Modern quiltingModern Quilting BlogShowcase3

In this new showcase I’m happy to introduce to you these amazing Modern quilters!

Sophie Zaugg

I have been quilting for about twenty years. After an unsuccessful attempt to learn on my own how to piece traditional quilt blocks by hand … I took a few classes in a local quilt shop to learn the basics and how to use modern quilting tools. I also attended a few workshops, in particular about colour study and improvisation, throughout the years.

My work is influenced by graphic design and contemporary art. I often find inspiration online, bookmarking pictures that have a visual interest for me. This is usually the starting point of my planned quilts. My improvisational quilts are more about exploring simple shapes and traditional quilt patterns.

I especially like working with solids and very graphic prints which allow for clean lines and bold designs. Stripes and texts prints are my go-to pattern when I buy fabrics. I tend to work with a limited number of prints for a project and combine them to matching solids.

I am drawn to geometric and abstract designs, asymmetric compositions, clean lines and bold shapes. I love playing around interaction between shapes and background and addingnegative space to my quilts.


Chawne Kimber

I started quilting in 2005, just for fun. Using a simple old book, I taught myself techniques and practiced them in many early traditional quilts. It was meditative and therapeutic to indulge in the process. 

My quilts are inspired by the social justice issues we face in the world today: censorship, identity and difference, police violence, and rape culture. Through minimalist improvisational designs I express my anguish about current events. When I need a break from this reality, I like to indulge in improvisational geometric games using very small pieces.

I have no favorite colors; they are all wonderful. And, most often, I like to use all colors at once. But my favorite fabric to use is denim. I use both: denim harvested from old jeans and new yardage. 


Maria Shell

Basically, I have been sewing all of my life and quilting for the last twenty years. I love the language of the traditional quilt block–it has so much to say! I started out as a traditional quiltmaker who eventually began to make work for the wall that has a modern aesthetic. I came to Modern Quilting through the backdoor. I love all colors, and I am a big advocate for brown–try it.  Neutrals are heavy lifters in our world. I love patchwork, improv work, and the traditional quilt block. 

I have always sewn. I started hand sewing when I was four. My mother bought me my first sewing machine when I was ten. That really was the deal. At that point, I began to make all of my own clothes. I sewed almost my entire life. In 2000 when my family to Valdez, Alaska for my husband’s job, I discovered quilting. I started my first quilt in a workshop offered at the Calico Whale. Within months, I was working at the quilt store and teaching workshops. I knew from my very first quilt that I had to figure out a way to make a living as a quilt artist because that is what I wanted to be. Knowing that I wanted to make quilts was easy. Finding the way to making a living as a quilt artist was hard.

There were several people who were instrumental in my quilting life. The owner of the Calico Whale, Trudy Koszarek, and her workshop instructors, Jody Morgan and Lil Dillion, were incredibly supportive of my early work. I feel very fortunate to have been involved in a quilt shop that supported creativity and originality over selling the latest notion or kit. 

In 2009, I received a Rasmuson Grant to study with Nancy Crow for three weeks. Since then, I have attended her workshops whenever I can fit them into my budget and schedule. Learning from Nancy Crow is an intense experience that shaped the direction of my work especially my ability to use color and layer pattern.

In the very beginning, I was obsessed with mastering traditional quilt techniques. In particular, I wanted to be able to do complex piece work and intricate quilting. After studying with Nancy Crow, I became more interested in how American Patchwork can be used to create interesting figure ground compositions. I have always been fascinated with color. I am continually trying to push conventional notions of color in quilt making.

For almost ten years, I have been working with the traditional quilt block Crossed Square. Because of the way this quilt block is structured—with pieced lines going through the block both horizontally and vertically— it can be used to create endless variety. I have been expanded, contracted, multiplied, and colored that block in for many years. 

For me, craft and the creativity are one and the same. It really is about getting into the studio and doing the work—My hands are the conduit for the ideas that appear when I am present in the studio.  I think in the language of American Patchwork. I am always trying to see what can I do that is new and exciting with this old artform. While my ideas may be new, my craft or tradition is not.

Facebook—Maria “the Stitcher” Shell <>
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Kim Soper

I began quilting around 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my second son. I was drawn to the medium of quilting because I saw it as functional art. Growing up, I had learned how quilts are assembled by watching my mom, who is a traditional quilter. But it wasn’t until I discovered the modern quilting movement online that I was hooked. I loved the idea that I could make modern useable art for my babies to snuggle! How fun!?!?

I wouldn’t say that I have a particular style or color palette that I work with (although many of my quilts do have bright, bold colors), but I would say that I am drawn to the idea of making collaborative work. “Lincoln” was based on the design of an Indonesian artist. The “In Our Own Words Quilt” was a collaboration with 196 women from around the world. And The Creativity Project, my series of weekly interviews in 2018, was a collaboration with 52 quilters over 52 weeks.

While the Creativity Project was focused on “Why” we quilt, I am now focusing my work on “How” we quilt. I am interested in how we source our materials, how we support our creativity through our environment, and how we take care of ourselves —  both through quilting and in order to become a better quilter. I’ve recently launched @feelgoodfibers, an online marketplace for the sale of secondhand quilting fabrics. There, you will find the Good Vibes blog, where we share articles about supporting creativity through meditation, lifestyle, and decluttering. I hope you’ll check it out!
IG: lelandavestudios
Twitter: lelandavestudio
Pinterest: lelandavestudio

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