Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Modern Quilts

Warm Light  (37" x 53")

This early quilt of mine is going to Quilt Con which is the Modern Quilt I'm not sure where or when!!  It's a display that SAQA organized.    But I'm very pleased to have a quilt being shown there because I'm very attracted to Modern quilts - well the best of them, that is!!  Like any other "style" of quilting, there's good , very good, okay, ho hum and downright poor!!!

I think the Modern Quilt movement is very encouraging...the work is often very refreshing and reminds me of the blankets, and similar strong fiber works, that we see from Peru..made hundreds of years ago.  There's an elegant simplicity to them, an economy of style that really celebrates fibre.    I am so glad that the movement was started!  Now my quilt actually predates that movement by some time....but it languished unshown for many years in my "library"....which is art books and quilts!  And it's a room with a view too!  Now what more could you want?

However, one thing is happening in the modern quilt world that isn't so good.   And that is that lots of "easy" "modern" quilt patterns are being published....the quilting companies are commercializing things yet again.....I remember one time I was teaching at a place where there were other teachers...and, at lunch, I asked a student in another class about her class: "how is it going?"...and she said fine, she liked the teacher...but she had had to buy a whole lot of extra equipment to make the particular patterns and it  was all getting a bit tedious and expensive.

That's sad!  I see all quilting, but especially a new young type of quilting, as a way to help people realise their own creativity...while it's often good to start with a simple pattern to get your feet wet... after that you really don't need to be printing out complex templates - or worse yet buying expensive ones - when you could be designing your own quilts and using your brains to work out how to put them together!

so....I thought...well I want to write a class that addresses that!
The class is aimed at anyone who is interesting in modern quilting...what is it? how is it defined?  how can I learn to make one?
AND, most importantly, how can I learn to design my own modern quilt? 

 Well... do check out my covers all those starts this Friday...but doesn't matter if you're a bit late starting....
it's at the Academy of Quilting - online of course...very convenient!   
It's called Mod Meets Improv....because not only does it cover modern quilting and its design, but also it introduces you to Improv methods - no templates!! Freedom!
Happy to answer any questions about it....(email link on side bar)....and would love to have your comments:  do you like Modern Quilts?  What do you think about the movement?
What d'you feel about commercial patterns being pushed so hard?

as ever, if you have been - thanks for reading!!!  Elizabeth




Melanie McNeil said...

I agree wholeheartedly, that it's too bad so many are dependent on patterns rather than on designing their own works. That applies to both modern and traditional quilters, and also to those who subscribe to step-by-step instructions to make "art" quilts. (Is it art if it is equivalent to paint-by-number?)

All my writing and teaching is intended to get people to realize their own creativity. I don't want them to make MY quilt. I want them to make their own. That's one very important reason I don't write patterns.

On the other hand, for some, there is great joy in MAKING, if not in CREATING. And if making is a joyful process for them, if they create quilts with love and give them with love, and if the quilts are received and used with love, it is okay with me.

Good luck with your class. I wish you and your students well.

abelian said...

It's not so much the commercial patterns, as the quilts made from a single line of fabric, that bother me. The quilt magazines used to have interesting patterns made from a variety of fabric. Nowadays, rather than paying designers to write patterns, they seem to get a set of instructions prepared by a fabric company, using that company's over-coordinated line of fabric.

Elizabeth Barton said...

since I dye my own fabric, I hadn't realized that about quilts from one line of fabric, Abelian - how very bland they must be. Everything lowered to the Lowest common driving across America and every single town has the exact same s(t)ores and fast food dens.

Thank you Melanie! It's a joy as a teacher to show those who think they can't create - that they actually of the many gifts the students give us when they realise all that is possible.

Ellen Lindner said...

One thing I really like about the Modern Quilt movement is that it has attracted a lot of younger quiltmakers. We need that!

Helen Howes said...

Interested in this, but the class says "to be announced" for the start - can you define, please?

Elizabeth Barton said...

Hi Helen...the class started just two days's fine to start upto a week late! so
just write the DEan..
if its not obvious how to sign up...I think she probably means that the next time it runs is "to be announced"...but I'm not sure!!
Love to have you in class, if you can make it....Elizabeth

Helen Howes said...

Well, I signed up, but need to say that 1/4 inch is not 1 cm..
Will play with the ideas tomorrow

Elizabeth Barton said...

you're right 1/4" is 0.635 cm....
I just thought it would be easier to measure one cm than 0.635 .....
I usually round numbers to something that will make it easier - unless there is a very key reason not to do so....
it's complicated in my dye classes because US measurement are different from UK ones which are different from EU ones!!
it would be good if we were all on the same system, wouldn't it?!!
actually I think in science, technology and engineering we have been metric everywhere for quite a while...I have no idea why the US has resisted the metric system! Makes no sense to me...
what seam allowance do you usually measure in England? do you measure 0.625 cm??