Three Articles About Museum Movers & Shakers
MFA Boston with my Aunt & Uncle

An Introduction to Modern Quilting

For the past six months I've been obsessed with Modern Quilting.  I joined the Modern Quilt Guild.  I started following a whole bunch of Modern Quilters online (I'm sharing a list with links below).  I took a Modern Quilt class.  I'm very interested in everything Modern Quilt.

In case you don't know what a Modern Quilt is (and because I don't think I'm the person to define it), I'll share the "official" definition from the Modern Quilt Guild's website:

"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.

Modern quilting has existed in many forms for much of the 20th century. It wasn't until the 2000's that quilts with a modern aesthetic began to appear in greater numbers and quilters began to describe themselves as modern.

A defining event occurred in 1998 when Martha Stewart Living featured Denyse Schmidt, calling her quilts a “chic, modernist aesthetic." For many quilters in the early days of the movement, this was a key inspirational moment.

The growth of the movement was facilitated by four factors: the cultural shift of quality design being recognized by the general public, affordable digital cameras, the changing fabric industry and the rise of social media.

In 2002, the Quilts of Gee’s Bend exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the publication of Yoshiko Jinzenji’s book Quilt Artistry, further provided inspiration to a small but devoted group of modernist minded quilters.

Two influential books were published in 2005, Denyse Schmidt Quilts and the Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. The first online quilt alongs were established on blogs around these two books and awareness continued to increase in the online world.

The Flickr group Fresh Modern Quilts, established in 2008, provided the first online centralized social media venue for quilters in the movement. With that flickr group and many active blogs, the online world of modern quilting took off like wildfire.

In 2009, Alissa Haight Carlton and Latifah Saafir founded the Modern Quilt Guild giving the online community a chance to form in person connections with other modern quilters.

The Modern Quilt Guild’s role in this amazing and evolving movement is thrilling and we can’t wait to see what comes next!"

You can read a blog post that argues with that definition HERE, a great visual explanation of Modern Quilting HERE, some folks who aren't fans of Modern Quilting HERE and HERE.

Some of the Modern Quilters I follow on instagram:

Jen Fox Studios:

from the Balzer Designs Blog: An Introduction to Modern Quilting

Katie Larson:

from the Balzer Designs Blog: An Introduction to Modern Quilting

quiltkween:

from the Balzer Designs Blog: An Introduction to Modern Quilting

builtaquilt -- this is a curated feed, so the work isn't necessarily the owner's. 

from the Balzer Designs Blog: An Introduction to Modern Quilting

The quilt above is by 3rdstoryworkshop.

bryanhousequilts:

Bryanhousequilts

Make Modern Magazine -- this is a curated feed for Make Modern Magazine, so a wide variety of people are represented.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: An Introduction to Modern Quilting

The photo above is from meghanrbuchanan.

Heather Black:

from the Balzer Designs Blog: An Introduction to Modern Quilting

The Modern Quilt Guild -- again, a curated feed by the national guild.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: An Introduction to Modern Quilting

The quilt above is by valbetweenquilts.

As a side note, I did see the Gee's Bend Quilts exhibit when it was at the MFA Boston in 2005.  It's one of the things that spurred me into creating quilts -- which I made many of for several years after that. 

I can't quite remember how I was re-introduced to Modern Quilting, but I know that it has been on the top of my "to do" list for the last several months.  Hopefully, I'll be able to start -- and finish -- a Modern Quilt soon.  Honestly, I think the thing that's stopping me is the quilting.  I loathe the idea of quilting a bed sized quilt on my home machine.  Having done it before, it's a nightmare.  I give so much credit to ladies who do it all the time.  I dream of a long arm machine.  Perhaps the solution is to make something small so that I can get it done?

Are you a Modern Quilter?  Share a link to your blog/instagram/etc. in the comments section!

Thanks for stopping by!

Comments