The Modern Quilt Movement

Quilts aren’t only calico triangles and hexagons anymore. Interested in quilting since I was a teen, I’ve always especially favored the bold, graphic color play of Amish designs.

Having created some art wall quilts myself, I appreciate the effort and artwork involved in making any quilt. But early on, I felt as though we needed an updated idea of the quilt as art. Though beautiful, I wasn’t drawn to most traditional designs, and fabrics awash in tiny floral motifs.

Then I went to my first quilt show, and found a few kindred souls. There they were–quilts as art, with a fearless exchange of color and shape.
Happy by Carrie Wikander TheZenQuilter on Etsy
‘Happy’ by Carrie Wikander TheZenQuilter on Etsy

Quilts that–to me–belonged on a gallery wall. At home in a city loft design, or as a vibrant statement in a contemporary, eclectic abode.

Since then, the Modern Quilt Movement has exploded! Now, many, many artists delight in this medium.

Here are some favorites that I spotted at the latest Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in Santa Clara, California. A can’t miss show for any textile & design lover, wear your comfy walking shoes when you go, and stop often to soak up the creative energy. PIQF is also a fantastic venue for pro and amateur textile artists to take workshops from innovative quilting instructors (sign up early!!).

(Click on photos for the full effect, and to see more detail.)

From Surf to Snow with Many Faults Between by Isbel Downs
‘From Surf to Snow with Many Faults Between’ (detail) by Isabel Downs

Kapa Kai I by Maren Johnston
‘Kapa Kai I’ by Maren Johnston

Kapa Kai I by Maren Johnston Detail
‘Kapa Kai I’ (detail) by Maren Johnston

Santa Barbara to Denver 8 by Lou Ann Smith
‘Santa Barbara to Denver 8’ by Lou Ann Smith

Etsy is also a fabulous source for Modern quilts for interior design. Enjoy these standouts (including Carrie Wikander’s — top of page), that I hand-picked from fellow Etsy artisans:

Modern Wall Quilt by Ann Brauer on Etsy
Modern Wall Quilt by Ann Brauer on Etsy

Off the Air by Lauren Palmer of OliveTreeTextiles on Etsy
‘Off the Air’ by Lauren Palmer of OliveTreeTextiles on Etsy

Interested in trying Modern Quilting yourself? Start with The Modern Quilt Guild, that has chapters across the U.S.

Or peruse magazines like Modern Patchwork or QuiltCon.

Upcoming Shows to See Modern (and other!) Quilts in Person:

PIQF XXIV, Santa Clara, CA, October 15-18, 2015
QuiltCon (a show that focuses on Modern Quilts!):
QuiltConWest, Pasadena, CA, February 18-21, 2016
QuiltConEast, Savannah, GA February 23-26, 2017

Would you hang a Modern quilt in one of your room designs? Come on, chime in and share a quick thought below!

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4 Comments for “The Modern Quilt Movement”

What a delightful blog post. Thanks so much for taking the time to create it. I am honored to be included in such a delightful gallery of work.

Of course, Ann! Your quilts are gorgeous; and I love featuring pieces like that for our design community to see.

Wow, these are some really eye-catching pieces! I am really flattered that mine is with them. I am hoping to be at Quiltcon in Pasadena so maybe we will see each other. Wow. I feel inspired by these!

Carrie, my pleasure! And we may just see each other at Quiltcon. Keep up the beatiful work!

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