About Us

The Modern Quilt Guild is made up of over 100 guilds across the country and world.  Our mission is to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community.

The MQG developed out of the thriving online community of modern quilters and their desire to start meeting in person. The founding guild was formed in Los Angeles in October of 2009. Through blogs and the Internet, word spread quickly of the fun they were having and soon guilds started popping up everywhere.

We encourage anyone who is interested to join us.  On the right side bar find your local MQG and join up or start one of your own.  We are happy to help. Beginners are welcome!

What is modern quilting?

Modern quilting is a new and rapidly growing movement in the quilting world. A group of quilters applied their current tastes and points of view to this traditional craft and shared their work online.  Their fresh approach and new designs attracted sewers and quilters and the modern quilting movement was born.

Modern quilting, like all art, changes, grows and adapts from quilter to quilter as they find their own voice. Modern quilts reflect each quilter’s personality and personal style, and as the movement has grown, a modern quilt aesthetic, a set of principles that define and guide the movement, is beginning to emerge.

Modern quilts and quilters:

  • Make primarily functional rather than decorative quilts
  • Use asymmetry in quilt design
  • Rely less on repetition and on the interaction of quilt block motifs
  • Contain reinterpreted traditional blocks
  • Embrace simplicity and minimalism
  • Utilize alternative block structures or lack of visible block structure
  • Incorporate increased use of negative space
  • Are inspired by modern art and architecture
  • Frequently use improvisational piecing
  • Contain bold colors, on trend color combinations and graphic prints
  • Often use gray and white as neutrals
  • Reflect an increased use of solid fabrics
  • Focus on finishing quilts on home sewing machines

Modern quilting has its roots in rebellion, in our desire to do something different, but simultaneously its feet are firmly planted in the field of tradition.  Modern quilting is our response to what has come before.  We are quilters first, modern quilters second. There are however, characteristics that set modern quilters apart from our traditional and art quilting friends.

Modern quilters are a diverse group of woman and men, young and old, experienced and novice, yet each of us feels the need to differentiate ourselves as modern quilters by how we work, the fabrics we choose, and the aesthetic of our quilts. We create in a way that supports our individual creative needs and our lifestyle preferences.  Modern quilters resist the imposition of hard and fast rules for making a quilt.  We pick and choose traditional techniques and methods that work for us and at the same time feel free to redefine or reinvent what is possible and allowable in making quilts.

Modern quilters have embraced the new options available in textiles: bold colors, graphic prints, larger scale prints, and Japanese fabrics.  Much like the Amish quilting tradition, many modern quilters are also exploring quilt designs made exclusively with solid fabrics or with just a hint of print.

The Internet has played an integral role in the development of modern quilting.  Through blogs, online tutorials and social media the modern quilting community interacts, providing inspiration and friendship for each other.  This has helped the community grow at an astounding pace, providing feedback and support at a moment’s notice.

In many ways, modern quilting has taken us back to the basics of the early quilters, when women of the day used the colors and styles of their time to express themselves creatively while finding friendship and community along the way.  Welcome to modern quilting!

71 thoughts on “About Us

  1. I am so excited to see this happening all over the country! I started quilting when I was in my early 30’s and didn’t know a single soul who did the same thing. Aren’t we lucky in the Internet age!!

    How wonderful that you are not feeling constrained by traditional rules and can use color/line/texture to create ART!!

    What a thrill to see quilt “guilds” that are part of today’s aesthetic and mood. You go!!

  2. I think what you’re doing is wonderful! I’ve been watching a new generation of young women get interested in sewing and making their own clothes and quilts for a while now, and am very excited to see this return to a pride and joy in handwork.

    I’ve been sewing since I was a little girl, and also drawing and painting that long. After receiving a master of fine arts degree in painting, what I was then making became known nationally as art quilts, a fusion of sewing and painting or other hybrids between the art and craft of quilting. Most of us who call ourselves art quilters are Baby Boomers, i.e. we’re older now. And we love seeing you get your Modern Quilt Guild going worldwide in such a short time!

    My favorite part of your statement is that the one rule is that there are no rules! My kinda girls! I hope you continue to embrace every kind of personal style your generation comes up with! To me, that’s where it’s at – creating freely! Good luck and many blessings, a sister radical of the cloth. Susan (Lucky) Shie

  3. PS. I forgot to say that my generation began our work unknown to each other, mostly coming from feminism and/or hippiness, shifting to this mix of our studio work and what we were raised to do at home. We began in the late 70s, mostly isolated, but word of mouth spread our efforts, tho slowly. Books, articles, exhibitions, and groups happened slowly, too. When the internet came along, some art quilters were in the first groups like Genie and Compuserve, creating exhibitions of their members from around the world. As we began to make our websites, when that became an option, a lot more artists caught the art quilting bug, and it really exploded internationally.

