If you are interested in telling your story with a memory quilt, this is the video to get. But wait! Maybe you don’t want to make a memory quilt. With her tips and tricks, you can make any type of quilt. I can see a garden quilt or an animal quilt or a house quilt – any art quilt where photos are the focal points.

As mentioned above,  Lesley takes us step-by-step on creating these memory quilts. She gives us her tips on altering and enhancing photos regardless of size in Photoshop. However, those of us who own PSE can also use those tips.

She shows us how to use TAP (Transfer Artist Paper), an interesting product she developed to transfer pictures to fabric. After transferring her photo, she walks the viewer through her design and composition and then shows how she completes her “really crazy quilting.” She shares her attitude which I love – “Life is difficult enough…let’s keep it simple and down to the fun stuff.” Yes, I’m all for simple and fun!

But one of my favorite parts is the last chapter on finishing where she shows how she completes this quilts.

On my first viewing of this dvd I thought it was a good workshop, but wasn’t sure it would help me since I don’t plan on making  memory quilts. But on the second watch I started thinking about  how this information could be used for other projects.

Here is what I learned:

  • Altering pictures so they are ready to print on fabric: That would be helpful for any project where I want to use photos.
  • How to use TAP: After watching the DVD I finally played with my TAP that I’ve had for a couple years. It’s a great way to transfer photos to fabric!
  • Design and composition ideas: I can always use some help in this area.
  • Fun crazy quilting technique: I’m not sure I’ll ever use this, but it gave me some other ideas.
  • Ways to bind and finish the quilts: This is where I struggle – finishing. I see a couple projects I’ll be finishing with her tips.

If you are interested in art quilts (memory or not),  I think you will find this workshop helpful.

Modern Memory Quilts has a run time of 71 minutes. It can be purchased as a DVD or download from Interweave.

Disclaimer: I received this DVD from the publisher for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review and received no monetary compensation.