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Genue Inc.
March 30, 2018

The Rise of Modern Quilting

I love quilts. I always have. There is a history of quilting in my family, so the medium has always felt nostalgic and comforting to me. In the United States, quilting was prevalent in the 18th and early 19th centuries, but the practice may date back to ancient Egypt.

 

stacks of quilting and sewing materials on a desk

Maura Ambrose, Folk Fibers

While I love traditional quilts, Amish whole cloth quilts are a particular favorite of mine, it has been so interesting and exciting to see all of the new emerging quilters. In part thanks to social media, specifically Instagram, it’s now easier for these makers to have a platform for their work.  One of the Instagram juggernauts in the modern quilting is Maura Ambrose of Folk Fibers. Maura lives and works in Austin Texas, hand quilting and naturally dyeing the fabric used to make her one-of-a-kind compositions.

 

geometric quilt featuring a triangle pattern in blue tones and neutral colors

Flying Geese Quilt, Folk Fibers

 

Maura tends to work with classic folk and Americana designs – creating work that feels updated, but is a nod to the tradition and history of American hand quilting. The color palette and shapes are more modern, but the overall feeling is nostalgic, which I like.

 

Another quilter who is known for her modern and intricate piecework quilts is Meg Callahan. Callahan was raised in Oklahoma and graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. She launched M. Callahan Studio in 2011.

 

dark grey/blue geometric quilt featuring repeating patterns with triangles and squares

Maui Quilt / Meg Callahan

 

The Maui Quilt is made entirely of black fabrics from different dye lots, when paired together, they each take on a distinct color.  One of the first quilts I saw of hers was the Caddo Quilt in Dwell Magazine. I am in awe of Callahan’s precision and unusual color combinations in her work.

 

grey, red, blue and beige quilt featuring geometric patterns including rectangles and triangles

Caddo Quilt, Meg Callahan

 

I recently heard of Abigail Booth after going to Piecework Collective in NYC this past fall. Booth’s work feels like a refreshing take on quilting after the styles of Folk Fibers and Meg Callahan. A bit more free-form and casual, but perfectly crafted nonetheless.

 

beige background with black grid-like strokes

Iron Sign, Abigail Booth

 

Booth works collaboratively under the name Forest + Found, with her partner Max Bainbridge in London, UK. Her work references place, using iconic architectural, ancient objects and landscape imagery and a muted palette.

 

beige background with five tan vertical column strokes

Torn Bars, Abigail Booth

 

From minimal colors to punchy color combinations, traditional motifs to modern minimalism, it’s wonderful to see quilts reexamined as a medium in the current art scene.

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