by Mary Beth Krapil


QuiltCon, the quintessential modern quilt show, was held recently in Pasadena, CA. It was the place to be for “modern quilters”.

At the same time, on the east coast, the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival was held in Hampton, VA. California was not the only place to find modern quilts on display. There was an interesting special exhibit of modern quilts from the Central Virginia Modern Quilt Guild. What made this exhibit especially interesting to me, was the information on the identifying card with each quilt. It listed the usual quilt maker’s name and quilter’s name, but it also had a statement from the artist about what made the quilt modern. I have yet to find a definition of a modern quilt that really defines the genre. There are descriptions floating around but they are quite vague. Words like negative space and geometric piecing and modern colors are used. Isn’t all piecing geometric? What makes a color modern? Have new colors been invented recently that weren’t around “back in the day”? It’s all very confusing. However, I can recognize a modern quilt when I see one. It’s just very hard to put into to words or define precisely.

I enjoyed seeing these quilts and I was very excited with the thought that I might come away with a better definition of a modern quilt. Sadly, I remain modernly confused. But that’s OK. I still enjoyed the quilts. Hoping you will too.

Can you put into words what makes a modern quilt modern? I’d love to hear your definition.