From Laura: Our special guest contributor today is Pati Fried. Pati and I belong to the same mini quilting group, and I have enjoyed seeing the range of her talents through her quilts. Not only is she an accomplished quiltmaker, but a passionate gardener as well. Welcome, Pati!
What is this fresh, new energy that is rocking our quilt world? I was curious. My Pinterest Board started filling up. I found myself hovering over the solids, linens, and shot cottons in my favorite quilt shops. I started following Modern Quilt blogs and the first inspirational resource, Fresh Modern Quilts.
The Modern Quilt Guild writes:
Modern Quilting is inspired by modern design. It has many different characteristics, but often uses bold or solid colors and prints, with high contrast and graphics. It may include improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. Modern Traditionalism, or the updating of classic quilt design, is also seen as modern quilting.
That’s a pretty broad description. But ya kinda know it when you see it, right?
My work never looked quite as traditional as I intended it to. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traditional quilting, reproduction fabrics, and the rich history that makes quilting what it is today. It is classic and beautiful. A Baltimore Album quilt or tiny pieced HSTs (half-square triangles) will always make my heart skip a beat. To be able to balance that with what I was feeling from the Modern Quilts seemed like an answer to finding my own voice.
I joined the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild (EBMQG) about a year ago. It was right before their annual event, Stitch Modern, a month-long extravaganza of all things Modern Quilting. I am so glad I did. What I found was friendship, support, and a whole lot of inspiration – young quilters, new quilters, and a few seasoned quilters like me, all looking for a new perspective. I love this guild. It pushes me out of my quilted box. It encourages me to simplify. It reminds me to focus on what I really want to create and minimalize the rest.
So that’s the big question: What do I want to create? Hmmm . . .
How would I simplify or minimize that? I don’t necessarily want to spend time on a quilt with a limited color palette or fabric selection. I live for prints, design, and color. That’s what drew me to quilting in the first place, that mixing and matching, making the fabric speak to me. I want to enjoy the dance as much as the finished product. I still want my quilt to sing – just in a fresher and simpler voice.
This is the challenge I have given myself: to embrace what I have learned in twenty years of traditional quilting while continuing to push my skills by enjoying an eclectic mix of patterns, color, and texture. Oh, and did I mention that I want it to be a finished product that will reside in my home comfortably? Yeah, that too.
Quilting is all about the journey for me. Maybe I fit into the Modern Traditionalist group, and maybe not. To be honest, I am not sure I care what the label is, as long as I am enjoying the dance.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the “quilting journey” of this talented Bay Area quilter. To learn more about Pati, and to see a gallery of her quilts, visit her website here. For a generous sampling of the Modern Quilts on display at QuiltCon 2013, the first international conference and show presented by The Modern Quilt Guild, check out Darra’s two-part eyewitness post here and here.
‘Til next time, happy stitching!