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While watching the video that Angela posted on printing fabric, I was struck by this thought about "modern fabrics". I just finished a pretty quilt that was pieced with modern fabric--all grays, cream, muted celery, a touch of pale turquoise, a black and white print--all in geometric designs, stylized leaves and petals, grids, etc. Not one fabric with more than three color-blocks on the selvedge--most had two. The pattern for the quilt was block-y, had three borders, and while it was pretty, it wasn't gorgeous. Plus the quilting I did on it was acceptable but boring. :( I had no other choice!

So I was thinking if this is the direction that quilts are going? Or is this a trend specific to younger/newer quilters? As such will it pass as new piecers heighten their skills and become interested in more intricate patterns--both in the fabric and for the quilt blocks?

Remember the resurgence of knitting that started about 10 years ago? Every teenager and college girl learned simple knitting and made scarf after scarf using new gorgeous yarns that did the work--instead of intricate stitches. Those who loved it kept at it, bought more pretty yarn, learned to knit socks, hats, and maybe sweaters. They learned cables and bobbles, lace and intarsia.

Maybe this will be the next step for the new quilters--start with the easy stuff and keep going until you hone your skills and enjoy more interesting designs. I hope so.

Just thinking out loud.......

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I think you're right about the new quilters. It seems like everyone wants something finished NOW and the Modern Quilts do fit the bill. They don't require hours of piecing or applique to have a quilt and they fit with a lot of the fabrics being produced now.

I do hope that there are still enough of us traditional quilters left and that this isn't the future.

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When I first saw the new modern quilts, I hated them. The more of them I saw, the more I began to appreciate many of them. The colors are not always muted, and the fabrics are not always geometric. It takes a great deal of artistic talent to design a really stunning modern quilt. You must consider overall balance, not only in the piecing, but in the color placement. Most have large amounts of negative space which requires a lot of thought for the quilting designs. And, lets face it...not everybody wants a flower printed turning twenty draped over their white leather and chrome modern sofa. I don't think it is only young women who are piecing these quilts. Many quilters go through an evolution that ranges from simple squares during the learning process and runs through "extreme" paper piecing like Judy Niemeyer quilts. Once you go through art quilts, modern quilts are another step in the progression away from the traditional half-square-triangle type quilts. I plan to make one myself, just because of all that wonderful negative (quilting) space. I don't think this trend is going to go away any time soon. I have an elderly customer who loves the modern quilts. Its just another direction.

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Guest Linda S

I have to admit that I am a traditional quilter. The modern movement just doesn't do it for me. I think Turning 20 quilts are boring, and I'm not even sure that's considered modern. They get more boring from there!! I've only had two modern quilts to do so far. While I haven't been thrilled with the quilts, the two I've done have been brought to me by young women who are both just getting into quilting, and they were so excited to have finished their first quilt, that it was just sort of contagious and made me feel good. Stars and pinwheels are my favorites in quilts, nicely quilted with traditional motifs or lots of feathers -- I just am more comfortable there.

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I am also a traditional quilter; but occasionally branch out a tiny bit, LOL.... I am not into the modern quilts either, however, I think these quilts have attracted new quilters because of their simplicity and style. I believe most of them are younger quilters but my sister-in law loves them and she is in her 50's like me! I am excited to take Angela Walters class on quilting all that negative space! I love the opportunity for quilting! I would think some of the new quilters would take on more challenging design patterns and I agree with what you all have said. It will be interesting to see............

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I think you are right in many of your thoughts. I wonder how much the modern, geometric style is influenced by the lack of home ec. style classes in the school now. Think of how many quilters are scared to do curved piecing and only want to do straight seams. They aren't aware that the curved piecing is so much like a neckline or sleeve in garment sewing because very few do that now, too.

I too like design piecing more than geo-block patterns.

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Linda I hadn't thought about it in that way and you could be right on. I don't care for most of the modern fabrics or quilt styles. There have been a few that I say wow that is really pretty. I thikn that these quilts will lead to more intricate geometric style quilt designs. It probably is just another phase in the area of decor and eventually like clothing it all comes back with a different twist. I was watching a home renovation show yesterday, both done in modern styles. I was surprised that the first room redo I liked for the most part. It had a lot of traditional touches with just enough edginess to make it modern. The 2nd redo was a living room and I thought yuck! LOL They were redoing the homes to get them to sell quikly. The one house I said yuck to sold in 2 weeks! LOL Obviously somebody loved it. I also noticed that the walls were all neutral and the punches of color were from curtains, throws, pillows and rugs.

