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Thread: What is "Modern" Quilting? - need help with a definition!

  1. #1
    Senior Member doowopddbop's Avatar
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    What is "Modern" Quilting? - need help with a definition!

    I am on the committee for a quilt show next year, and we have added a new Modern Quilting category to the competition. Now for the hard part: coming up with a description/definition for quilt entry in the show that doesn't cross over into the other categories. What makes a quilt "modern"? Here are some initial thoughts:
    * A twist on tradition
    * Use of negative space
    * Liberated piecing, design and layout
    * Minimalism
    * Geometric designs
    * Solids a common element

    See what I mean? These items could refer to any number of traditional quilts too. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I would eliminate your first 2 items. Perhaps add embellishments i.e. crystals. I think the quilters would know what modern (art quilts) quilts are.

  3. #3
    Power Poster
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    From what I have seen of modern quilts, they are not block based?

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Definitions are important!
    Good for you for realizing that and wanting to get clarity before calling for entries.

    I get frustrated as often the definitions are not clear ... and interesting enough, what it might mean at one Fair/Show may be different at another ... and different again to the Judges!

    I've seen classes mention "traditional" ... and it leaves me wondering, so if I use a traditional pattern, yet use Kaffe Fassett fabric, is it included? Or what about a OBW? ... certainly not an oldy goldy, yet the piecing technique is certainly all about historical quilting! And so on ....

    Then yesterday, I called about a class I'm thinking of entering and wanted clarification. No real answer came forth ... and it was ended with, why don't you go ahead and enter? after all you have nothing to lose! Well, um ... I do like to know I am in the "right" class and do not want to be disqualified!!!



    What about seeking your guild membership's input? At a meeting, pass out a questionnaire and have them write down their definitions and ideas. To encourage participation, offer a lucky draw of those who submit info ... though give them a separate ballot, so that they can remain anonymous with the feedback, should they choose. Then later on, sit down with a cuppa (or six!) and try to figure out the puzzle! Perhaps the class will not be called "modern" quilting ... but something else?


    I don't have your answer ... though some other things that might "fit"

    * inclusion of alternative fabrics and materials
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snipforfun View Post
    I would eliminate your first 2 items. Perhaps add embellishments i.e. crystals. I think the quilters would know what modern (art quilts) quilts are.
    Re my post above ... all too often, everyone who "knows" has a difference idea as to what this might mean!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. #6
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Take a look at themodernquiltguild.com. Here is their definition of modern quilts:

    Modern quilting, like all art, changes, grows and adapts from quilter to quilter as they find their own voice. Modern quilts reflect each quilter’s personality and personal style, and as the movement has grown, a modern quilt aesthetic, a set of principles that define and guide the movement, is beginning to emerge.

    Modern quilts and quilters:

    Make primarily functional rather than decorative quilts
    Use asymmetry in quilt design
    Rely less on repetition and on the interaction of quilt block motifs
    Contain reinterpreted traditional blocks
    Embrace simplicity and minimalism
    Utilize alternative block structures or lack of visible block structure
    Incorporate increased use of negative space
    Are inspired by modern art and architecture
    Frequently use improvisational piecing
    Contain bold colors, on trend color combinations and graphic prints
    Often use gray and white as neutrals
    Reflect an increased use of solid fabrics
    Focus on finishing quilts on home sewing machines
    Modern quilting has its roots in rebellion, in our desire to do something different, but simultaneously its feet are firmly planted in the field of tradition. Modern quilting is our response to what has come before. We are quilters first, modern quilters second. There are however, characteristics that set modern quilters apart from our traditional and art quilting friends.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Go to the modern quilt guild web site and you will have a wealth of information. This is from their web site :
    Modern quilts and quilters:

    Make primarily functional rather than decorative quilts
    Use asymmetry in quilt design
    Rely less on repetition and on the interaction of quilt block motifs
    Contain reinterpreted traditional blocks
    Embrace simplicity and minimalism
    Utilize alternative block structures or lack of visible block structure
    Incorporate increased use of negative space
    Are inspired by modern art and architecture
    Frequently use improvisational piecing
    Contain bold colors, on trend color combinations and graphic prints
    Often use gray and white as neutrals
    Reflect an increased use of solid fabrics
    Focus on finishing quilts on home sewing machines

    I hope this helps. For more info visit www.themodernquiltquild.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Sorry, it seems that I posted the same comment as a quilter before me. Funny!

  9. #9
    Senior Member doowopddbop's Avatar
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    See? I knew this was the place to come for answers!

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Instead of "Modern Quilting" ... what about tagging it as

    "Not My Grandmother's Quilt"

    .....then explain that this is for quilts that just don't follow Granny's "rules" or style! etc.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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