Modern quilting, with its bold new contemporary style marked
by graphic designs made from bright fabrics, is attracting young and old, new
and experienced quilters.
While there is no set definition of "modern quilting," Alissa Haight Carlton (a
quilt designer on the forefront of this trend), has written that modern quilt
design shares traits with the quilts of Gee's Bend, Alabama, and many classic
Amish quilts: graphic, high-impact (yet simple) quilt designs featuring bold
color choices, irregular and improvised piecing rather than strict adherence to
traditional quilt patterns.
|Modern quilting designs by Elizabeth Hartman. Details of the Crazy Nine-Patch Lattice quilt (top) and the New Wave quilt design (above).
In an article for Stitch magazine, reprinted in the 2012 issue of Modern
Patchwork magazine, Alissa writes that modern quilt designs "might also add generous amounts
of negative space around focus blocks, using white or a light neutral fabric to
create bright, open space, and refreshing visual impact."
Contemporary fabric choices are also hallmarks of modern quilting, especially
those created by a new wave of textile designers, such as Heather Ross, Anna
Maria Horner, Denyse Schmidt, Amy Butler, and Heather Bailey.
Having said all that, it's important to remember that each modern quilter
brings her or his own creativity and style to their quilting designs.
Elizabeth Hartman is a high-profile quilter who explores modern quilting design
and technique on her blog, ohfransson.com.
In her article in Modern Patchwork, Alissa asked Elizabeth about her evolution
as a quilter.
|Modern quilt designer Elizabeth Hartman.
Q. How long have you been quilting and how did you start?
Elizabeth: I've been quilting since the late 1990s; quilting
appealed to me because it involved both making useful objects and sewing lots
of color and pattern together.
Q. What makes you a modern quilter?
Elizabeth: This is such a hard question, because the answer can be as simple as
"because I do contemporary work" and as complicated as an esoteric discussion of
modernity as a movement and/or the impossibility of defining the nature of creative
work as it's happening. I would say that I'm a modern quilter because, while I appreciate
the rich heritage of quiltmaking, I don't quilt as a way of connecting with
that heritage. I quilt because it's my preferred form of creative expression
Q. How did you decide to start a blog?
Elizabeth: Between 1999 and 2009, I worked in a corporate office. In my downtime,
I read crafting blogs, and I must admit that I envied all those sewers who seemed
to be doing so many fun and creative things. I knew that I didn't have the background
to just go out and get a job in a creative field, but I figured I could start a
blog for fun, so I did.
Q. What do you love most about modern quilting?
Elizabeth: I think most self-defined modern quilters are more interested in creating
work that is about what they want to do now, in their own time and place.
If modern quilting and patchwork grab your interest, you can find out more about the modern quilt design movement plus get 37 contemporary projects and patterns by downloading Modern Patchwork now.
P.S. What about you? What do you want to do now in quilt design? Tell me about it in the space below.