Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rip van Winkle

The other day at the Bernina shop, one youngish woman said to the other- she feel like Rip van Winkle, for not knowing about the program My Label and the embroidery capabilities of the new machines. I could identify with that. When I bought my Bernina 170 in 2001 I had the same feeling. Since then I made sure that I kept updated and was one of the first to bought the new 830 when it became available in South Africa.

One of my old Quilts
I never thought that I would be like Rip van Winkle in the quilting world, though. I have taken classes in 1984 from Nancy Halpern, Michael James and Katie Pasquini. I am a member of American Quilters Society since 1984 and the Quilt Show since it started in 2007. I only missed the first 3 copies of Art Quilt Magazine and are subscribed to 5 quilting magazines.
I regularly take workshops on the internet and buy 10-20 quilt and art related books a year. I surfed the net and visited many websites.

Lately I have been interested in quilt as part of interior decorating and started to study Interior decorating books and magazines- and still I missed IT. I have discovered blogs and found a whole community and many info and tutorials available in blogland.

Today I feel like Rip van Winckle. While reading many blogs I suddenly start to realise that a whole new world exist. Perhaps it is because so many quilt bloggers is young and that they as a group could make an impact?  The signs of "them" and their activities was there but I was just fast asleep. (En soos ons in Afrikaans sê: Ek is met my broek op die knieë gevang!)

I have seen the new fabric trends- but have dismissed these. (It is not the type of fabric that I am buying and are attracted to.) But just as listening to a song and the tune become catchy the fresh look of the new fabrics started to catch on. I was seeing it more and more and read the blogs of some of these designers.

I then thought about these fabrics and the quilts made from them and came to this conclusion: Modern quilts use a lighter palette where white play a dominant role and the darkest colours are the true hues. I am a Jinny Beyer colour user where deep darks is our zinger and busy fabrics are banned from our stash. In the modern pallette there is no deep darks and busy fabrics has become beautiful when added to white! I got hold of all that "banned" fabric that was the only fabrics available in South Africa 20 years ago and that I have eliminated from my stash. I have it stacked away in different cupboards- so it was like a treasure hunt to get them all together.

Heather Grant (She has  Modern quilt a day blog) said in a interview with Fat Quarterly: "It just happens to be in layouts, color palettes and designs that are not appealing to modern quilters." and also:On a color tangent, white used to be the major color element in modern quilts, but then grey has become huge. I'm going to go out on a limb and forecast to say that I think navy blue will be the next hot neutral/background in modern quilting.

So just when I thought: If I buy 5 meter of white fabric I will be able to join in- this young group is getting ahead of me once again.
Heather carry on in this interview to highlight the pioneers of this "Modern Quilt" movement. Denyse Schmidt and Yoshiko Jinzenji has both written books- way back in 2005. (And I have slept like Rip right through it with my eyes wide open?)
There is even a Flickr group and they accepted me! so now I can play with! 
I am preparing for a workshop that I will give in Phillipstown and hope to capture some of the feeling of the "Modern Quilt" movement. (I am making Stars and Mariners compass that I do not think fit in Modern day interiors (a worth while comment from Heather) but applying this new pallette give a surprising airy feel to this classic blocks.

What a wonderful exciting world have unfolded for me once again in my quilting life. Thankyou young quilters, what a wonderful fresh influence you are! (When I started quilting in 1984 at 27 I was one  of  very few young quilters.)


  1. If all those quilts you show are yours (and I suspect they are) they are just gorgeous! You do beautiful work and I am sure you will catch up with the modern trends in no time at all!



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