Traditional vs. Modern Quilting

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Roots (roughly twin sized)

Your Parents are Cool

What are these different schools of the craft?

I am, relatively speaking, new to quilting, and have learned that there is a heck of a lot more going on in quilting than when I made my first machine pieced and quilted quilt more than 10 years ago, and then left quilting for a good long break. Well, I am back and completely engulfed in the very modern side of the craft, the wonderful, mind-bogglingly seductive array of fabric choices available to a sewist today.
In very broad terms, the modern quilt movement is fabric focused, whereas the traditional quilter is technique focused, drawing from the past. Even the labels, Modern and Traditional, would lead one to think that disciplines are advancing in divergent directions, and while visually they may in fact appear to be moving apart, there are strong ties binding these two schools together. In fact, what we are seeing is an evolution of the art of quilting, similar to other, more “mainstream” artistic evolutions. Modern painting came about in the mid 19th century with the development of Impressionist painting, a school of painting which, at the time, confronted the viewer, and challenged what the viewer knew painting to be. Similarly, modern quilting has challenged the quilting community.
Most of the fabrics today, boasting larger format prints and more vibrant, saturated colours, challenge quilters, and as a broad generalization the quilters interested in these fabrics are younger, modern quilters. The colours used in the modern school are typically bright and reflect colour trends seen within the fashion or décor worlds. The fabric industry, and the modern quilter, is well informed as to what the Pantone® colour of the year, or the season, is forecast to be.
Read more in our Summer 2012 issue.

Article by Nicole Brewster
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