In this new showcase I’m featuring four Modern Quilters that you will love!
I studied Textile Design at University in Liverpool, UK, many years ago but couldn’t get a job in the industry and eventually got into web design, and today manage a design team at one the UKs largest supermarkets which is fun but not that creative. I have always loved colour and print and about five years ago picked up the Liberty book of home sewing and had a go at the simple brick quilt pattern in the book and loved it! I of course thought you had to use Liberty fabric and my mitred corners were more round than square but I loved the process.
From there I took a couple of classes; one with Luke Haynes @entropies and one with Sarah Fielke @sfielke and I realised you can kind of do what you want! So I started from there and effectively taught myself improv, I got a copy of the amazing book by Sherrilynn Wood @sherrilynwood and that was a big inspiration.
My big influences are street art, I love all the different layers and colours all working with each other to create an amazing texture and image. Punk music, artwork and ethos is a big influence, e.g. anyone can make a punk song, and I kind of take that approach with my quilts, I’m not too concerned with rules and if you like what make then that’s good enough for me. I also love the British fashion designer Paul Smith, he mixes classic tailoring with eccentric British tastes.
I now make modern improv quilts from primarily recycled fabric, I love visiting the flea market and sourcing fabric for my quilts, I love saving fabric from landfill and creating something practical and visually interesting. I use a mix of hand and machine quilting to achieve a mix of contrasting textures.
I’m currently working on some more traditional nine patch quilts but using a wide range of different fabrics and combinations.
I firmly believe that quilts should be used (especially in the UK in the winter😂) and that recycling fabric can only be a good thing.
I’ve been really fortunate to have my work on tv, in several quilting magazines and books and love teaching at the Festival of Quilts in the UK. It’s my ambition to teach worldwide, to get more men quilting and to stop fabric being wasted.
Seven years ago I volunteered to take over for my grandmother to piece, quilt, and bind a queen-size wedding quilt for my cousin. Despite doing it all on my domestic machine, I was still excited to keep quilting and use the scraps for a baby quilt for a new nephew. With each subsequent niece or nephew, I had a reason to learn a new technique, which was largely gleaned from quilting blog posts. If I used patterns, they were used as a framework to explore the color and block ideas I wanted to play with.
A Kona Cotton 2 1/2” roll-up in citrus colors was a revelation. I didn’t realize that fabric came in these types of colors, nor that fabric didn’t need a print on top of them to have a visual impact. By setting those colors against a white background, using an alternate grid, and just starting to thinking about minimalism and negative space, I was bringing my aesthetic from other design aspects of my life into my quilting, embracing the modern quilting approach without realizing there was such a thing.
I’ve almost exclusively used solids (or fabrics that read as solids) since that roll, as I find it easier to explore color interactions with them without other things competing for my attention. It’s part of that ongoing struggle to find just the right balance of visual interest, not noisy, not lacking, that makes creating so exciting.
I often read about quilters that grew up sewing or around quilters. That is not my experience. I learned to sew after having my first child 10 years ago. I went straight for quilting. I walked by my local quilt shop and saw the quilts in the window and decided I needed to make a quilt (and also have an excuse for some alone time!). I took a beginners quilting class and just went from there. I enjoy taking classes whenever I can. There is always something new to learn!
I grew up in Argentina where quilting is not a tradition, so I think that “beginners mind” was there for me. I don’t follow a lot of rules and love many different styles of quilting. My favorite quilts have to be the Gee’s Bend quilts. They are a source of amazing inspiration.
I’ve tried making “planned” quilts but they never end up as I planned them and I celebrate that! I usually just play on the design wall and improvise. I love color and enjoy trying new combinations. I sometimes start with a set palette but often I just use color as a way to improvise as well. My favorite way to improvise so far has been to pick a shape or block and play with repetition, variation, scale, color, etc.
I moved to the US several years ago to go to grad school and have lived here since. I don’t know many local quilters so it’s fun to be able to get feedback and support through social media. I still remember how awkward it felt to share my first few pictures here, but it’s been worth it! I have also really enjoyed attending Quiltcon and exhibiting in the show. I’ve made great friendships along the way.
Victoria Findlay Wolfe
When I was very young, I always said I’d be an artist. Coloring, building, making consumed my days. Growing up on a farm in Central Minnesota meant we made, grew, mended, and made do with what we had. My mother was a seamstress, and sewed much of our clothes. My father also had an upholstery business on the farm, so my sewing and 3D skills were quite influenced from a young age. “Find something to do” was a common phrase in our house. So I did. I went to an Art College and have a Fine Art degree in painting. I always made my own clothes as I did learn to sew starting around 4 years old and made many quilts by hand piecing and machined pieced during my college years.
After finding blogs online (years ago) I was a member of a group called “Maverick quilters”, and another called “Rebel Quilters”. We did not use patterns and worked improvisation-ally (before “modern quilting” came along) I give all credit to @tonyariccuci for giving me permission to make however I dreamed it to be. I work with fabric the same way I paint. I work out designs on my design wall. I get bored if I know the outcome ahead of time. I need to cut, look, make wrong turns, find ah-ha moments and continue to look until I get my desired story that I want to tell. It’s all about that journey a quilt takes me on.
I love Traditional quilt design, and I use it as a springboard to discover new patterns within patterns, like the double wedding ring, scrap quilts, and quilts with interesting techniques.This journey so far has lead me to books, patterns, fabric design, my online store & classes, teaching, lecturing and exhibiting globally as an artist. I need that creative journey, and I love inspiring others to also give them Permission to play. My books, fabrics, patterns videos are all at my website: VFWquilts.com