Modern Quilting Transition

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by , 03-25-2013 at 07:20 AM (2564 Views)
I joined a local Modern Quilt Guild a few months back. I had dropped out of my traditional local guild a few years ago because I lost interest in the traditional ways of making quilts and frankly all of the politics associated with being a very active member of a guild for a long time. I really did not miss the duties associated with the old guild. I just wanted to get together with people that I share an interest with and have some fun and inspire one another. The Modern Quilt Guild of Northern NJ fits that need perfectly. Once a month meetings at a nice shop in Montclair, and there you have it.
After joining the guild, I decided that I needed to better understand what a Modern Quilt is all about. I purchased some books on Modern Quilting and have been reading them and enjoying looking at the quilts and projects shown in those pages. I am still a hard copy book reader (maybe not so modern) and I think its because I enjoy the feel of paper in my hands and the look of the diagrams and pictures on the pages. I also believe my lack of interest in e-books, stems from the fact that I spent most of my work day on the computer. This is not something I want to do when I get home! Regardless, I read most of the books within a week of receiving them and decided I would set out to make a series of 'modern' quilts based on what I have learned.
I also went to my favorite pattern website to look and see what type of modern pantograph quilting patterns I could find to purchase. I spent a good 30-40 minutes browsing their offerings and selected 10 new patterns to add to my quilting pattern library. I ordered them and they arrived yesterday. I was thrilled to see they came so quickly and was pleased with the selection when I opened the box. Being a long arm quilter, I felt it was time to update my inventory of patterns to support my quest to create some modern style quilts.
I also learned that modern quilts make use of the negative spaces in the overall quilt design. This aspect got me very excited because the negative spaces are perfect for me to showcase my exquisite quilting skills that typically are not used in more traditional quilts. Negative space allows me to truly create and develop my quilting style using custom stitching. Those solid sections of fabric that support the framework of the quilt design become a canvas for the quilter to upload with her own fantasies. I do have alot of solid fabrics which I have collected over the years, but not loads of it in my stash. I saw awhile back, these Jelly Rolls of solid whites, greys, creams and blacks and didn't understand why anyone would want to buy a whole set of those pre-cut strips in solid fabrics of the same hue and value. Now, I GET IT! Those are used to create the negative spaces in the piecing designs of a modern quilt and DING! the light bulb came on over my head.
One additional point I read in many of these new modern quilting books is that alot of modern quilts do not have borders on them. The designs run right to the edge of the quilt and even in many cases, off the end of the quilt, creating movement. I've always been a big borders and sashings gal. To make quilts without borders, well I am going to have to do this and see how I like it. I have made a few quilts over the years that had minimal or partial borders. Those were done to satisfy my asymmetrical personality. Now that I am not longer boxed in by traditional borders, I happily begin my quest to complete a series of modern quilts and will post some pictures soon once I have made a few of them for you to enjoy.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Here is a photo of the first modern quilt I created this past weekend.
I really enjoyed quilting the heck out of it. Very theraputic! And I also enjoyed the improvisational piecing techniques used to construct it. I even finished the edges with the newly discovered flange binding!
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  1. Quiltergrl's Avatar
    This is a really nice quilt. I love green. And the quilting is exceptional! Thanks for sharing.
  2. NJQuilter55's Avatar
    Thank you!

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