what does modern quilter mean to you?

snake charmer hand quilting-3

I’m a little late on this, but this discussion has been going on over at the Modern Quilt Guild blog. Today someone posted a great recap of the discussion, complete with VERY cool pictures. I wanted to add my two cents to the din because, of course, I have an opinion. As usual.

I just got one of Nancy Crow’s books from the library (talk about ahead of her time!), and she was talking about how (in the early 1990’s) it seemed like everyone was using fusible web to put quilts together, and she thought that machine piecing might soon go the way of hand piecing and be a thing of the past. I’m so glad she was wrong and that today’s quilters have so many methods to choose from.

When I think about what it means to be a modern quilter, I think about my own way of picking and choosing methods. I like to see what’s available (taking classes, listening to lectures, reading a billion blogs), and then cherry pick what suits me best. As a member of a traditional guild and now the LA Modern Quilt Guild, I’m surrounded by quilt makers of all skill and experience levels. People who love tiny details and people who hate tiny details – only loving big (fast) results. Some people love the tiny details and still have big, fast results!

I think it would be wrong to say that modern quilters aren’t precise or meticulous, because I know that to be false. Although many modern quilts do end up with a free or even haphazard look. It took skill and planning to get them that way. An eye for color, a certain whimsy…whatever it is.

To me, modern quilters are this: the ones doing the sewing. That’s all of us. The ones who find the time in their busy lives to create beautiful, useful keepsakes. Fabric hugs for family and friends.

I do think that the connotation ‘modern’ represents a certain aesthetic: bold colors in prints and solids, large geometric shapes – sometimes off-set, good use of negative space. This is just what I think of. And in my mind’s eye – I see quilts made by Elizabeth Hartman and Ashley at Film in the Fridge and a whole slew of other quilters setting the internet on it’s ear with all their gorgeous pictures.

I also think modern can refer to the seemingly thousands of quilters coming together online, naturally grouping because of similar tastes and styles and using every bit of the current social networking technology available to share ideas and accomplishments. I love watching what’s happening and being a part of it!

Its a great time to be quilting. No time like the present!

One Reply to “what does modern quilter mean to you?”

  1. I agree with you and your description of a modern quilter is right on. It also shows your views on life. We explore something, find and select what works for us–nothing worse than throwing out the baby with the bathwater!–and keep adding to our set of skills, values and life in general. Love the pictures, too! :o)

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