The Blog

V and Co: what kind of quilter are you?


confetti by V and Co.

 this last weekend i was given the opportunity to speak to a group of lovely ladies in the Des Moines area. i was asked to speak the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild.

me and my i heart you quilt at the modern quilt guild in Des Moines

i get nervous over these things. the thought of “will they think i’m too traditional?” always crosses my mind. as well as when i get asked to speak to a non modern quilt guild i get nervous and think “will i be too modern for them?”

i get asked one question a lot.

what kind of quilter are you? are you modern or are you traditional?

houndstooth by V and Co.

it’s probably one of the most asked questions i get.

even for magazines i’m quoted because i’ve had to give answers on this matter.

so  when i was asked to present to the modern quilt guild my take on using traditional blocks in modern quilting i was super excited to talk and share my thoughts.

as i started to create my powerpoint on modern quilters and modern quilts using traditional blocks again i was hit with the thoughts of “this has been happening since day one. since day one someone got cold and needed a cover. then they needed to make it bigger or fix it and well…one thing led to another…and now centuries later we have quilting not just as a way to keep warm and cozy, we also create art with fabric.”

i heart you by V and Co.

i spoke about how colors, textile prints, and arrangement of blocks, or lack of blocks, or making it have a less than perfect (wonky for a lack of word) block can create a completely different look to what starts off as a traditional quilt block.

my message to them was that quilting as they already know is usually categorized into two groups, modern and traditional and really this is good in some ways and not so good in other ways. it’s good because well, on both sides, we find others who like the same looks in quilts, and who like the similar color combos, techniques, and we help each other and support each other get excited about this wonderful sewing and quilting thing.

bubbles by V and Co.

it’s not so good because you sometimes feel like you can’t learn from the other group.

that is sad to me.

have you ever seen someone teach because they love something so much? even if you don’t necessarily find what they are teaching, pleasing to your eye? that passion they have is real and you can always walk away learning something from someone either the material they teach about or about that person and their passion.

my message is the same today as it was the first time i learned to sew. this sisterhood of traditional, modern, or in between quilting should be just that. a sisterhood. seeing quilting for what it is, a wonderful art, one that has been around for centuries, one that we can continually keep changing, bringing back old customs with new colors combos, techniques, new tools, or shortcuts.

yes, i’m excited that we have a “modern quilt generation”. there will be a stamp on what quilts will look like from this era. but we can not be so arrogant to think that traditional quilters are dying out and modern will take over. as well as traditional quilters can not be arrogant in thinking that these new wave of quilters don’t know how to do a thing or two.

i’ve learned so much from both sides. and this has always been my message. do not shut out the other side.

rembrant vs picaso.

both artists but very different look.

so when i’m asked what kind of quilter i am…modern or traditional?

kaleidoscope by V and Co.

my long answer is this:

“i am traditional quilting and modern quilting who got married and had kids. each of my quilts has it’s own look, it’s own personality, and is a product of both parents. that’s what kind of quilter i am.”

my short answer is:

i’m just a quilter.

thank you to the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild for asking me to come and speak. it was so much fun getting to meet you and see all your beautiful projects, and the wonderful things you are doing as a group.

barn dance by V and Co.

i love to be surrounded around quilters of all generations. i hope my daughter will be able to appreciate the things i did when we were considered the new wave of quilters and i can’t wait to see what her generation will be doing when it’s their turn to make a stamp in this forever timeline we call quilting and the art of it.

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