Modern quiltingModern Quilting Blog

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

Jess Baile

I’m Jess from @publiclibraryquilts based in London, England. 

I grew up under a quilt that was hand pieced and hand quilted by my great aunt from family clothes and discarded belongings. I am inspired by traditional practices of making that produce intimate and deeply useful objects. 

My quilts are made in conversation with their recipients’ cultural heritage and personal histories, often including a piece of fabric from a family’s past. Quilts are an alternative, nonverbal way to mark history and lineage. Quiet items of intergenerational care, they are evidence of past love making the present possible. My favourite part of the process is the hand quilting.

When I am not quilting, I am an art historian and freelance writer in the arts and humanities. This summer I wrote a small book about the history of quilting for social justice called Many Hand Make A Quilt: short histories of radical quilting. You can get a copy from @commonthreadspress (if sold out, don’t stress – restock coming very soon) I believe how we tell stories about the history of any artistic medium like quilting has the power to shift present structures of harm. 

You can also read my writing about a very special community quilt I made this year with @decolonisethegarden only from plant dyed and donated fabric in Issue II of @tatterbluelibrary ’s free online journal ( @tatterjournal ) This quilt raised funds for a farming and justice collective @landinournames 


Karen Gibson

I have been quilting for the better part of a year, professionally that is.  My mom taught me to sew however I taught myself to quilt with the help of inspiring quilters online!  I dabbled in some scrappy plaid quilting some years ago and never followed up until recently.  I’ve always felt drawn to quilts, I love how they feel and look.  However, I had no idea I would make it such an integral part of my life until now. 

My favorite type of quilting is improvisational quilting using only 2 fabrics and scrappy improvisational quilting using a multitude of fabrics or using my scraps from other sewing projects. I love love bright colors and bold prints on fabrics for my quilts!  I love taking a bold crazy print and deconstructing it to completely change the feeling and sight of it!  Quilting basically saved my life.  I was having health issues and dealing with Menopause.  The only thing I could focus on was sewing and building quilts.  Quilting gave me a confident place to live in and I could count on something tangible to give me a creative place to envelope myself in.  I have also been a spoken word artist and poet for many years before taking quilting so seriously.  I am an artist through and through!  It took me well into my adult life to reconcile with the fact that I would live as an artist full time.  I have been on many stages and made spoken word and music albums. 

I’ve published a book and look forward to walking that road again.  Somewhere along the road I plan to merge the two art forms in my own artistic way.  I haven’t discovered how yet ! Smiley face! I’ve collaborated with some amazing people to produce my first quilt pattern and I plan to continue discovering and becoming familiar with that side of quilting.  I love simple patterns that end up looking elegant and modern.  I love making patterns that give the beginner quilter the confidence to make quilts that look amazing and powerful.  Oh and I forgot one important thing.  I love hand quilting.  I’m not much for matching quilting but that might change! Who knows.  Maybe someday owning a long arm will change my whole concept of machine quilting. I feel that designing patterns and quilts will be my today, my tomorrow and my future! 


Julie Burton

Hi! My name is Julie Burton. I am a modern quilter and pattern designer currently living in Michigan. I started quilting in 2014 when I bought a sewing machine on a whim. I mostly taught myself the basics before I took a beginner quilt class at a local quilt shop. My friends were starting to have babies around this time so I immediately started making baby quilts. It didn’t take long for me to start designing my own patterns after that!
I am inspired by traditional quilt blocks. I love to start with a traditional pattern and make it more modern. I am also inspired by my surroundings. We are a military family so we move frequently. As a result, I find that the shapes and colors I am drawn to tend to reflect where we are living. When I’m not using my surroundings for color inspiration, I find that I gravitate towards blues and pinks. I almost always start with the same navy blue and dusty pink and add/remove colors until I’m happy with the end result.

Straight line quilting is my favorite, although sometimes I spice it up by using a serpentine stitch. I love when the simplicity of the quilting really lets the pattern shine. Quilting has become an everyday part of my life and the best creative outlet I could have asked for.!”


Tara Evans

I’m Tara Evans, a pattern designer and fiber artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I immigrated from the US to Canada in 2013 and started quilting around that time. Before that I was a painter, my university education was in Fine Arts. Now that I look back, my paintings were very heavily quilt inspired. I often laid geometric patterns onto my landscape paintings and played with layering blocks of colors in my abstract paintings. Now I create with fabric and a sewing machine!

I first was introduced to quilting as a child when I would help tie quilts at church activities for various charities. The designs were relatively basic and at the time I didn’t find it very interesting. But then as a young mother I started sewing for my children and eventually decided to make hundreds of HSTs one night and arrange them into various blocks. Voila, my first self-designed quilt! I was hooked. I immediately got out my designing software, Adobe Illustrator, and started designing. I was determined to design quilts that were very different from what I was seeing available at the time. My first pattern was Prairie Sky, and at the time it came out it was very unique. Instead of a repeating block, the design is row-based and mixes a lot of techniques; traditional piecing, paper piecing, and applique.

I would say my style is angular and dramatic both in shape and in color choice. With each pattern I design I try to master a new design skill whether it be paper piecing, using the most of a fat quarter, non-circular curves, reimagining a log cabin block, using thin strip units, blocks en pointe, or near-zero waste piecing. But most of all, I love bold and dramatic design.

I mostly use solids and the way I bring more movement and color variations into my quilts is thru ice-dyeing fabric. For half of the year there is snow on my ground and I have fallen in love with snow dyeing  and bleaching fabrics. My all time favorite color is olive green, the equivalent of Kona Cotton – Wasabi. I love it because it is dramatic and rich but also vintage and funky.