Modern quiltingModern Quilting Blog

In this new showcase I’m featuring four Modern Quilters that you will love!

Arita Rai

I learned to sew in Grade 8 home economics and continued to make my own clothes until the early 1980s.  My local fabric store started teaching quilting classes in the early 80s and I have been quilting since then.  I find inspiration in nature, architecture, IG quilting community and taking a traditional block and trying to make it my own.  It wasn’t until I discovered the works of the women of Gees Bend and Gwen Marston that I really fell in love with quilting.

My first love is improv quilts, but will try other techniques like bias tape appliqué and foundation paper piecing. I also enjoy knitting and some embroidery work.   My favourite quilting tools is my seam ripper and the design wall.

I love making scrappy quilts and my quilted jacket was all fabric found in the scrap bin.  I also consider myself a finisher and my Lemonade Quilt was used making blocks from two different quilts that weren’t turning out how I wanted, so I cut the blocks up and added some low volume fabric and is one of my favourite quilts.  My Schitt$ Creek Quilt was a 2019 100 day project.  When it came to putting the blocks together I had a certain design in mind, I had pieced a third of the quilt together and it wasn’t working out for me so out came my seam ripper and was really happy with the final design of a modified 9 patch.  I love dense straight line quilting and usually will use up to six different thread colours.  I love trying all the colours and right now I am loving yellow and curry.  I am vey thankful to have had my fabric stash this past pandemic year.



With a life long love for patterns, geometry and abstract art, it’s only in recent years that I’ve discovered the beauty of traditional and modern quilts. The practice of working with needle and thread wasn’t new to me, as I was knitting and embroidering since my childhood. I don’t have a family background of quilting or any kind of sewing. Nevertheless I was drawn enough to the outstanding combination of pattern, color and texture and the wish of making my own one day grew.

In 2016, the time had come to buy my very first sewing machine to teach myself how to use it and to delve into several quilt making techniques. I have to emphasize that my rapid learning curve was enhanced because of the wonderfully generous quilters, who share their knowledge on the internet. I am immensely grateful for this community.

Today I can say: I came for the making, but I stayed for the designing. For the last four years I only created quilts based on my own designs. My technique often includes manipulating, transforming and rearranging traditional patterns, to create a new, modern approach. I always like to create optical effects with 3 dimensionality and perspective.

My Focus Quilt (#focusquilt) features a central perspective. I achieved this impression by changing angles of classic Half Square Triangles. My Atoms Quilt (#atomsquilt) features radial symmetry, but in a slightly non perfect way, to enhance the movement.

Equally important to my quilt designs is color. Color creates rhythm and depth. Color caries our emotions and memories. Some colors attract, others distract. They even change their quality through interacting. To explore these effects in my textile art, I prefer working with solids.

In 2020, I started my series of Color Studies (#snd_colorstudies). These Studies provide the joy of exploration and experimentation. The consistent work with colors creates a growing experience and knowledge that I use for new design ideas.



Hi! I’m Racini of @RacinisQuilts and I am a self taught quilter. I learned a lot of techniques
through YouTube, pattern testing, and most importantly, practice. My quilting journey started
after my graduate school years at Parsons School of Design when I lost my studio space.
During my Parsons days, I focused on large scale paintings and mixed media. I transitioned into
fiber arts and quilting because it was more manageable and less toxic in my small NYC
apartment. I initially taught myself how to quilt so I could gift it to my family and friends. I saw it
as “functional art” and loved that I could create designs and imagery through fabric, but never
did I think it would grow into what it is today.

Being of Filipino heritage born in Hawaii and raised in Germany, I enjoy brining forth and sharing
my culture and upbringing through quilting whenever I can. I love working with Filipino and
Hawaiian textiles when the project calls for it. It wasn’t until years after I started quilting that I
learned that my grandmother also quilted and sold quilts back in Hawaii before I was born.

As a painter, I shared my story through my paintings. As a quilter, I like to treat the fabrics is if
they were paint. I draw inspiration from my heritage, upbringing, New York City, and hip hop
culture. Artists such as Julie Mehretu, Bisa Butler, Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Kobra,
and Swoon, to name a few, also help drive my creativity.

My color palette is dependent on the pattern, project, and meaning behind the quilt. What
interest’s me the most about modern quilting are the clean lines and use of negative space. I
enjoy quilts with imagery and/or continuous patterns rather than repeated blocks.
This year my goal is to release 3 patterns that I did last year. This would be my first time
launching a pattern. I’m nervous and exited at the same time, but first thing’s first, I need to
finish writing it!



Hello everyone, I’m David Owen Hastings from Washington State. After 35 years in the Seattle area, my husband and I have recently moved to a small town on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula. We have dairy farms and lavender fields nearby, as well as the Olympic Mountain range, the Strait of Juan de Fuca leading to the Pacific Ocean, and even a rainforest within a couple hours drive. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place!

I was born and grew up in Iowa, surrounded by farmland. Maybe that’s why we’ve moved to a small town with a history of dairy farming! I’ve always loved needle arts, and learned to knit when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My grandmother taught me to use our old Singer sewing machine so I could make clothes for my GI Joe dolls… ha! I’ve been knitting and stitching ever since. 

I consider myself a modern quilter and textile artist, and was the 2020 President of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. I create modern minimal quilt and textile designs, and am inspired by architecture, modern abstract art, and I also love Japanese textiles and traditional crafts. Somehow all these interests come together in my quilting studio, and I love coming up with new designs and approaches to quilting!
I’m also a gallery artist and graphic designer. For over 20 years, I’ve exhibited my stitched paper artwork in galleries and juried shows and I have worked exclusively with nonprofit organizations on their branding and fundraising communications. 

My creative approach to modern quilting has led to a busy schedule of workshops and lectures on quilting, professional development for artists, fine art and textile techniques. Sharing knowledge, encouraging creativity, and teaching new skills are personal passions. I also love to travel (when we are allowed!), especially in Asia, and enjoy sharing my experiences and inspiration through travel photos and stories. 

This past year has been both terrible and wonderful: one positive thing to come out of it is the flourishing of teaching artists like me, connecting with people all over the world via virtual lectures and workshops. This has really given me life, and surprised me as to how much I love teaching and encouraging others in their creative lives.