Thursday, May 23, 2013

Modern Quilting

My head is spinning these days because I have an opportunity to design for a "modern" quilt magazine.

If I had to describe myself as a quilter it would be "traditional with a twist."  I love scrappy quilts with traditional piecing and maybe a bit of wool appliqué thrown into the mix.  My favorite quilt blocks are sawtooth stars and flying geese.  I cut my teeth on Kansas Troubles fabrics and I still favor muted, darker colors - especially red.  I love red.  And I own all of Kim Diehl's books -- even though I become absolutely green with envy every time I open one of them.

So why would I even think of attempting to design a modern quilt?

Because I just can't help myself.

After I got over the initial surge of fear at the thought of attempting modern design, my juices started flowing.  I spent hours on EQ 7 playing with the ideas pouring out of me; countless color and block combinations spinning in my head.  Now this may have been due to the fact that I accidentally drank a pot of full strength coffee rather than the decaf I thought I'd made -- a hypothesis I plan to test when I'm feeling brave enough to withstand the accompanying racing heartbeat and shaking hands.  But I really think I was reinvigorated by the challenge of designing something totally different.

Bright, clear colors.  High contrast.  Simple, graphic patterns.  Negative space.  It's like learning a new language.

Maybe I'll work with solids.  Maybe I'll explore asymmetry -- shudder.  Perhaps, dare I say it, I'll even try some improvisational piecing.  Even the word "improvisational" gives me a thrill!

I don't know if I'll be successful and my designs may be a disaster.  But I do know, that right now, quilting feels like play again.  And that's good enough for me.

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