Let me remind you of the Around the World Blog Hop. Today, September 29, is Tam’s day; go check her blog out at Quiltcharette. Besides checking on her Around the World post, browse around. You will see some modern quilts.
Then come back to see my block for the Classic Meets Modern BOM. Not my most successful “modernization.” Oversized, yes. It is 25 x 25. Second idea was to embed two smaller. The middle-sized one barely shows up if you strain your eyes.
It is another example of fabric values looking more different before cut and sewn. I’ll either have to redo the center–luckily I have enough of the orange of the large leaf–or add more small ones. Time will tell.
Every time I do this BOM I rethink features of “modern.” Every time I hear/read a presentation about modern quilting I find a new list of features. And that makes sense because modern quilting is not static. In fact Heather Grant’s list in the MQG webinar of several months ago omitted a couple features that were listed prior to the first Quiltcon exhibit in 2013. Gone was the use of white or gray backgrounds, gone was one person does the whole process from start to finish, and modified was that the quilts were functional. In the recent listing, quilts could be used as wall hangings, but one needs to be able to throw them in the washer and dryer. She is still making the three prong distinction among traditional, art, and modern quilting.
Here are the common elements of modern that she discussed:
Creative use of negative space
No borders (When a border matched the backgound, she considered it no border.)
Minimalism, seeking the most basic form
A bright and graphic palette (though “low volume” quilts can also exhibit modern design)
Grid work (grids may be alternative, but are present)
Quilted textures more line and stippling than feathers.
Of course no modern quilt need exhibit all the elements listed, maybe 1-4.
Heather also talked about modern traditionalism, applying modern elements to traditional blocks in a restrained, impactful way. Thus, the Classic Meets Modern Block of the Month fits right in.
An important point came out in the Q & A when Heather was asked to name current modern quilters. She answered that quilts can be modern, but quilters can move back and forth between traditional and modern. So, just as the category “Modern” is not static, neither need we plant ourselves into one or the other. That’s good because I’ve been considering myself bilingual. Reinforcing flexibility is a statement from Caitlin Tomkins’ article in the NW quilting Expo program: “[T]h modern and traditional quilt worlds seem to be colliding in Portland, creating a community of ‘contemporary quilters’ whose works incorporate aspects of both styles.” I wonder if that use of “contemporary” will spread and stick.
Many of the elements Heather listed are those I’ve listed in previous months. New are grids and pixilation. I suppose the logical thing for me to do soon would be to try one of the new elements in my next block modification. Maybe next month.
When does it become important to know if a quilt is modern? When considering entering it in Quiltcon or another show devoted to modern quilts. Otherwise all that matters is that it gives you pleasure to make and that the receiver likes it too.