Saturday, October 6, 2012

Running With Scissors

Sometimes I wish I had named my blog 'Running With Scissors'.  This is not so much because I actually run with scissors in my hands, but due to an attitude shift I have regarding quilt making.

I had a very loving (but strict) heartland upbringing.  I was taught to respect my elders, love God and country, always tell the truth, work hard, help your neighbors and others who need help, obey the Golden Rule, clean my plate at every meal, be nice to old people and never run with scissors in my hands.  My upbringing was traditional and so are most of my quilts.  I do venture outside my traditional comfort zone from time to time.

Since my Grammy Rose and Grandma Nan taught me everything I needed to know about sewing, quilting, knitting (only when wearing safety glasses), crochet and embroidery and being 'ladyfied', I thought I was set for life .  My seams have always been as perfect as I could manage, I hand-quilted every quilt I made, my stitches were small and even and my embroidery didn't have knots that showed.  Let's not talk about my knitting because I've already blogged about this skill!

I admit to turning a blind eye to machine quilting until the last few years when arthritis took up residence in my quilting hand.  There is a movement today in quilting called Modern Quilting that's revolutionizing quilt making as we know it.  Modern quilts are notably geometric in design (there are always exceptions) and most of them don't have borders, just binding on the edges.  The designs are edgy and bold and most are interpreted using solid fabrics or blenders, rather than the prints we normally see.  Modern quilt blocks can be quite large and go together quickly.  Machine quilting is the star on these quilts, although I see utility hand quilting on some of them.  Look through any quilt magazine or catalogue and see the many kits for modern quilts. 

'Modern quilting' rattled my cage a little at first because it flies in the face of traditional quilting on some level in my mind.  Making quilts without small pieces sewn together or borders feels dangerous to me ~~  much like running with scissors!  Imagine being able to piece a quilt in one afternoon using no pattern, just blocks and strips!  I love the color saturated solids available now everywhere you turn.  White is being used as a focal fabric rather than a background fabric, and gray is used with abandon as the new neutral. The colors are as fresh and sparkling as some of the new designers.  It's intriguing and exciting.  Notably, it's not just the younger quilters pursuing this new trend, at least half of the modern quilters are over age 45.   There is a lot to be learned from the new, younger quilters. 

I have decided to dip my toes into the Modern Quilt movement to see if it's for me.  I will always make my beloved traditional quilts with the techniques taught from hand to hand (and heart to heart) from the women in my family, but I'm ready for a taste of geometrics and solids. 

Bring on the scissors ~~  I'm not afraid to run with them!

Wishing you Piece & Plenty!!

1 comment:

  1. I am a traditional quilter who found modern quilts and love them. I bought a few books on them and bought two classes on about modern quilts. They are wonderful.
    I made one and had it long armed with straight echoing of each block. So, everything is straight lines and looks really cool. I need it to give as a Christmas present, but want to keep it. It's too awesome!!! I'm with you on modern quilts. At Craftsy they have a free class on backings. The gal that teaches that, is one of my teachers of modern quilts and she makes her backs modern. Try that class. I own both of her books. She's wonderful! Now, check out that class that's for free and maybe sign up for HER modern quilting class. The other modern quilting class, I don't care for it at all. Boring teacher. But do the one with the gal who does the backings. You'll be happy you did.