Thursday, October 10, 2013

What is Modern Quilting and What is Modern Fabric?

While there are no true "experts" on modern quilting, the Modern Quilt Guild defines modern quilting as follows:

"Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. "Modern traditionalism" or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting."


I wrote up a long, detailed explanation of what modern quilting is, but in the end, I couldn't say it as well as the MQG's old definition of modern quilting, which I found on Angela Pingel's blog, Cut to Pieces. Here is what she quoted:

"Modern quilting is a new twist on the traditional art of quilting. This may mean something as simple as using a traditional quilt block and updating it in a fresh, fun new way. That includes using modern fabrics, modifying the block arrangement or even the scale of the block. The piecing could be improvisational and wonky, or it could be very exact and measured, following a pattern or creating your [own]. The quilting could be traditional stippling, clean straight lines, or a very "free" have fun and quilt-as-you-go style. Fabrics could be upcycled vintage sheets, custom digital printed fabric, a yummy selection from one of the new modern fabric designers, or an old fabric from an ever growing stash.

Modern quilting is sometimes difficult to define because in many ways the definition is as individual as the quilter - changing from quilter to quilter. In addition to reflecting the individual personality and personal style of the quilter, it also reflects the current aesthetic of the day.

Modern quilting is also about the attitude and the approach that modern quilters take. It respects the amazing artistry and talent of the tradition of quilting, while allowing the quilter to challenge the "rules". In fact, if there were one rule in modern quilting, it would be that there are no rules.

The concept of modern quilting is not meant to divide or segregate. It is meant to welcome new quilters, of all ages, to the world of quilting in a style that they can relate to. In many ways, modern quilting takes us back to the basics of the early quilters, when women of the day used the colors and styles of their time to express themselves creatively"


Modern quilting, at least this iteration of it, is largely influenced by the fabrics used in the creative process. Bright colors. Bold prints. Geometric. Solids. Basically anything other than batiks, dusty civil wars, and reproductions. Browns and brown-tinged fabrics are largely avoided, as are pastels and overtly floral designs. Of course there are always exceptions to this theory and I happen to know a few extremely talented quilters I would deem "modern" who constantly use traditional fabrics. It's a fine line to walk and ultimately, modern quilting is what you make of it.


I recommend browsing the Modern Quilt Guild's online gallery, which can be found here, my Quilt - Inspiration Pinterest board and perhaps a few online shops that offer a wide array of modern fabrics. Some of my favorite shops are linked below:

Westwood Acres
Stash Modern Fabrics
Knotted Thread
Sew Fresh Fabrics
Fresh Modern Fabric
Hawthorne Threads
Pink Castle Fabrics
The Intrepid Thread

These links should give you a good idea of what modern quilting is, what modern fabrics look like, and ultimately, what members of Stash Bee are going to be looking for from other hive mates. Your stash should include mostly modern fabrics that can be used in making the blocks for this bee. If your stash is not modern fabric heavy, you may want to reconsider joining Stash Bee since it is specifically geared toward the modern crowd.



Diane-crewe said...

looks interesting x

StaceyinStitches said...

Hi Danny! I would love to join stash bee. How does it work??

Danny Heyen said...

Please visit the Rules tab to read about the bee and what the expectations are. I will be posting FAQs throughout the month and should be ready to start sign-ups in November.

Unknown said...

It's a beautiful quilt. Great Colors! Thanks for the reminder that you do not always need a complicated quilting design. And lovely pictures.

Gretta Hewson
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