FRESH! Modern Queensland Quilters…

What a great day!  I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the 2QMOD * meeting. They had a special guest speaker, GLAD HOWARD, who came to discuss Design and Art in connection with Modern Quilts.

The question “what makes a quilt a modern quilt?” came about and a lively discussion ensued.   Contemporary quilts, traditional quilts, art quilts and of course modern quilts were discussed.

Glad is formally trained in Art practices which brought a wonderful perspective to the meaning of what a modern quilt is.  There was much discussion and it seems no ‘one’ group or guild can quite define Modern Quilting.  The MQG definition of modern quilting nearly does it, but not quite!

Piet Mondrian "Broadway Boogie Woogie" 1932-43 Image courtesy of MOMA

Piet Mondrian “Broadway Boogie Woogie” 1942-43                 Image courtesy of MOMA

Modern design has been around for most of the 20th century, with artists like Piet Mondrian (1940’s) and innovative quilters like Ruth Stoneley (1970’s), so what makes “Modern Quilting” modern? and why do we use the term now ?


Ruth Stonely

“Modern” does not necessarily mean new – but it does mean less traditional – FRESH being the best term for it.

So my take on defining modern quilting is thus:

  • A MQ is one that has a fresh approach to a traditional craft.
  • Free use of colour without traditional restrictions is often used.
  • They are usually Gender and Age Neutral.
  • MQ’s often focus on the definition of line and form, rather than pattern and print.
  • Solids like greys, whites and taupes allow focus on form and the design’s structure.
  • Subtle use of colour or Explosions of colour are used.
  • Quilting is often less decorative and more about the focus on design.
  • MQ’s are usually quicker to produce than traditonal quilts.
  • They offer the viewer the unexpected.
  • Generally MQ’s are not representative of pictorial images.

Modern Quilts is a new term applied to invite the new movement/wave of enthusiasts to come together to create in a common style.  Historically modern artist’s were often isolated in their genre / form.

Perhaps this quote sums it up more eloquently….“it’s about making the fabric talk” – Gail Price

What do you think is a Modern Quilt?

Glad Howard is a member of the Gold Coast Quilters Guild.

* 2Q Mod is the name of the Queensland Quilters Modern Quilt Group

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