Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Intro: Quilting Modern Quilts Blog Series

I'm SO excited to share a series of 6 quilts with you over the next few months! I'll be telling one quilt story every 2-4 weeks in order to reveal the bulk of work I completed in secret for over a year. But first, a little more background (in addition to this post - thank you for all of your kind words of support! I have responded to everyone I can locate an email for).

So - quilting modern quilts. Just like eating Reese's, there's no "wrong" way to do it; I don't pretend to be the definitive guide in any way. But it's a topic that fascinates me. A lot of modern quilting takes on a graphic nature, like straight lines (looooots of those, including matchstick quilting), boxes, waves, and echoing. I love movement and adding to the design I pieced, so I try my best to highlight the most important part of the design in some way. Adding that last layer of design can be so much more than utilitarian, if you want it to be!

Whenever I give my "Modern Quilting: What's All the Hubbub?" lecture, I always emphasize that there really isn't one definition to the modern quilting movement. I think it's important to be open to new ideas, as what is considered a modern quilt has changed already and will continue to change. For example, there used to be an emphasis on functional modern quilts but there also seems to be a more "modern art" focus lately, for those that are just meant for a wall or decoration (I'm looking especially at quilts hung at QuiltCon). There's a lot more that could be said here, but this is just an example for now. :)

Anyway, to me, these quilts are graphic and generally minimalist (*gasp* - I am SO NOT a minimalist!). In fact, they're probably some of my most "modern" quilts ever. They are simple in design, made especially to showcase the actual quilting. Because quilting can and does often make the quilt. When I go to QuiltCon (or any quilt show, really), what I most love to ogle is the actual quilting! You (or your longarmer) really have the power to take your original design to the next level.

As described in my recent post, I'm no longer writing a quilt book. Most of the book quilt ideas were taken from several pages from my quilt design notebook (I prefer graph paper and colored pencils over the computer). So, some of these designs have actually been in my head for well over 5 years! In this blog series, I'll be delving into the background behind each one (as much as I can remember). It was like a dream come true to block aside time to make these quilts!

While preparing to make the quilts, I already had most of the color schemes in mind. The designs all seemed to scream, "make me with bold, solid fabrics!!", so I reached out to a bunch of companies (some I had previous relationships with, some not) to see if they'd be willing to provide fabric and materials in exchange for public thanks and advertising. Every single one said yes, and I'm pleased to also provide a bit more about each company's solid fabrics (and thread and batting) as I tell the quilt stories. All of these thoughts will be my honest opinions (spoiler alert: all of the solids were AMAZING to work with. Every. single. one.).

Originally, the book was going to include patterns for these quilts, and the bulk of the book would focus on ideas for quilting them. Once I was considering self-publication, I did away with patterns completely and added more quilting content/inspiration/motifs to the outline of the book. I've been advised before that quilt books sell because of patterns, but I'm sure there are also a lot of people, like me, who hardly ever use patterns and just want the instruction/motifs/inspiration/etc. Since I'm no longer writing, it doesn't matter, but I will continue to impart some of the knowledge in my remaining workshops and lectures this year as it pertains.

Next week, I'll post the first quilt (and giveaway!). After that, the schedule will vary throughout the summer. I hope these quilts will inspire you to think outside the box when it comes to your own modern quilts!

This blog series is sponsored by the following companies. Thank you!






  1. You are so right that the definition of "modern" does seem to shift around a bit, but it is also a pretty broad umbrella and I have definitely seen trends at every QuiltCon. There was the year of gray and yellow, the year of the rainbow, and each set of judges seems to have a slightly different preference on quilting style (longarm versus domestic, precision versus hand of the maker). I definitely agree that the emphasis on functional seems to not be as prominent and I am definitely enjoying the blend into modern art. Anyway, complete tangent aside, it is so awesome that all the companies you contacted said yes and I love hearing about good solids so I can't wait to read more and see more quilty goodness.

  2. I LOVE that you are talking about the actual quilting process! Thanks for putting this out there ... I look forward to your future posts.

  3. I am in, you are a story teller. Your words and your quilts are a journey. Thank-you for sharing and allowing me the gift of a delightful sojourn

  4. Looking forward to following these posts along. I am getting more interested in the actual quilting side of things lately so will be fun to get some inspiration!

  5. Nothing worse than finishing a top and not knowing how to proceed with the quilting. Quilt as desired is not much help!! I troll pinterest and other sites looking for quilting designs to try and look forward to your coming articles.

  6. I am very interested in this topic! I also am not a minimalist, and really have to stretch myself to keep 3/4 of my ideas out of the quilt. I love free-motion quilting, because it allows me to explore what's in my head, but it obviously is not your typical straight-line, matchstick quilting. Gah! What's a girl to do?? Also, my condolences for having your book deal taken away. I would have snapped that baby up in a minute. I look forward to what you have in store in the future!

  7. Love your quilting...you give me great ideas... Thanks


Let's start a conversation! I love comments and I'd be happy to reply to all who have an email address accessible. Thanks for commenting!


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