Two Little Aussie Birds is doing a series this month called “Modern Quilting, Modern Women” that celebrates “what makes us who we are, how our craft defines us and gives us a creative outlet which pays respect to our mothers and their mothers before them.” I came across it via Young Texan Mama, and thought it’d be fun to participate too!
1. Tell us about how you started quilting and how you found modern quilting.
Although it’s most accurate to say that I’ve only been sewing since 2011, I actually made my first quilt in 2003. It was a t-shirt quilt featuring the race t-shirts from my first 30 races…and I never quite finished it. It was supposed to be tied (vs. quilted), and I never did that final step. It’s in our linen closet, but rarely sees the light of day. Still, it was probably the process of making that quilt that even led — 8 years later — to me finally buying a sewing machine and learning to sew and quilt in earnest. I made my first quilt in early 2012 and even though I’m a lot better at sewing now than I was then, I’m still proud of it.
I discovered modern quilting around the same time, probably thanks to Pinterest, where I remember oohing and aahing at this color wheel quilt. The first time I really remember focusing on modern in particular (instead of quilting in general) was when my friend Rachel taught at QuiltCon in 2013. I didn’t go, but saw a lot of her photos on her social media feeds and was hooked.
2. What does it mean to you to be a modern quilter and a modern woman?
Even though I think my quilts do fit into the category, I think the whole “modern quilting” label is kind of funny. I mean, people who quilt today are just doing what people have done for hundreds of years and just putting a current spin on it. I’m sure there were people in 1900, or 1850, or 1775 who were doing things that would have been called modern back then too.
But maybe that’s the point. Maybe “modern” is really just synonymous with “new” or “different.” These days, most people don’t make quilts out of necessity. We make them because we enjoy the challenge, or exercising our creativity, or the satisfaction of making something with our own hands.
To me, being a modern woman means that I am independent, self-sufficient, and that I have choices about what I want to do with my life. And I think modern quilting is about a lot of the same kind of qualities. Quilting today can really be whatever you want it to be.
3. Which quilt that you have made represents you and why?
Definitely the triangle quilt I made for Emma. She’s been using it for over a year now, and I still love everything about it — the pattern, the colors, the overall feel. It makes me smile every time I pull it up to her chin at bedtime.
Honorable mention goes to the Out to Sea quilt I made earlier this year. It was the 5th quilt I made, but the first time I used my own design as opposed to following someone else’s pattern or tutorial. I’ve already made two more of my own designs since then, and have a feeling there are many more to come.
4. How do you connect with other modern quilters?
Social media, for sure. First I started reading sewing and quilting blogs, but these days I follow a lot of quilters on Instagram too. In the past few months, I’ve also gotten into the world of swaps which has been SO much fun — both to make and to receive.
One big thing on my “to-do” list for 2015 is to get involved in the Houston Modern Quilt Guild. I participate virtually on Instagram, Flickr and their message board, but I’ve yet to actually make it to a meeting due to a variety of factors (schedule, location, time, etc). I’d really like to be able to chat about quilting with people in person, and HMQG seems like the best local fit for me.