This is Jacquie Gering’s answer to the question, “What does modern quilting mean to me?” Read more about our modern quilting blog meme here.
It’s been an interesting week, reading the responses of my fellow planning committee members and those of you who are responding on your own blogs and in the comments, and each day thinking more about this question.
I am a mid century modern girl. I squeal at the sight of an Eames chair; I had to be dragged out of the modern architecture exhibit at MoMA; and I could live in IKEA if they would let me. Two years ago when I rescued my sewing machine from the depths of the closet, it was natural for me to want to make quilts with a modern feel. It took me awhile to figure out how to accomplish that in a quilt, in fact, I’m still in the discovery phase. For me, modern quilting is about a ‘look’ and a process.
What I have discovered as of today is that for me, modern quilts have clean, simple lines, be they geometric or organic. I find simple to be beautiful and deceptively complex. Modern quilts are visually dynamic with color, form or both. That modern quilt ‘look’ can be accomplished through fabric choices and other times through block and quilt design. When modern fabric and design come together…well….I get a little giddy.
While the ‘look’ of modern quilts excites me, modern quilting is more than the ‘look’ of a quilt. I began quilting after seeing the Gees Bend quilt exhibit and the words of the quilters struck a chord with me. I felt joy being surrounded by quilts that expressed freedom in design, whimsy, unpredictability and at the same time utility. I love quilts that are offbeat, but it’s the opportunity to create and think out of the box in terms of design and construction that gets me up in the morning.
While I usually work improvisationally, some of my modern quilt buddies use patterns or do a combination of patterns and improvisation. What we seem to have in common is we feel free to trust our inner visions and we express those visions in our work. I strive to innovate, find new construction techniques as well as innovative designs that scratch my modern itch yet maintain a connection to tradition. It’s a process of experimenting, learning, revising, and trying again.
I never thought I would be part of a movement. I am excited to have the Modern Quilt Guild as a place to connect with quilters with a modern aesthetic and as a stepping stone to grow the movement. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.