Today I attended a talk and book signing at A Gathering of Stitches in Portland, ME - a neat textile and fiber making space that I hadn't been to before, but that I will definitely be back to! The featured title was Quilting with a Modern Slant written by Rachel May, which includes profiles of eighty different quilters interspersed with patterns and tips. Rachel was on hand to talk about the project, along with three of the women she interviewed for the book - Danielle Krcmar, Alice Webb Greer and Jan Johnson.
Each quilter brought examples of her work and spoke about her background and inspiration, and then during Q&A the discussion veered off into that murky "what is 'modern' anyway?" Heretofore, I have been mostly ambivalent about the vocabulary, its connotations, and the debate that is going on in the quilting world right now, but today's discussion - passionate yet restrained, informative and well informed - has me rethinking my lack of thinking.
This is what motivates me to sit down and post tonight because the conversation sparked some ideas that I can't quite pinpoint my views on, and I'd love to hear from all of you reading this: How do you feel about the term "modern?" How do you feel about traditional vs. modern in as much as they come across as "teams" or a side you have to choose? Do you think the Modern Quilt Guild is the best representation of the term and the movement? Any thoughts on style vs. technique as parameters of the definition?
I'm going to spend a little time pouring over my new (autographed - thanks, ladies!) book, thinking about the variety of forms that quilting can take and about the language I hear in my quilting world that defines the process and product. And then maybe I'll circle back once I have a more clear stance on the topic. Until then, please do chime in! I'd love to hear your thoughts on "modern quilting."
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