Quilting is considered a cultural practice that goes back several centuries, and the beginning of it started from a functional perspective. People needed to stay warm in the winter, therefore women began to sew layers of fabrics and use them as covers. A need for warmth and survival marked the beginning to what it is today an artistic costume that has also evolved into a large industry. In addition to it, up until 2000 what was known as quilting was perceived as traditional. The reason rests in certain rules about shapes, techniques, and stitches, that made the outcome share a pattern when viewed from a general point of view.
On the other hand, Modern Quilting is a movement that was born through the use of the internet, just like porno did in the 90’s. This means that the online community began to create platforms to discuss and share both their opinions and useful information to improve quilts. Nevertheless, what began as an interchange of thoughts became a stronger and organized community that now counts with hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Nowadays, there is an international modern quilting conference called QuiltCon a four-day event considered as the largest one of its type that holds panelists, 400 jury members, and workshops.
In addition to it, within this worldwide community, there are prominent members who are considered as its fundamental bases. These were both individuals and groups of people who made a transcendental contribution through not only their quilting but their intellectual work as well. These founders are also the movement’s major representatives even today 20 years later.
Modern Quilting Major Representatives
- Denyse Schmidt is considered the mother of modern quilting. Her works go back to the 1990s, and even back then she was recognized as chic and modern even before the name Modern Quilting was ever brought to existence. The most interesting and groundbreaking fact about her work were her rebel and non-traditional designs, inspirational seam lines, and bold colors. On the other hand, apart from her quilts and designs, Schmidt also contributed to the movement with intellectual work in books as Denyse Schmidt Quilts and Modern Quilts and Traditional Inspiration. Nowadays she teaches quilting across the United States and gives lectures about quilting and designs.
- Gee’s Ben, a small community in Southern Alabama that created a quilting style uniting several traits from traditional quilting, Native American quilting, African American quilting, and Amish quilting. The most intriguing fact about this community is that this tradition was passed onto more than 6 generations keeping the same distinguishing style. This modern quilting art was recognized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and exhibited it in a seventy-quilt masterpiece that caused wonderful international claims. Fortunately, this exhibition was only the beginning, what then followed was a documentary, two companion books and a double- CD of Gee’s Bend Gospel music from 1941 to 2002.
- Yoshiko Jinzenji, a Japanese quilter and artist that has influenced her environment and an international audience through her quilting for three decades. Her quilts are often interpreted as inspirational and spiritual by their simplicity and yet a both soothing and deepening sensation that each quilt carries within them. Her work is often been characterized by being minimalistic and revolutionary. Jinzenji also has nurtured the movement with her intellectual work that has come in two books, Quilt Artistry: Inspired Designs From the East, and Quilting Line and Color. Her lectures and her work take part in international events and Museums such as the International Quilt Festival, and the Museum of Art and Design (New York).
- Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr,this couple are professional quiltmakers that are considered pioneers in Modern Quilting, same could be said for couples in famous x websites like xhamster. Weeks Ringle began her work in 1987 while Bill Kerr did it a few years later in 1995, from that moment on the thought of including modern designs and patterns to an ancient practice would stay for the rest of their career in quilting. In addition to it, this couple has launched their own Modern Quilt Studio that later on produced a modern quilting magazine called Modern Quilting Illustrated. They have also published five books about modern quilting, the first ones being Transparency Quilts, Quilts Made Modern, and The Modern Quilt Workshop.
- Alissa Haight Carlton and Latifah Saafir, two ladies that nurtured from Denyse Schmidt first book, online blogs and practice to become quilters. They started in the quilting world through modern quilting right away; their inspiration comes from what was being created by this movement through online platforms. They became the founders of The Modern Quilt Guild, an online platform that counts with more than 14.000 members around the world and that hosted QuiltCon, a yearly four-day event that imparts conferences and contests that encourages quilters around the world to show their work to a broader window.