Friday, September 16, 2011

Modern Quilting and Me

I have been thinking about writing this post for a long time.  Ever since I read the first "dumbing down of quilting" post on someones blog.  Since I have only returned to quilting in the last couple of years, I discovered a whole new world out there.  Moda fabrics, rotary cutting tools, healing cutting mats, and very easy HSTs.  It seemed to me that all the new possibilities were fantastic.  Then came all this discussion about modern quilting.

When I first started back, I was certain I would be a very traditional quilter.  I just didn't know another way.  I liked all the old stars and flying geese, and Baltimore appliques.  I still like them.  I love the traditional look of designers like Kansas Troubles.  Then I discovered Sandy Gervais and made my first quilt after 30 years.  Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of it, and it just moved to France.  Shortly after that, I discovered Victoria at 15 Minutes Play, and a new world opened up to me.

I could make fabric out of scraps and just watch it grow with no preset plan.  I love playing with fabric this way.  Giving myself permission to play was just what I needed.  From then on, I wasn't afraid to tackle anything.  I even decided to try a little art quilting.

I have designed and created what I think is defined as a modern quilt.  I only say this because other people have told me it is modern.

Right now, I am working on an art piece, a couple of traditional pieces, a couple of samplers, a block from the Rose of Sharon book (well, I have taken some elements from a couple of different blocks to create a new one), a couple of modern quilts, some challenges, a 15 Minute quilt, and another intuition quilt, just to name a few things.  So, what kind of quilter does this make me?  Oddly enough, I think it makes me a modern quilter.
I guess I see modern quilting as having choices to do it all if we want to.  If you want to make several quick and easy quilts to donate to charity or give as gifts, I think that is just a valid as wanting to take several months or years to make one quilt to enter into one of the big shows.  It is all part of the connection with quilters throughout time who have taken what they had to create warmth, beauty, and sometimes camaraderie.  I like being part of that continuum.  If you want to read more writings by quilters on what their definition of modern quilting is, drop by the NYC Mod blog and scroll through the articles written to accompany pieces for their travelling show about modern quilting.
Joyful quilting, everyone.


Linda said...

Well said. I think the whole term "modern quilter" came up as a "knee-jerk" reaction to what most people think and say when you tell them you are a quilter. They immediately think of their great-grandmothers sitting around a huge frame let down from the ceiling. (Not that there is anything wrong with that!) Most people have no idea that quilting can be as artistic and diverse as it is today! The mindset is of quilts as utilitarian objects, not works of art. (I think our great grandmothers were extremely artistic in what they did! You will never see one of MY great grandmother's quilts lining a dog kennel!!!!)

Michele Bilyeu said...

A great post, Miki! But you dear woman, you didn't just get back to quilting. You didn't even fill up with fabulous possibilities, you exploded with vibrant energies and colorfilled extravaganzas of fun! And it's been a joy to behold!