Crystal over at Two Little Aussie Birds has started a fascinating series for the month of November, regarding Modern Quilting and the Modern Woman. She will be featuring interviews and a link party for everyone to get involved in this fascinating celebration of the craft we all love.
Here are my answers to the link questions she has posed.
1. Tell us about how you started quilting and how you found modern quilting.
I started quilting in 2011 to make a baby gift for a dear friend. I had always thought of patchwork as a country craft, with lots of dull colours, cute applique and a civil war look. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) I was pleasantly surprised to find that quilting and fabric design had come a long way since the last time I had looked into that kind of store. There was an abundance of fresh prints, modern graphic designs and something to please everyone’s taste.
I am over the moon to find a creative outlet in modern quilting that allows me to play with all my favourite things – colour, shape and texture, will allowing me to make wonderful and practical gifts to be treasured.
2. What does it mean to you to be a modern quilter and a modern woman?
I’m not quite sure what a modern woman entails any more. So many things that were out of fashion as I was growing up and into my 20’s, gardening, handcraft, making your own clothes are now quite commonplace. However there is no “expectation” that you do all these things as there was for the woman of the 50’s. This current generation is more about accepting whatever you are and what you do. “You knit? Hey, that’s pretty cool.” “You can’t sew on a button? No worries, there’s someone who will do that for you.”
I have enjoyed watching the shift to self-reliance and reducing our dependence on our consumerist society. It still seems to be a quiet movement at the moment, however it is growing strength with every convert to cooking, to sewing or to gardening.
Being a modern quilter is similarly open and accepting. We hand quilt, we machine quilt. We do it ourselves, we send it to a longarmer. We love negative space, we use crazy colours and patterns. There doesn’t seem to be any “litmus test” for a modern quilter. I feel it’s more about the community than the actual hobby. We embrace the digital age, we have friends all over the world. Patterns are sent out in a twinkling of a keyboard, we stalk the postman for that order of new release fabric. Trends sweep across the world within a week. Modern quilters are connected, savvy and always on the move.
3. Which quilt that you have made represents you and why?
This is a tough one, as I haven’t made enough quilts yet! I’m always in love with the next one I’m going to make… the one I’m currently planning or the one I just bought fabric for. Of the completed quilts, I would have to say my Rainbow Rails quilt. It was the biggest one I’ve attempted, my first foray into Free motion quilting on anything bigger than a cushion. I designed the layout and co-ordinated the fabric myself.
However, my heart belongs to my Candy Ripples quilt top… yet to be finished.
What surprised me most about this project is how pink it its. Anyone will tell you I’m not a girly girl…. and the amount of pink and girly colours I have been using in my quilts is astonishing me. I guess it’s allowed me to get in touch with a part of me that I didn’t know was there.
4. How do you connect with other modern quilters? What does it mean to you to have this sisterhood of modern women?
My main connection is through Instagram, although now that I’ve made these deep friendships, we email, text, online chat and catch up in person. I have no quilters in my family or immediate friends, so to have these wonderful people cheering me on, enabling me and sharing their talents with me means more than I could ever express.
People that will spend hours making a gift, bundle it up with a parcel of thoughtful treats and post it halfway around the world. Those kind of people are the ones that make this hobby so much more meaningful than a pile of sterile quilts created in isolation. The community IS the modern quilting backbone.
I do hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my views on the Modern Quilter and the Modern Woman. I would love to hear if any of these points resonated within you…. or if you disagree with me completely. Shout it out in the comments!