Make it personal.

A Review of Quilter's Home's Modern Quilting article

After my last post I felt I really needed to track down a copy of Quilter's Home June/July '10 and read the article that made Susan think of me.. And I'm glad I did, because by entering my quilts in the local show, I'm doing exactly what QH says needs to happen to bring the online quilt world and the real life quilt world together.  Glad they agree with me. :)
Overall I had some mixed feelings about the article.  Their definition of Modern sounded rehashed (haven't we had that discussion already?) and I don't really agree with their rendition.  I think there's a lot more to it than geometric shapes and large white spaces, but I agree that the computer and the internet are essential creative tools to the movement and that there wouldn't be a "movement" without blogs.  I didn't like the quote from the product manager at Westminster that implied that it is mainly the designers' blogs that are fueling the creativity of the masses.  How far from the truth!  Inspiration comes from all over the place and if I were asked to pinpoint one place that provides the most inspiration, it would have to be flickr, which (surprisingly!) the article doesn't mention at all!!!
But it was really interesting to see the industry's view of "us" and the print media's view of blogland.  Quite eye opening.  I wondered if I should start reading every quilt magazine to keep up with what's happening in the quilt world "out there," but then I remembered that this isn't my career, just a hobby, albeit an obsessive one, and if I were going to spend more time on quilt stuff I'd rather it be sewing and getting involved locally.  I wonder if it would ever get boring to work for a magazine like that though?  To spend my days hunting through the internet for the next trend or to search for and research patterns in blog posts, or to study the pulse of the quilting industry.. hmm.  Maybe I'm in the wrong field after all..  But no, I've never really been one to follow commercial trends and I think I'd like to have that information just to know it, instead of having to write and edit and sell it on industry supplied deadlines.  Moving on..

Back to the conversation that prompted my review-- maybe I equated Susan's "leading" with "founding" and couldn't identify with that term because I did not start the NYC chapter of the Modern Guild.  But when I thought some more about what it means to lead a movement..   then yes, I'll step up to the challenge.  I suppose I wasn't thinking in terms of the quilting world, the majority of whom are over 50 and don't keep up with online quilting, but having a more narrow view (my own point of reference) and placing myself in the spectrum of quilt bloggers, where my role as a leader is, um, not really well formed yet (read: yeah, right. with only 40 hits a day? hahhaaha.)
I could really identify with the head of C&T's marketing dept who doesn't like the labels "fresh" and "modern," but instead placed emphasis on making things more personal, creating a "handmade lifestyle."  Believe me, I recognize the need to have handmade things in life.  But that is not unique to modern quilters, a lot of quilters feel that way.  I think "handmade" is just finally trendy among more of my generation, which then in turn opens the door for new people to try this craft and fall in love with it.  Which is what the quilting world really needs, more members. 
In the end, I'm glad QH ran the article because I'm sure it brough the movement to the attention of lots of quilters offline.  Now maybe they won't be so surprised when they start to see our quilts showing up places, like their quilt shows (on an impulse, I entered 2 more quilts in the Evening Stars' show..).  Maybe the local quilt shops will take notice too.  I'm not asking that they all stock every trendy fabric designer's complete collection, but Toni, can you at least order some solid grey?!?


  1. Jessica, I enjoy your blog and mostly agree with what you say but I do take issue with your comment regarding the quilting community..."most of whom are over 50 and don't keep up with online quilting." The age part would probably be hard to argue with but I wonder how you came to the conclusion that most over-50s don't keep up with online quilting. I think that is definitely arguable and suspect that there are probably just as many under 50s as those over who could be included in your statement. As one of those over-50s, I spend way too much time every day on Google Reader keeping up with the many quilting blogs I subscribe to.

  2. I so agree about flickr. I only read one fabric designer's blog regularly so that's certainly not a place that I'm drawing very much inspiration. As I've said before, I'm not very very much involved in any quilting "community" so I know very little about these trends but I certainly have enjoyed reading your (continuing) thoughts about it.

    And I love your quilt at the end!

  3. Carole, good point.
    It's hard to know the demographic of who's reading (especially if they don't leave comments..). I know a lot of 50+ quilters that are very active online-- I've met them all online though. The quilters I know irl are a different story.
    maybe it would have been more acurate to say "over 50 OR don't keep up with online quilting." Of course I made the statement based on most of the quilters I've met or know about. 2 real life examples that lead me to my conclusion: (1) the guild I belonged to in MA-- it was my idea to start a yahoogroup for the guild and it was more difficult than I expected to get the majority of this group of quilters (75 in total) "on" the yahoogroup and able to use it. you could argue that it was the yahoo group that was the problem, but i don't imagine things would have been easier if I had suggested starting a guild blog or flickr group. That guild did not see the internet as a quilting tool, as the QH article mentions. (2) before moving to NY, I scoured the internet for guilds and quilt stuff in our new neighborhood. I was happy to find that there are TONS of quilters on Long Island. I was discouraged at the lack of long island based quilt blogs or other easily identifiable long island based internet quilting groups (i.e. flickr groups- there is one, quite neglected). When I walked into my first quilt group meeting here I got the customary raised eyebrows which i attributed to my youth, and I don't know what response I would have gotten if I mentioned blogging. This is all just my experience, but how could I blog from anything else?

    of course, it's possible that I'm wrong in my assumptions. Carole (or anybody), would you say that most of the quilters you know in real life keep up with quilting online? I'm curious to hear other people's assessments..

    (btw, I wanted to respond to you via email, but you're set up as "no-reply".)

  4. I have so many blogs on my Reader feed - it's a great way to procrastinate, I find - and there are a lot of over 50s with blogs! So many! Although most of them are not doing the modern thing, I admit. I do think there are some quilters who are wedded to particular designers and allow these designers to shape their own tastes. (For example, I saw a recent comment about Denyse Schmidt's forthcoming line that said something like, I never would have liked that but since it's from DS, I guess I will have to change my opinion! Huh?) As someone under 50 (FOR 15 MORE DAYS), I have gladly embraced Eclectic Quilting - a little bit of everything and nothing in moderation!


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