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Am I leaping in where Angels fear to tread here? The topics of modern quilts seems to divide the quilt world with acrimony on both sides of the divide. At the extremes there are those who have been quilters for many years and who contend that there is really nothing new about modern quilts and regard them as an excuse for poor technique. At the other extreme of the spectrum there are those who feel modern quilts are liberating quilters from the thralls of a perfectionism that stifles creativity.

Where do I sit in this spectrum

Right smack, bang in the middle. (You could say on the fence if you wanted to be unkind. 🙂 ) I like traditional quilting and I think a grounding in technique is important. It’s like anything, you need to be able to do the basics well (not necessarily perfectly) before you can use it as a springboard to more exciting things. Every pianist who performs their own variations has had to play scales for hours and quilting is no different. Poor technique, I think, detracts from a quilt whether or not it is traditional or modern. It takes your eyes away from what should be the main feature – the overall visual impact.What’s more good design principles can be absorbed from Traditional Quilting. However,  I do like modern quilts. When done well they have an exuberance that is uplifting and exciting.

Modern Quilt Guilds

The Modern Quilt Guilds started in the USA a while ago and then moved to Australia. Melbourne has had one for a while and several of us have tried to start one in here Sydney on more than one occasion. Now it looks like it really might happen. A small group of women – Claire and her friend Suzanne –  decided to have another go at establishing one and we had our first meeting last Saturday.

I must say they did a great job of organising and bent over backwards to be inclusive and friendly. We had a friendly and lively discussion about what we all think Modern Quilting is – straight line quilting, solid blocks of colour, grey and yellow fabrics, modern fabric designs? In the end we pretty much agreed  that it’s not so much the quilts that are modern – after all solid colours have been done by the Amish for years, some of the other colour combinations now touted as modern were around in the 70s and 80s and all quilters have used the “modern fabrics” of their own times – as the attitude of the quilter to her art/craft.

If you’re interested in joining the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild the next meeting will be at the Blue Gum Hotel, 55 Pacific Highway, Waitara. Future meetings will be held by rotation throughout Sydney to allow as many people as want to, to attend. You can find further details here.

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