Saturday, February 13, 2010

What does Modern Quilting Mean to Me ?

I have joined the newly formed Seattle Modern Quilting Guild ... our first meeting is next Saturday and I'm really looking forward to meeting other modern quilters.  As inspirational as theFlickr Fresh Modern Quilt group has been for me ... I am also looking forward to moving from virtual contact to personal contact!

This week, they are asking members to post on their blogs what Modern Quilting means to them ... here's my attempt.

Modern Quilting is a new twist on an old art form.  When we built our cabin last year, we used a modern design (shed roof, tons of windows) with older, more traditional finishes (fir, cedar, open wood beam ceilings).  This cabin ... a new twist ... was actually my inspiration to learn to quilt.  I wanted the tradition of quilts with a modern feel.  When I found Amy Ala Modes version of Plain Spoken - The Real McCoy -while doing a Google search in May 2009 ... I knew I had found a modern quilt.  I had seen the Plain Spoken quilt in the Modern Quilt Workshop book, but Amy's version was what really brought it to life for me.  While I hadn't yet bought my first piece of material ... I was already hooked on modern quilting.

It's role:
Modern quilting to me is a lap-sized quilt that is decorative, but highly functional.  It doesn't sit on a quilt rack or get folded carefully in tissue and stored.  It is used ... a lot.  It will struggle to get to heirloom status, as it will wear from use and the role it plays in bringing joy to life ... a curl up with a good book, a cuddle in front of the TV, a cacoon for a sick child or a throw for a nap.  It lives in your life.

It's beauty:
Is entirely in the eye of the beholder.  It doesn't rely on typical geometric design, instead it lets the artist come out and create.  It gets its beauty ... not from patterns ... but from the inspiration the quilter adds along the way.  It is about contrast, complexity, simplicity and creativity.  It doesn't rely on the fabric designer, it's beauty comes through design and placement and the fabric merely enhances that creativity.

It brings surprise:
For me ... the best modern quilts I have seen are the ones where I say "wow ... I wish I had thought of that".  It's a subtle nuance that really brings the beauty of the design like the white framing here, and simple design here, the amazing color movement here or the simplicity here.  My favorite versions incorporate negative space ... they switch up what's expected, say a block layout, with the unexpected, a blank space like mine shown here and here.

It's a community:
It's a fabulous community ... it supports ... and for a newby like me ... it made me feel really good about the progress I was making.

That's my perspective on what Modern Quilting Means to Me ... what does it mean to you?

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