Monday, December 22, 2014

Yikes! Two posts in a row.

On one of the lists there has recently been a spate of posts about what constitutes a Modern quilt.  I didn't join the discussion because I was really too tired to write a whole megilla.  And I'm too tired now.
But I will get to it here at some point, when I am not ready to put on the dishwasher and go to bed.

I've been sorting out what I want to take on my next teaching trip, and along theway, I've stopped to play a little with the improvisationally pieced bits in my bin.  Just for the heck of it, I took a few of them and challenged myself to see if I could put them together in a "modern" way -- with lots of negative (ie. white) space.  I got this far before I decided it was enough.  I could visualize an entire quilt with units like the one below, placed in a carefully random way, in a white background. But not by me.  This felt too self-conscious: not the units themselves, which I made some time ago without thinking -- but the white space around them and the decision to make the whole big unit deliberately uneven.  I think it is the deliberate part that did not make me happy.  
And then I found the child-sized quilt top made from a bunch of blocks done in solids and thought that perhaps if those random blocks had been surrounded by lots of white space, this would fit the description of a Modern quilt.
  I loved making the blocks, and even putting them together.  But with lots of negative space, it would be a different piece.  Or even without the printed borders. Hmmm...but is it worth the effort to redo? I think not.  But maybe next time.

8 comments:

Linda Hicks said...

I remember year before last, at a huge quilt show in NH, seeing two young ladies standing in a vendor's space with many gorgeous colors and rhapsodizing NOT over the kaleidoscope of colorful fabrics that caught my attention but over GRAY...They were so excited over finding some grays and variations of such that they had been looking for for their quilts.Then I caught on...modern quilts...grays and off whites...lots of negative space and utilitarian.

Dianne Koppisch Hricko said...

An aesthetic choice and category that I know little about. I will google "modern quilt"

Hilda said...

I googled modern quilt movement, and found this wonderfully written article. I don't think you need the negative space to be "modern." Your quilts are not traditional patterns. I'm going to QuiltCon in February, where the highlight for me will be the Gee's Bend Quilters--apparently necessity plays a hand in creating modern as well! Thanks for the new word, megillah, it sounded familiar and I knew what it meant even before looking it up.

Karaquilts said...

In my personal definition of "Modern" I define it as anything that appeals to me and isn't traditional blocks all in a row. Soooo, in my definition, your quilts are most definitely M O D E R N and completely unique to you. What could be better than that?!?!? I look forward to more of you being you and creating beautiful, interesting, inspiring quilts.

Connie Rose said...

Happy Holidays, dear Rayna! xoxo

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

I guess I will never be a true 'quilter', since I don't like being restricted by someone else's ideas. Funny how some folk need boundaries, isn't it? Or maybe I'm just not disciplined enough to color inside the lines! At any rate, I like your improv pieces and your child-sized quilt is very cheerful and full of visual interest and not at all self-conscious... looks like you probably enjoyed making it, which is what it's all about, isn't it?

Charlotta said...

I am most certainly no authority, and I really don't ever try to make my creations fit into particular categories or definitions; but, it is my impression from observing and reading about so-called Modern Quilts, that while they often do have lots of negative space, the background doesn't have to be white, people use all kinds of solid colors. I've seen lots of grays, and also yellow, teal, lime green, etc.

sophie said...

No too many years ago, the perennial discussion was about what is (or isn't) an ART quilt. It seems no matter what the subject, there are those that feel an obligation to tell us what to think about it ... this may be the reason I dropped off most of those lists ...