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My take on this ... modern quilts ... remember that nothing is static and we are all evolving and so is the quilting world ... and it will be good because quilters as a whole won't put up with a lot of nonsense. If the Modern Quilt movement gets the youngsters quilting, that's a good thing! Those in their 20's and 30's may not be able to buy all that wonderful fabric that we stash away, so they are using what they have. Plus, remember when you were 20ish (go back...waaaay back ...) and all the ideas that were floating around in your head, and you wanted to be "different" from all those OLD people? Come on ... you were there. Well, I think this is just an expression of wanting to be/do something different. And remember when the only fabric out there was calico (I won't even go the feedsack route)? And then came MODERN FABRIC! MODA! Who or what is a MODA? And along with MODA, came that ugly (to me) MAUVE ... I personally didn't like it, but somebody did, because look at all the wonderful quilts we have that are based on MAUVE. And now we have KAFFE FASSETT … first of all, I need help in pronouncing KAFFE … but that fabric is wonderful and wild, and look at the beautiful quilts we are making with that crazy crazy fabric! So I still persist in believing that this is just the way of the world … it will all turn out good. We just need to embrace the creators who are thinking ahead of themselves and then use our God-given talents in quilting these beautiful quilts. You don’t care for the top … then pray that your quilting will somehow enhance it. Step back, sing a song, and do your wonderful creative thing! And by the way, I am soooo envious of the talent out in the quilting world. Truly amazing, from fabric designers to young piecers, to not-so-young piecers, and to wonderful quilters. You are truly blessed! JMHO

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Yep and I remember when pretty much all you could get for quilting cotton was the old calico! The first quilt I made for myself was very Southwestern, in all solid fabrics. My mother hated it! That was over 20 years ago. And now it could pass for a modern quilt! So I guess the old saying "everything old is new again" could apply. I'm just happy to see a new interest in our art.

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I ditto Dancing Bears. As a piecer/quilter/patchwork teacher and as a longarmer (all in one) I meet different kind of quilters here in my town and along my travels. You meet them all, newbies and award winners, one thing is sure, they all love quilting like we all do and are passionate about their art and they express those talents in individual styles.

I even attended some of the MQG meetings for almost a year, to become a member of their guild is not for me, I very much enjoy the variety this world has to offer

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  • Hi Corey! Miss you girl! I agree with all of you. I've quilted a number of modern quilts. Some I love, some were boring. I'm a more tradtional girl as personal tastes go, however, I kinda like it all. Sad to say, because it increases my out of control stash. (Actually, I thought my stash was totally out of control until I saw Corey's. Then I took a sigh of relief :lol: .) The fun thing about modern quilts for me was taking something boring and making it exciting with the quilting. Geo is harder for me because I really have to think about it, where tradtional and even some contemporary just kinda flows out when I grab millie's handles. I kinda like the challenge of the geo and creating a texture with the modern quilts. I like the surprise! Sometimes I laugh when the customer brings her "modern quilt." I can find the same pattern in some century old quilts. It's just on a much larger scale and different colors and fabrics. I like that quilting keeps evolving. Look at all the different types of fabrics and fibers we can have fun with now. And color! It's all just too fun! Don't we have a great hobby and/or job!

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I love the look of modern quilts but personally think there isn't enough of a challenge in making them to make it worth the money spent on the fabric. The more I've been piecing, the more I feel like I want a challenge in order to get my hard-earned dollars stretched pleasure-wise! I hate putting together a quilt in a day when I just paid $11 a yard for fabric or spent over $200 in fabric for one quilt. Having said that, I really love the look of the quilts that Sew Kind of Wonderful makes with her Quick Curve Ruler and have no problem spending money on fabric for those kinds that take a little while to piece.

Another thing I wonder about is those really easy quilt patterns, like the one Linda S. mentioned, Turning Twenty. I have a few customers that use the same easy pattern over and over (not Turning Twenty tho), and while they like those particularly fast, easy patterns, I look at all the money they spent on the high quality fabrics and wonder if they wouldn't have more fun piecing something more spectacular! Though some of the easy patterns do make lovely looking quilts when a panto is applied and my gals do piece a lot of them, so I am not complaining at all because I get to quilt a lot of quilts this way. :P

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I too am a traditional quilter and love the traditional patterns especially hand applique, and love, love, love, feathers....but-as a quilter in business I feel I need to be prepared to quilt these modern quilts that are appearing. Angela Walter's class really helped me to appreciate them as they do really have so much room to show off quilting textures. I am one who thinks the stainless steel modern look that appeals to so many who like the modern quilts is not warm and is not my style, but I think these quilts are a new challenge which I am enjoying learning to quilt. And I do like the idea that we are seeing new quilters as they find that they can actually make a quilt and it is not their "grandmother's" quilt, I think they will eventually appreciate what goes into making a traditional quilt as well. I think it is important that we all find our niche and style...and I know mine!

