Can you believe that the Modern Quilt Guild is marking the 7th anniversary of this show? It is an amazing accomplishment.
When I contemplate the differences between that first QuiltCon in 2013 and the current year’s show, the contrasts are clear. Current class offerings include techniques from exploring long arm machine quilting to mastering exquisite hand embroidery. The show floor is larger, and the aisles are packed with quilt enthusiasts of every age and walk of life, all excited to see cutting-edge modern quilts. The list of lectures is fascinating; I want to hear them all. QuiltCon 2020 is a fantastic show that represents a broad audience and reflects what is exciting and fresh in the modern quilt genre.
One thing that has evolved over the years is the depth and breadth of artistic exploration – sometimes outside of the quilting genre – experienced by many MQG members. This is a natural progression in the art world: as an artist matures, they push their art by trying something entirely new. Sometimes the exploration is a result of necessity (like Matisse’s paper cut-outs) or maybe just for the love of discovery. No matter the reason, the resulting artwork is fresh because of the catalyst provided by the experience.
We’ve included lots of that creative exploration in this issue of QuiltCon Magazine. Don’t miss the guided improv technique by Heidi Parkes that explores creating a quilt using the concept of “Instruction Art”. Heidi looked to several artists (including Sol LeWitt) as guides for this concept, and the resulting quilts are unique and personal. Similarly, Laura Hatrich went back to art school and took a sculpture class for inspiration. Not only did she learn about three-dimensional art, she also exposed the other students to modern quilting and involved them in an interactive exercise (also inspired by Instruction Art) that created her quilt, “Intro to Sculpture.”
Trends over the past years have changed, too. Minimalism and strong straight quilting lines still abound, but color and texture are making the design element more prominent and visible. Check out Catherine Redford’s High-Def quilting article for inspiration, then look for examples on the show floor. You’ll see the difference thread weight and color can make.
Pushing limits, exploring options, and trying new (or time-tested) techniques are all ways to expand your abilities and get better at what you do. Modern quilters have opted, time and again, to do just that. I can’t wait to see where this exploration leads!
Vivika Hansen DeNegre
Along with features about the MQG community, a tour of the Juried Quilt Exhibit, and interviews with the judges, check out these additional articles:
Intro to Sculpture: How Quilting Skills Helped Me Survive Art School
Laura Hartrich, Member of the Chicago MQG, recounts how the experience of her first college art class, Intro to Sculpture was important in building her confidence as an artist. Her takeaway? “Embrace creative discomfort. If you can push through, growth is on the other side.”
Song Quilts: A Celebration of Stitch and Song
Learn about Eliza Hardy Jones’ journey to invent a visual notation method that transposes the rhythm of songs into shape, and pitch into color. She used her creative method in making a series of quilts that visually represent the voices and stories of her subjects. It is a fascinating read.
Catherine Redford, Individual MQG Member shares her method of creating memorable quilts through using highly visible quilting techniques. What is High-Def Quilting? The kind of stitching that is highly visible and adds a textural component to a quilt top.
In this issue of QuiltCon magazine, there are 10 unique quilt patterns from our contributors.
Order your copy of QuiltCon Magazine 2020 today for innovative modern quilting inspiration! LINK TO ISSUE IN STORE