I’ve always thought the Amish were the original modern quilters, with their solid fabrics and striking designs.
Still, there is a lot of discussion of the definition of modern quilting, and there are some financial issues at stake because there is (a little) money to be made in quilting.
There are lots of definitions that I like, including the one offered by the Modern Quilt Guild website. Individual modern quilters have their own definitions, too. I’ll tell you mine at the end, but meanwhile, here’s a list to consider:
You may be a modern quilter if…
…you’ve ever said, “This is the LAST TIME I’m making a quilt with a lot of blocks exactly
…you like to design quilts inspired by the mid 20th century aesthetic
…you like the look of quilts with a variety of different size blocks
…or you like your quilts with no identifiable individual blocks at all
…you like quilts with lots of negative space
…you enjoy working with solid (or almost solid) fabrics
…you often use improvisational piecing
…you like to challenge yourself to create something new rather than following a pattern …you are drawn to “low volume” fabric with a lot of background showing
Here’s my first stab at a definition: Modern quilting is about good design first. Many traditional quilts are good designs, but the emphasis is too often on how many tedious piecing techniques can be used perfectly. Modern quilts are more like “modern” art–technique must be good, but design is paramount.
Finally, of course, you’re a modern quilter if YOU SAY you are! You get to define yourself.