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I love most of the modern quilts, although some are a bit too minimal for my taste.. every "modern" quilt I see in magazines and books these days though seem to be quilted by Angela Walters, I don't know how she manages to get so much published work - although I do love her style!!! I took her class on craftsy and it was great. I have a couple of modern quilts in line to be quilted, and am looking forward to trying some of Angelas techniques. I have bought quite a few solid fabrics too lately with a veiw to making a few modern quilts for me to practice the quilting techniques in the negative spaces... I just never get the time to quilt my own quilts though... although not complaining as I need the work flowing in....

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Since I like geometrics, I'm not having a problem with the modern style. As a quilter, I find that these quilts often have more open areas for quilting to show. I've been able to use some minimal, but fancy ruler work, like rope or sashiko ruler work where it shows, and then do a simple meander everywhere else since it doesn't show.

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I like quilts. Traditional, modern, some I like, some I don't, it doesn't really matter what category they fall into. I do think with the modern style quilts perhaps some of the appeal to the younger quilters with young families is that they can turn out a quilt fairly quickly not take forever to make one quilt during nap time. The modern movement also seem to be involved in sewing in general which is I think a good thing. My only surviving LQS is modern style and those seem to be the type of fabrics I have bought lately, they don't go with most of my stash though. If I need a fabric to go with something from my older fabrics I have to either buy online and hope that the colours work or wait until I go on a trip. It is always a good excuse to go and check out the quilt stores in the area!

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I consider myself to be a traditional quilter and I've loved amish quilts and solid fabrics from day 1. I love 2 and 3 fabric quilts, they just pop, and I have to say, I love modern quilts. Maybe it has to do with the solid fabrics, I dont know. I quess I dont see anything wrong with simple designs and the play of color much like Amish quilts. I havent had the oportunity to quilt one yet, but I love the way Angela Walters makes them sing.

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I like the variety that modern quilts give. It I'm not mistaken they started appearing after the Gee's Bend quilts were published and shown in so many art museums. A lot of these pattern remind me of those quilts. My daughter and my daughter in law who are in their 20's always seem to prefer them. They don't quilt, but the ones they seem to admire the most are definitely modern. The quilt my daughter asked for as her wedding signature quilt is "Another Block In The Wall" and she picked out modern type fabrics for it. I haven't finished piecing it yet, but it is shaping up to be a very nice quilt. I bought two of the Angela Walters books to get some quilting ideas for it. I like her stuff a lot.

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I am more of a traditional quilter, too, but I also can appreciate the "modern" quilting movement. I took Angela's class, and several of the other modern style classes. I bought half a dozen modern quilting books, as well. I think we will be seeing more and more of these coming along and I want to understand this concept and be prepared.

But, I wonder if the younger quilters will do most of their own quilting on their domestic machines? Will these young mothers have the disposable income to pay a longarmer? Of course, some will, but what about the majority? I quilt for lots of gals on Social Security and they pick from my lowest costing pantos or pattern boards because they are watching every dollar. Lately I've had some cancellations in delivery appointments. They need to wait till their next SS check comes in.

When I look at some of these modern quilt (piecing) designs, I am reminded of the Gees Bend Quilts. Of course, those ladies used whatever fabric they could scrounge up and pieced them together without the patterns and tools we use now. The free form designs remind me so much of the modern quilts - like the youngers have reinvented the wheel. I think we will see modern scrappy quilts soon as these younger gals build a stash and "recycle" what they already have into quilts. This is the "green generation."

I have to laugh as my 35 year old "stay at home Mom" daughter tells me the ways she is saving money. What a new idea! She has 3 young children and knows just about everything. But, when I remind her she has 4 brothers and that means that I was once a stay at home young Mother of 5, she backs down. :). Her ideas are not new ideas, they are just the old ideas with a different spin. Too funny.

So, I guess it is time to get off this tangent and start quilting for the day. Have a great one!

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  • 1 month later...

I don't post often but I really felt like I wanted to chime in here!!

I think it is a matter of taste, not that the quilts go together faster or the quilt is easier to make. Think of art/paintings for our homes - some people pay so much money for simple paintings I guess you would call modern. Some are so simple I think I could even reproduce them and I can't even draw. Some look like paint splattered onto canvas and are in Art Galleries. It is all a matter of what you like.

Sure, a person might spend lots of money on fabric, and get the quilt put together faster then some other quilt patterns, but isn't it better that they spend their time and money on a quilt they will love, rather then spending months making a quilt they will not like?

My preference is not the Modern quilts, although I have seen a few that I thought were really nice.

I do have to say that I am attracted to easy quilts. I like them not because they are fast to make, I just like the simple look.

After seeing the pretty, bright colored "Glacier Star " posted by Linda I want to make one. I don't mind spending all the time needed to make it and know it will be beautiful but am sure it is not going to be a quilt I put on my bed and use often like my other quilts. I think it will be a quilt I stand back and admire. :) (I hope)

Like they say, 'Different Strokes for Different Folks'

Carol S.

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