Quilting the Quilt: Traditional, Contemporary or Modern

June 26, 2013

Modern quilts and modern quilt guilds are popping up all over the world. These quilts recapture some of the simplicity and beauty of early utilitarian quilts, yet they are not traditional and, also, not contemporary. You might wonder why any quilt made after the turn of the century would not be considered modern. In any other situation, we use the words modern” and “contemporary” interchangeably but, when it comes to quilts, they are not really synonyms. To understand how they differ, it helps to first see how traditional quilts are different from contemporary and modern styles.

The term “traditional quilt” conjures up images of quilts seen on Grandma’s bed, with rows of
uniform blocks, often with sashing strips and a border, in a classic layout. Color placement is often deliberate and planned. Construction techniques are “tried and true” methods for precision.

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