Thursday, October 24, 2013
Quilting Technology and Style I am an old fashioned quilter. I started quilting seriously back in a time when there were rules about the “accepted way” quilting was done. That was also back before pizza cutters were discovered as a way to cut fabric rather than bread and pepperoni and only admitted its use in the privacy of our own sewing space and vodka and water was a good way to get the wrinkles out of fabric. I have been through all the trends and phases of quilt design style and eagerly embraced the new tools and technology, although I still resist even touching a long-arm quilting machine. I guess I still think the long-arm quilting machine is only for making bedspreads. I have to admit that I have jumped on that wagon somewhat having designed quilting patterns/motifs for use on the long-arm. So guess I am only half a hypocrite. Now comes the 21st century and the latest trend called “Modern Quilting”. I have conflicting emotions about this trend. I am confused by its title because the style has been around a long time. I recently picked up a magazine at the grocery story with a title “Modern Patchwork” and felt a familiarity as I flipped through the pages then realized the samples were very similar to those in a book/magazine of the same title published in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. So, could it really be true that “everything old comes around again”, but perhaps in another title or updated with new designs and colors of fabrics. On the other hand the fabrics I see in shops are very similar to those fabrics in a quilt I have made in the 1940’s. Now you may think I am bashing this new trend. On the contrary, I embrace it because it may just be giving a boost to quilting in a number of ways. The style can unleash one’s quilting creativity. The more simple shapes and use of “outrageous” fabrics and colors will cause you to think about quilting styles and designs in a different way. The simplicity of patterns releases one from what might have been the tediousness of small pieces and structured patterns. New colors allow one to be bold in their designs. It is a little like my reaction to machine quilting when I realized machine quilting is ok…….now that I can do it. I encourage those reading this rambling about quilting to look to the new technology and trends as a way to freshen up your quilting techniques and style. We all need an occasional change in our routine. It keeps our minds fresh and exciting. But remember, if you do catch the “bug” there might not be a vaccine to cure it. But does that really matter?