Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Modern Quilting

In early June the Modern Quilt Guild asked for submissions for their Quiltcon challenge.  After a little thought, a lot of shopping and some procrastination I finally finished my first entry.  I settled on a modern take of the traditional Snail's Trail block.

Quiltcon Challenge

To me this juxtaposition of modern and traditional is the very definition of modern quilting.  Modern quilting isn't about creating a whole new craft out of thin air.  It's about taking traditional methods and bringing them into the 21st century.  It's about building on the techniques and patterns established by creative women {and men} who came before us.  And throwing a few new things in there too.

Sometimes I feel like modern quiltists are dismissing traditional quilting as "old-fashioned" or "out of date" or just not relevant.  I think that's missing the whole point.  When I quilt or sew, I feel a kinship with the women around me who are also busy designing and stitching away.  I'm not just inspired by the popular bloggers around today, the most recognizable up and coming fabric designers or even my wonderful crafty friends.  Although these women are terrific sources of daily inspiration and encouragement, I'm also inspired by the woman who hand stitched the quilting on my red and white, Civil War era floral quilt.  The stitches are tiny!  The quilting is done in a 1/2" grid pattern over the entire quilt.  BY HAND!!  It's amazing.  The thought that it was probably done by candlelight after all 18 children were in bed makes it even more amazing. 


So, what I'm saying is that the Modern Quilt movement is magnificent, but we should also remember the legacy of past quilts and quilters.  They are truly a gift and in their time, they were the modern ones.


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