Friday, May 11, 2012

What is Modern Quilting?

This is something I've thought a lot about lately.  Ever since I started my longarm business, I've notice that we as quilters, label types quilting.  I do it....especially at quilt shows.  I'll go through each quilt and label the quilting.  Some of my labels are "that's different" or "that's traditional" or "that's simple" or "that's modern" or "that's unique" or "that's interesting".  

When I'm asked by someone to quilt for them.  They will tell me what kind of quilter they are or are not.  It's assumed if you do traditional quilting on a quilt you do "Feathers".  Correct?  It's assumed if you do Modern quilting on a quilt you do ______ what?  That's the big question.  I've had modern quilters tell they Definitely do not want flowers or feathers for the quilting because they are a modern quilter.  Which I get so confused about, because so many "Modern Quilters" use fabric for their piecing that have flowers and feathers on it.  But then again I can see where they are coming from.  

I'm also a bit confused because some of your "well known" professional modern quilters out there in the modern quilting community, quilt feathers on some of their "customers modern quilts".  

I think for me what defines "Modern Quilting" is quilting that is new, unique, fresh, different, out of the ordinary....and even if it is a feather, it can be a different feather, which I think can be made to look modern.

 I guess I've just struggled with this for a while now and think it's interesting how we as quilters label the piecing and the quilting part of a quilt.  Like I said before, I do it!  

And when it comes to so many of my customer quilts that are mostly traditional, I know I can quilt a feather on their quilt and they will be tickled with joy and will get the look they want for their quilt!  But when it come to my own quilts, I like to challenge myself to think out of the do something different and unique and keep things new and if I mess up....with an idea I want to try, well it's better to mess up on my quilt than someone Else's!

These are a few quilts I found today to be inspirational to me.

1. 5, 2. Elements #23, 3. Mini quilt 18" sq, 4. Wonky Cross Pillow - with pebble quilting, 5. IMG_4434, 6. Quilts on Basting's ~ Liberty Circles Quilt

I really wanted to quilt my Urban Nine Patch Solids quilt I finished last week, this week.  Unfortunately it will have to wait a little while longer, until I can get somewhat caught up with the longarm business.

I'm excited to share with you how I want to quilt this up though!  I want to challenge myself to think outside of the box and quilt each Urban Nine Patch Block differently.  I really struggled with this decision because I like my quilting to coincide with my tops and so everything feels very uniform when I'm done.  But I've decided to have fun with this and hopefully I can quilt up some different and fresh ideas and give a little inspiration to those of you that still need to finish their Urban Nine Patch Quilts. 

 Their have been some pretty amazing ones quilted up all ready and you can go here to check them out. 

Yes, the QAL is over...but that doesn't mean you can't share your progress with us all on the Flikr Group.  I've still got 3 to quilt up and can't wait to see some of yours done up.  I want to do a linky party in a couple of months, so to give everyone plenty of time to finish up their tops!

 I may always be confused about this "what is modern quilting" and really shouldn't think about so much and maybe we all have our own definition of what it is.  So....that being said I'm off to quilt some traditional feathers on a customer quilt!



Karin said...

I am hoping to get back to my urban 9-patch end of next week. I'll finish it before summer I swear! :)

Judi said...

I always wonder if I am quilting modern - I like to think I mix the two, traditional and modern. I like things to be uniform and even - so that random part of the modern world is not for me. Anyway - what the heck are you doing posting? Shouldn't you be quilting? Wait - what am I doing on here reading your post? :-)

Good luck with those 4 hours - I have some making up to do today!

Nicky said...

Have just been categorising quilting this minute and you are so right! I love the modern feathers and the traditional ones - just wish I was up to doing any of them!

Kathy said...

I look at Modern Quilting as a term used to get new/young quilter to try the art form. By making the pattern simple and the quilting designs ones that beginners can master quickly it will encourage the new quilters to keep quilting and learn new technique that might have scared them before. It's a good thing!
I also see it defined by the fabric choices as well...the bold large print bright colored say Modern to me.
I hope that someone that considers themselves a Modern quilter will not just confine themselves to that label and will start to also consider other quilting styles as they go through their quilting journey. I am not a fan of labels and consider myself just a quilter that loves to try all techniques. It is all about learning new styles and discovering new methods that can sometimes make an old style new again.

It's all about the journey.

Modern Quilting to me ic just a new way to say new quilter or can also define a style of fabrics that a quilter like to use...I really don't see it as a quilting style. It is wonderful to see so many young people embracing quilting no matter what you call it.

Mama Pea said...

this is an interesting post, because in my art quilt group meeting the other night, someone asked the question what was modern quilting? I do think it's hard to define, but I do think feathers can be very modern. :-) I just love your quilt and can't wait to see it quilted. I hope mine turns out half as good!

Dina said...

I've been thinking about this very thing, off and on, as I get my start in quilt making. I really enjoy the "modern" quilts I see, but then I also like many of the traditional quilts as well. When it comes to choosing fabrics, especially, I often question whether it would qualify as "modern." That's when I have to smile and think - I may not know art, but I know what I like!

Nicole said...

What is modern quilting? That is a good question. I know modern quilting when I see it, although it's hard to pin point what exactly it is. I think the fact that it defies an easy definition shows that it is many things and can be different things to different people. One thing I enjoy about modern quilting is the freedom to try new things without feeling like I have to stick to the "rules" of traditional quilting.
BTW, love your nine-patch! Can't wait to see how you quilt each block.

Ethne said...

I love personal challenges in design and piecing likewise with my exploration and exploits in quilting
Whilst I love some feathers I've only tried to quilt a few, in a free form way, and been pleased with the results
Generally though when I start to quilt, even if I've planned what I intend to do sometimes my gut and hand take me on another journey when I sit down at the machine. So I say trust your gut and go with what 'feels' right, it can be a liberating journey.

Auntie Pami said...

I'm with Judi. Mix traditional with a twist. Feathers can go anywhere, have you seen Angela's latest quilt for Tula Pink? Modern is the newest genre. Remember, Dear Jane, Civil War, EPP, Gee's Bend? I am excited about Modern quilting. I am truly enjoying the bright vivid colors, the use of geometrics, the large blocks, curves and squares. Just as art has evolved, so has quilting. (I started a long, long time ago when calico was all there was.)