Modern Quilting is a modern movement within the quilt-making world that coexists with other movements born thanks to the beginning of the new millennium as an era, and the interest of new young artistic people that felt inclined to express their art through quilting. These new artistic individuals formed what is now known as Art Quilting, which are quilts created to be exhibited on a wall or a table instead of being used in a bed for example.
In contrast to Art quilting, Modern Quilting considers a quilt through both its functionality and beauty, in consequence, Modern Quilting reunites the best of both Art Quilting and Traditional Quilting worlds. Another fact about Modern Quilting is that the movement was greatly driven by the use of the internet. Therefore, a distinctive trait about the movement is the online international community that nurtures and also sustains its predominant feature.
On the other hand, when getting into details about traits that mark modern quilts and quilters there is one sure thing. There are no rules. This means that modern quilts might share one, two, or three characteristics but there is no fixed rule that all modern quilts must follow to be identified as such.
Modern Quilting Traits
To identify what makes quilts “moderns”, there are several aspects to consider. On the first place, modern quilts give away the impression of being made by the twenty-first century. This means that the colors, the fabrics, the designs and the air in them shout out modernity. Modern quilts are inspired and formed by the aesthetic style that surrounded other artistic expressions such as architecture, designing, and art.
Also, to get into details on the modern quilting traits it’s essential to discuss the process of quilting which involves, designs, piecing, techniques, and binding. This structure that is the core of quilting as a craft also followed the movements that emerged from it.
This is one key element in Modern Quilting, modern quilts designs are completely different from traditional quilting, even though both the techniques and the process are the same. The groundbreaking difference in these designs is the experimental character, the minimalistic trait and the unusual settings of blocks and symmetry that accompanied every traditional quilting design.
As well, other distinctive elements in modern quilting designs are the bold and pop colors, the predominance of background area – or negative space-; graphic designs and colorful threads.
Piecing is a quilting technique that involves sewing small pieces of clothing or fabrics to set up blocks that will go to the quilting top, which is the first fabric layer that carries the designs. Also, this technique unfolds several easy-quick piecing techniques that helps the quilter to create a half square triangle unit or strip piecing for example; these techniques would help quilters to save time and create quilts with amazing designs, textures, and different colors. At the end of the day, this technique is made to create those freestyling and colorful designs that characterize modern quilting.
In modern quilting, traditional techniques are still used to sew the layers of a quilt. These ones are typical of any needlework; the fundamental and traditional appliqué, patchworks, and embroidery.
Appliqué is a technique used for decorating the top quilt. This decoration can be flat or have different dimensions and textures to the quilt as a product or quilt blocks. There are many types of techniques related to appliqué such as freezer paper appliqué, fusible appliqué, and reverse appliqué.
Patchworks, as the name suggests, uses patches of fabrics to also create blocks, strips and many other types of shapes to be sewn to the quilt or the quilt block. The different use of this technique in modern quilting is the different asymmetric shapes that were put together in a minimalistic quilt, for example.
Embroidery, another decoration technique that uses threads. The difference in terminology for this technique is the many different types of stitches used to sew an embroidered element. Some of these embroidery stitches are chain, running, backstitch, stain, and so on. The many decorations can vary from motifs, labels, and pictures.
Binding a quilt is the final touch of a nearly finished product. For modern quilters, the edges of a quilt also take part in the well-planned design. This means that very often binding was more than a smooth and flat finishing touch against the quilt. In fact, binding often resulted in the framework that would hold the masterpiece.
In addition to it, to create different illusions on the quilt, different types of bindings as faced binding, which is preferred by minimalists’ modern quilters, fashioned an infinite edge effect look to the quilt. And so, different techniques shape different effects to the quilt, depending on the designs and the intention of the modern quilter.