23 June 2014

Vintage v. Modern

I know that this discussion can get wildly out of hand, so I'm just going to touch on the subject. This week for the Pack Patch Mini QAL the prompts were to create a vintange inspired block and a modern inspired block. Because the constraints of this project involve all blocks being 12-patch minis the portrayal of vintage and modern is really in the fabric choice.

When I think of vintage quilts, I think of people sewing with left over scraps of fabric from making clothes or other household objects. I also imagine lots of ditsy calico type prints being around to make said clothing. So, I chose an old calico print I took from my mom (probably circa the 70s, but could be earlier or later), and a repro print. The repro is actually part of the first fat quarter I purchased for the first block of my first quilt!

Vintage Block
Vintage inspired block. 

For the modern block, Chase asked us to choose some fabrics that make us think of modern quilting. When I think of modern movements in art, I think of people pushing the boundaries of convention. So for me, modern quilting is a way of using the quilting medium, but in a different way than the traditionalists. So, that may include more negative space, less traditional layouts, modern fabric choices (although I tend to think that a traditional block worked in a modern fabric is still just a traditional block), color studies, spatial scale studies, etc. This is not a technical discussion, as I would rather have fun with my hobby than politicize it, but I did want to point out that I do think there is a difference. The line may be hazy, but it's still there. I find myself more on the traditional side of the spectrum, although I like reworking the blocks with modern-feeling fabrics.

Modern Block
Modern inspired block. 

I chose two prints with similar colors that are irregularly spaced patterns to create this block. The goal was to play with the negative space within the composition, but also stay within the 12-patch format. Kind of a fun challenge, actually! I used some Menagerie from Indian Summer, and an unknown scrap from some type of peacock feather fabric I purchased last summer. 

How about you? Do you like to debate what makes for a modern quilt(er), or do you just like to keep your head down and sew? 


  1. Interesting challenge! I think I would have chosen similar fabrics for my vintage block, then used the same colours but in solids for the modern interpretation.

  2. I tend to try to avoid debating, but it is an interesting conversation. :)


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