    Of course, trad quilters benefited from the internet, too, with thier guilds growing like crazy. It just amazes me that you started your first guild in October of last year, and here you are, with a long list of guilds already on your sidebar! I know there’s crazy bad stuff about the internet, but as a storytelling, diary, and political commentary artist, I am fascinated by how the internet allows us all to reach each other so well.

    Sorry for the long posings. Just very psyched for you. Lucky

  4. Thanks Lucky & Rayna for your comments! We certainly are lucky to have the internet which has made it easy for us to organize. We are thrilled to all be finding “in person” community through the guild. Thanks so much for your thoughts!

  5. I was thrilled to find your site through “Handmade by Alissa.” What a tremendous idea for people who think outside the block. My hat goes off to you all! Women power at its finest to create another generation of quilters. Whoohoo. and Congratulations!

  6. I saw a reference to Modern Quilt Guild in Lauren’s blog from Louisville. I could not imagine what was so modern about a quilt guild that did not already exist in the regular quilt guilds. Our guild in VA has many members who do “modern” or art quilts, as well as the traditional quilters. All kinds, colors and ages mix to share ideas. I can’t really think of any who do the kinds of things that were popular in the 70’s and 80’s. So what is the purpose of starting another set of guilds? Maybe the guilds in other areas of the country are not open to younger members? Too stuffy? Someone, please explain this to me!

    • yes, sometimes the guilds lack enthusiasm, vim-and-vinegar, some sort of “just do it”, I can’t seem to find the right words… maybe we just need some young “blood”?

  7. Hi Malinda,

    Really the idea is that we focus on modern quilts & quilting. All branches are certain to enjoy and learn about the tradition & history of quilting, but in terms of contemporary quilting our focus is modern. Other guilds, while often inclusive of this aesthetic, aren’t focused on it. Hope that helps!

  8. The definition should be difficult, in that no one style or type describes it. I’ve heard so many people who have convinced themselves that they are not artists, or quilters, simply because they had been lead to believe that there is a single, homogeneous definition of quilting.

    Modern quilting is not better than traditional quilting, it’s just different. It means I can use a piece of paper in a piece, and still call it a quilt. It means that I can accept and discard standard quilting rules as I choose.

    As for guilds, all guilds of a certain size will have a variety of quilters. Here is where the rubber meets the road: does the guild invite speakers who are not considered traditional quilters? Starting new groups is about focus. I enjoy many styles, and want the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of artists.

  9. Love this idea. I’m pretty traditional with most of my quilts, but I love improvisational work, too. Freedom is the key, and individualism is a close second. Thanks to all who are participating in this movement, and kudos from one of the ‘older’ generation of quilters.

  10. Congratulations for inspiring a whole new group of quilters. My style developed because I didn’t have the skills/time to make traditional quilts. So, adding embellishments helped to personalize my pieces and now beading on fiber has become my trademark and source of constant fun!

  11. 😀 I’ve been calling my quilting “common sense method” but “modern” sounds more official. I’d love to connect with some other modern quilters near me… are there any groups starting in the New River Valley (Virginia) area?

  12. I first read about Modern Quilting in the latest edition of Quilter’s Home. I’ve made every kind of quilt from traditional to more innovative and I’m finally coming around to a style of my own. Guess what–I think I’m “Modern”! I like simple piecing, “liberated” construction, a scrappy approach and fresh new fabrics. I don’t want to follow patterns, compete, or make quilts just to hang on walls (my house has lots of windows and few walls). I just want to have fun. I love your philosophy. I haven’t been so inspired in a long time.

  13. Great stuff, I’m so inspired by all this fresh modern quilting, and am diving headlong into the world of quilting and fabrics and design.

    Any chance of branching out to the UK?

    • If there isn’t one, Gill, we could start one!!! I just started quilting and am so happy to find out about modern quilting. I’m based in west London.

  14. I belong to a group of very talented ladies who are interested in “art quilts”. We meet monthly, share ideas, do a critique of each others’ work, a lot of talking!, teach each other different techniques, etc. I was wondering if the Modern Art Quilt has room for a small group (13) who don’t want to necessarily be quite as organized as your groups seem to be….officers, dues, etc., we are pretty inovative on our own but would like to be able to “connect” to the rest of the Modern Quilt World to expand our ideas. Are there bylaws for the MQG group that we are not aware of in order to belong Internationally?

