Guest Post: “(Aspiring) To Be a Modern Quilter” by Pati Fried

From Laura: Our special guest contributor today is Pati Fried. Pati and I belong to the same mini quilting group, and I have enjoyed seeing the range of her talents through her quilts. Not only is she an accomplished quiltmaker, but a passionate gardener as well. Welcome, Pati!

Pati Fried_editQuilting has been my passion for a long time. There are oodles of trends that pass through our beautiful, quilty world. Some trends have created such an impact that they become a new style of quilting. Modern Quilting has definitely made that impact and has found a permanent home in the quilt world, alongside its friends: Traditional, Contemporary, and Art Quilting.

What is this fresh, new energy that is rocking our quilt world?  I was curious. My Pinterest Board started filling up. I found myself hovering over the solids, linens, and shot cottons in my favorite quilt shops. I started following Modern Quilt blogs and the first inspirational resource, Fresh Modern Quilts.

The Modern Quilt Guild writes:

Modern Quilting is inspired by modern design. It has many different characteristics, but often uses bold or solid colors and prints, with high contrast and graphics. It may include improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work.  Modern Traditionalism, or the updating of classic quilt design, is also seen as modern quilting.

That’s a pretty broad description. But ya kinda know it when you see it, right?

romance_1_red on chair_edit

My work never looked quite as traditional as I intended it to. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traditional quilting, reproduction fabrics, and the rich history that makes quilting what it is today. It is classic and beautiful. A Baltimore Album quilt or tiny pieced HSTs (half-square triangles) will always make my heart skip a beat. To be able to balance that with what I was feeling from the Modern Quilts seemed like an answer to finding my own voice.

I joined the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild (EBMQG) about a year ago. It was right before their annual event, Stitch Modern, a month-long extravaganza of all things Modern Quilting. I am so glad I did. What I found was friendship, support, and a whole lot of inspiration – young quilters, new quilters, and a few seasoned quilters like me, all looking for a new perspective. I love this guild. It pushes me out of my quilted box. It encourages me to simplify. It reminds me to focus on what I really want to create and minimalize the rest.

Romance_2_deck_edit

So that’s the big question: What do I want to create? Hmmm . . .

quilt detail_editWith traditional quilting, my answer was simple – if I like something, I make it. I joke that it’s my “speak, dance, and sing” process. A fabric or a new technique will speak to me.  Then I do a little dance experimenting with them. The result is to create a quilt that–you got it–sings.

How would I simplify or minimize that? I don’t necessarily want to spend time on a quilt with a limited color palette or fabric selection. I live for prints, design, and color. That’s what drew me to quilting in the first place, that mixing and matching, making the fabric speak to me. I want to enjoy the dance as much as the finished product. I still want my quilt to sing – just in a fresher and simpler voice.Montage_editThe green medallion in the montage above was a Round Robin project in progress. The center block was created by Judy Miller, and I worked on the border. The Four Baskets medallion was also a Round Robin project in progress. I created the center block, and Nancy Paterson designed the border. The other examples are some of my first attempts at Modern Quilting.

This is the challenge I have given myself: to embrace what I have learned in twenty years of traditional quilting while continuing to push my skills by enjoying an eclectic mix of patterns, color, and texture. Oh, and did I mention that I want it to be a finished product that will reside in my home comfortably? Yeah, that too.

romance_stacked quilts_3_edit

Quilting is all about the journey for me.  Maybe I fit into the Modern Traditionalist group, and maybe not. To be honest, I am not sure I care what the label is, as long as I am enjoying the dance.

~Pati Fried

We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the “quilting journey” of this talented Bay Area quilter.  To learn more about Pati, and to see a gallery of her quilts, visit her website here. For a generous sampling of the Modern Quilts on display at QuiltCon 2013, the first international conference and show presented by The Modern Quilt Guild, check out Darra’s two-part eyewitness post here and here.

‘Til next time, happy stitching!

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