What is Contemporary Quilting? Is it new?

What is Contemporary Quilting? Is it new?

Contemporary quilting 

I recently had a comment on a Facebook post that said: "Who said quilting and contemporary don't mix?" This got me thinking about the style of quilting I do. is it contemporary quilting?

I attended the Modern Guild for a period of time but I never really felt that my work fit within the Modern definition of quilting and I defiantly am not a traditional quilter. My work is lacking colour and Modern work had bold colours.

I tried the Art Quilt Community, for a even briefer period of time and really I didn't feel that "Art quilter" was my genera either. 

So when I read the comment about "contemporary" and "quilting" I had to look up the definition of contemporary design.

According to HGTV on their site, in an article called Contemporary Design style 101 Contemporary design I immediately identified with this style and my Biscotti quilts.

Contemporary design embraces minimalistic elements highlighting  grays, beiges and shades of white. Sleek, thoughtful, hidden details emphasize an edited aesthetic. Contemporary style offers an 'everything in its place' interior featuring designs that are high on function and simplicity and low on collections and fuss.

Chair of the ASID National Board, designer Kerrie Kelly

    1 out of ...
    Back to blog

    1 comment

    Hi Brandon,
    Your contemporary muted quilting style is beautiful — and you do create “studio quilts” in my understanding of them. Yes, some of your pieces are “utilitarian” (like the table runner shown on your home page) but many are for the wall. Your senses of colour, line, shape, form and perspective are superb — all design elements important to what is considered “art for the wall”. Art/craft/utility are subjects bandied about by art quilters ALL the time — whether their work is contemporary, improvisational, pictoral, or adapted from the digital. And utlitarian quilts are ALSO artful — just ask the Gees Bend group! Then there’s Joe (the Quilter Cunningham), who is inspired by “old” quilts, and makes extremely abstract, unusual and HUGE quilts — mostly hung, but many that end up on beds. Contrast his work with that of the team of Jim Smith and Andy Brunhammer (Quilts SB on Facebook). Or Luke Haynes. Or Katie Pasquini Masopust, who paints, cuts up the paintings, and uses them in and as an inspiration for her quilts. It’s an interesting rabbit hole — one that humans seem to pursue endlessly because we want to find ourselves in some sort of ‘category’. Somehow, it makes us feel like we ‘fit in’ or belong. But quilts made from original ideas or adapted patterns that wandered off into their own realm — they are as unique as the quilters who make them. You are an outstanding quilter — and artist. Don’t worry about where you fit. Don’t worry that more traditional quilters don’t understand your work. Some quilters need patterns — and some are even desperate to make a pattern in the exact palette of the designer. (I used to work in a yarn shop, and if I had a nickel for every knitter who wanted to make a specific pattern in the exact colour as shown in the pattern magazine or book, I’d be a wealthy woman. Don’t worry that you aren’t one of them. Show your work — or not. Belong to a guild or SAQA or other group — or not. Sell your work — or not. Whatever you do, from wherever your inspiration comes, enjoy your gift, and your process. Learn from others (we all do!) but stick to your own path, true to yourself and your art. May your journey be long, healthy and blessed.

    Margaret Blank

    Leave a comment