  15. What an inspiration. I’ve met so many quilters over the past few years, and attended a couple of different guilds. Each definitely had their own “tone.” The modern quilter sounds more inviting. One is not bound to be a hand quilter, or a traditional quilter, but can be appreciated for one’s own unique talent.
    Is there a chapter near London, Ontario, Canada? I’ve seen that there is one in Toronto, but is there any closer?
    If not, I’d appreciate information on starting a chapter for London and area.

    • Hi Teresa,

      Are you getting anything going in London? I’m curious how you’re doing.
      Hope you’ve been able to at least meet some copacetic quilters,
      Louise (Vancouver Guild)

  16. I am returning to quilting after a 10-year hiatus and I am glad to
    see you folks are here. I found this website in a quilting magazine.
    I like the fact there are no rules much like African-American quilting
    in the past was very improvisational. I am striving for smaller quilts
    with more applique and an artistic flair. I am very enthusiastic about
    this cyberspace quilting bee.

  17. Yeaaa! So where were you guys back when I needed you so badly? After my very first quilt lessons I gave it up thinking that it was too constrained and traditional a task to take up. Thank the stars I found some like minded friends who showed me otherwise. I don’t know what I would have been doing now for 40 years. This is great-a place that gives ‘permission’ to try anything you want to try. Good for you!

  18. Congratulation to The Modern Quilt Guild…you are just the audience I envisioned when I started FreeSpirit Fabrics. I wish you great success as you continue to spread your good news! Donna Wilder

  19. The modern quilt guilds are a great idea. Many of us have been looking for something different to expand our growing need to do it all. I belong to the MQG of Chattanooga and we have quilters of all ages. It is very exciting. i am looking foward to all i can be! And what a great place to watch others grow as well as getting encouragement.
    Create, inspire,encourage.
    Brenda

  20. Just what I Have been looking for. Apparently other parts of the country are into quilting much more then those who live in South Florida. Look forward to meeting other quilters, sharing whatever knowlege anyone has acquired, as I am brand new to quilting, but have been sewing and doing other crafts most of my life.

  21. I wish there was a modern quilt guild near me. I have been looking for something like this! I am a young quilter and although I can appreciate the traditional patterns and see their importance; I love the look of modern quilts! Hopefully someday there will be a group nearby!

  22. Although I’m only in the thinking about quilting phase, I’m intrigued by “modern quilting” and feel that it will help me along my journey into quilting.

  23. I’m 60, I’ve been quilting for 35 years, and I find modern quilts to be fresh and fun. I am so happy to see younger folks learning and loving this old art and craft. I am glad to have the foundation I do, but this new style has me excited again. I love the fabrics and the relative freedom of technique. Reading different blogs is interesting and informative. I wish the internet had been around when I started quilting. What a wonderful resource!

    Be gone, quilt police! I’m having too much fun.

  24. I absolutely LOVE the new “about us”, and it exemplifies exactly what I try to maintain in our local MQG. We as the MQG are a unique entity and “brand” if you will – that offers an alternative to what is already out there.

    Thanks for the updated information!!

  25. Sounds good to me! We’ve found that all types of quilters are coming together in our group. How refreshing is that? Community is our strong suit. We love to come together and share. All ages, All styles, All quilters and Everyone dabbles in their OWN off the beaten path style once in a while… So we all fit MODERN!

    So glad the Modern quilt guild came to be!
    Thanks Alissa!

  26. I am very interested in the modern quilt idea and using social media/internet to meet and stay connected…however I am a longarmer…am I welcome? I noticed that you said that you stress finishing your quilts on home machines (I am guess you mean domestics) I use a longarm – does that disqualify me?

    I hope I can join… Liz B.

    • Hi Liz, of course you are more than welcome! This list of traits are things that you often find in many modern quilts, but not all modern quilts or quilters will always apply every single one of these traits to their quilting. Hope you find your local MQG and join! Thanks!

  27. My published quilt style has bridged the gap between traditional repetitive blocks and contemporary use of color and materials. I am eager to watch and partcipate in the Modern Quilt movement, and excited to meet young quilters with innovative thoughts and design approach.

  28. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the NYC Modern Quilt meeting this past Saturday. It was a lovely day in the city and I actually went with several other friends from my area. We enjoyed the enthusiasm and the fresh take on quilting and guilds in general. It seemed like everyone was there to have a good time, enjoy sharing and learn something. The NYC guild has so many opportunities to participate, it was difficult to just “sit on my hands”. I look forward to officially joining the group when I attend their next meeting in February. Thank you to the NYC group for being so inviting and inspiring! Kendell Storm

  29. As a beginner I am looking forward to learning lots of techniques and getting great ideas for modern quilting. I will certainly be telling my fellow quilters here in the U.K. about this site.

