Monday, October 23, 2017

Marrying modern + traditional quilting

Every single fall, I get the itch to make a bunch of maple leaf blocks. I've turned them into quilts a couple of times. Should I take on (yes) ANOTHER (yes) maple leaf project? (YES!). But I'm not interested in any old maple leaf quilt block - the one that makes my heart beat fastest is the so-called "Modern Maple" which is simply a few half-square triangles and squares. It's simple and beautiful (and Nicole at Modern Handcraft has a great tutorial, plus I used measurements from Sew Lux Fabric for smaller leaves).


It's no secret that modern quilting is popular right now. The magazines and companies say it's a trend, but this kind of quilting is likely here to stay. Art forms evolve constantly, and there's something for all of us to enjoy; no matter what your style, it's still quilting, right?


In my modern quilting lectures, I'm the first to admit that I'm not a minimalist (like, my pile of "minimalist" work is embarrassingly small - it's just not what I enjoy). If the piecing is minimal, I really cherish the process of detailed, often dense, quilting - because that's how I usually see the quilt come alive.


I also revel in the opportunity to twist traditional quilt blocks up. I think think the first time I designed a quilt on my own was Scatter, where I took apart the orange peel block and mixed it up with (what I now call) brick-by-brick improv. It's my favorite class to teach. :D


To me, my latest fall quilt is modern because of the fabrics (deep but bright saturated colors, solids and tone-on-tone fabrics), background movement (fade from light to dark), slightly improvisational setting of the blocks, varying size/scale, and some negative space. All while using a well-known block that likely goes back many, many years. I can't wait to quilt it up! More soon!


How do you merge modern with traditional in your work? Is it the fabric, design, or something else?

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11 comments:

  1. Celebrating the glory of the sugar maples!

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  2. Maple leaf blocks in fun saturated colors is oh so wonderful. Looking forward to seeing what you create.

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  3. 'Love your style as always. I also love traditional and modern both. Thanks for showing us how we can possibly merge the two. I am always thinking of ways, whether through fabrics or design.

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  4. I can't wait to see this one finished. I think I'm in love.

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  5. You had me with the color gradient the the background (was there ever any doubt about that???)!!! I'm excited to see the progress on this one continue!

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  6. The best part about modern quilting is that it's open to a variety of options. It allows for flexibility a bit more.

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  7. Love it... i'm in the same mode with fall colors spinning in my head. I want to make my mom a runner and she loves these colors all year long. She's fairly conservative and not someone who loves modern, but i'm trying to push her a bit. We are also from Canada, so the maple leaf always beacons me. Thank you for the inspiration and perhaps I have a design to begin with now.

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    1. i meant beckon but that's an interesting faux pas!

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  8. I am loving the colors and the gradient in the background.

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  9. Love your colors. Can't wait to see the finish.

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  10. I love your maple block quilts and your Scatter quilt, too!

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