Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It Ain't Dumb Luck it's Modern Quilting

Marny here...There is a brouhaha lurking in the quilt blogging world.  It may be a tempest in a teapot, but that won't stop us from weighing in.  Here is a set of three blog posts that caused the furor.  We found out about it reading Jacquie Gering's blog Tall Grass Prairie Studio on Friday April 1st.  I left a response supportive of Jacquie on her comment sheet.

It is hard to fairly paraphrase the pages of "the dumbing down of quilting" posts.  The phrase "dumbing down" seems a bit derogatory, though, any way you read the posts.

It ain't dumb luck that many Modern Quilts are gorgeous in their simplicity.  Reducing a composition to simple forms is not easy.  I can make complicated blocks, repeat them over and over, and put borders on them too.  (And I have.)  But that phase is behind me now.  Modern design principles, balance, scale and value are all important in what appears simple.  It is not dumbed down.

And for all the quilters having fun, whether they are designing or just having fun playing with fabric and producing quilts to be enjoyed and used, use whatever techniques suit you.  If wonky is fun don't let anyone stop you.  Do what makes you want to continue.  There is room for every type of quilter and every type of blogger in the quilting world.

jill here....I'm not going to read what Marny just wrote so it will probably be somewhat redundant.  I'm guessing she gave you an introduction as to the debate....

We all make quilts for different reasons. It's most always a sense of accomplishment to complete a quilt and be happy with the outcome.  Keeping the design fun and easy to execute leads to more successes and often plants a desire to try something new and more complex.  But, complex doesn't have to be complicated!

One of the reasons Marny and I started designing patterns was because we were not seeing a lot of the more contemporary/modern design esthetics.  Incorporating good design and fresh modern fabrics with well written instructions has been our goal.  I would hope that our designs are not "dumbing down" but making more with less.  We all want to create smarter, not harder and have fun with it.

So enter into the discussion as you wish, we really love to hear you comments! 'Till Tuesday....


  1. I'm glad I saw this and appreciate your input. I have been quilting about 12 years and have done all kinds of projects. It's a challenge to me to "keep it simple" not follow a pattern look for good balance and color combinations and just follow my instinct. Some of my quilts might look "easy" as a result...but they weren't simply thrown together.

  2. I like Marny's comment, "Do what makes you want to continue." And Jill's comment, "We all want to create smarter, not harder and have fun with it." It is fun once in awhile to meet the challenge of an intricate pattern, but it is also very satisfying to construct newly-published patterns that incorporate newer construction ideas. Anything to make us want to quilt more is up my alley. And I want to enjoy the process!

  3. You know I'll always agree that less is more!

    It seems to me like the original author is talking about technique, while modern quilters are talking about design. They aren't mutually exclusive, but I don't make quilts to see if I can master a particular technique. I make quilts to see if I can bring a design vision to life.

  4. More pictures...less typing :)

  5. I agree with Debbie (Esch House Quilts) - I make quilts to see if I can bring to some for of reality a design I've envisaged in my head - I explore alternative techniques, if an idea comes to me, and try to make making quilting projects a little easier. I do like traditional piecing but often prefer to do hand piecing rather than machine (it's so much more satisfying) but am currently finding more pleasure in looking and creating a more 'simplified', 'comtemporary' or 'modern' design.


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