  30. I want to start a new modern quilt guild. Looking for ideas that have worked for your modern guild so I can plan for the first few meetings. Thanks in advance

    • Hi Marie, Once you get me the website for your new guild, I can post it on the main site and from there people will find you. There’s also a message board that I will add you to for leaders of the Modern Quilt Guilds. Lots of great ideas and conversations happening over there to help you plan your first meetings.

  31. I joined a Modern Quilt Guild in Michigan. This was just what I was looking for… a group of quilters that would use the traditional blocks and methods but reinvented. Also, I love solids…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE solids. With Amish quilts as inspiration, I have come up with my own solid quilts… changing the intensity, adding more white and gray, breaking the rules and adding just a bit of a pattern but the results are very modern and very ME. Thank you for starting this movement!

  32. I missed the reply from August until now…oops! Yay, I am joining the Modern Quilt Guild!!! I am going to try to start my own…not sure how to do the website (no money and not a lot of time), but I know there is free stuff out there – so I’ll keep ya posted on my progress!!!

  33. I was inspired by a recent post on your site and I am “again ” hooked on quilting. I have quilted for 30 years but always in more of a traditional manner. Modern quilting is exciting and new which make the art so much more fun……no rules rule! Thank you for putting the spark back into a treasure. I am a rare bird, one that still hand quilts…..of which I will always do, but the freedom with modern quilting just leads to so much more fun! Any interest in South Dakota for a guild? Count me in.

    • Deb; I realize you wrote this some time ago…but just had to ask if you were anywhere in the vicinity of Watertown? trying to find anyone with similar interests. Im in love with some of the Modern aspects, yet still work some traditional.

  34. This looks exactly like what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been trying to take my quilting in a new direction and haven’t found any like minded quilters in my area. Is it ok to just be an online member?

  35. I am thrilled to find your group. There is local group I hope to join in the near future! Keep up the good work.

  36. I am LOVING seeing the development of the modern quilt movement. I began quilting in the 70’s and am a baby boomer like Lucky Shie. I’ve done mostly traditional or innovative traditional quilts but lately the modern quilts are looking so fresh and crisp and just plain gorgeous to me. I have several modern quilts in the planning stages, as soon as I finish the current project.

  37. I own a quilt shop and have been trying to attract the modern quilter to my shop. I applaud you for giving a forum to those quilters coming on. Our job as quilters is to embrace you and make you feel comfortable and appreciated. I hope we have a guild soon in Arkansas.

  38. I am interested in joining a guild and clicked on the Lincoln NE link. When I went to that page there has been no communication from the person and nothing has been posted since 2010. Is there still a guild in Lincoln, NE? If not, can we start another one that is active?

  39. We are starting a Modern Quilt Guild in Twinsburg, OH. Our first Gathering will be Tuesday September 25,2012. Our meeting place is at the Bernina Store & Sew Much More 8900 Darrow Rd. (Rt.91 at 480) Twinsburg,OH. Call for details 330-487-0460

  40. I went to my 2 local quilt stores saturday to find a book on modern/art quilts, they said no one has asked about them before so no luck. They won’t order books that won’t sell. So if anyone in Tyler, TX is interested, so am I. I will be attending QuiltCon in Austin but that is in Feb 2012, months away and I want to learn more now!

    • How about Amazon or BN.com? I really like my copy of “Sunday Morning Quilts,” You are so lucky to live close to Austin. Enjoy the show. Also I just heard there is a new mag out “Modern Quilting Unlimited. I hope to find it soon.

  41. I have been following a few blogs that I have fallen in love with and did not know they were called Modern Quilts until recently. They are a breath of fresh air! There is no Modern Quilt Guild in our area and no interest from those in our local quilt guilds. I will be following on line. This is so exciting! The challenge will be trying to make some of my stash work with this new concept. It looks like I will be buying new fabric!

  42. Having been a quilter for more than 30 years, I am intrigued by the modern quilt movement, and I’m glad to see a new generation embracing the quilting life. I’ve been concerned recently to see that attendees at quilt shows are of a “certain age” and to watch quilt shops close because their owners are retiring. I don’t want to see this wonderful way of self expression die out with my generation. I am hopeful that through their enthusiasm, younger quilters will keep the quilting “tradition” alive and vibrant as they find ways to fit quilting into their fast-paced lives in fresh ways. I’m also learning a lot as I free up my own quilting in response to the modern movement.

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