Yesterday was the lecture I organized on Modern Quilting. Rossie gave an hour long lecture on this new category of quilting that keeps creeping up lately.
There were several things that I found fascinating. The one thing I found most interesting was the clear correlation to Amish quilting, Gee's Bend quilts and Nancy Crow. Modern Quilting seems to be defined by the use of negative space in design and a sort of utilitarian style piecing. Lots of use of solids for graphic designs and a general sense of contentment to do your own thing without worrying about being the odd one out.
It seems to me to be a resurgence of the most traditional form of quilting. And I love it. Not a single thing about it that I don't care for and its making me a convert - I want to make functional quilts. What I find most exciting about it is the way brand new quilters are flocking to it, its created a new interest that is grand.
Rossie created a flickr pool for modern quilts a couple of years ago. Tons of inspiration there.
One point that Rossie touched on that really resonated with me is the term wabi-sabi.
Its a japanese term and wiki sums it up best in these two sentences: The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete." Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
This perfectly describes the reason why I can't warm up to machine quilting in my work. I've tried so many times, knowing that its a skill all of its own, always being in awe of those who have mastered it. But its never felt like me.
My work never looks like mine when I use a machine and so I go back to picking up the needle and thread and hand stitching everything.
I think it adds a soul, a mark, an element that I can't figure out how to embed in the things that I create any other way. It makes me content, this imperfection that clearly shows my hand.
Sounds right to me.