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QuiltCon 2020 New Directions in Techniques

My last QuiltCon post was about the theme of "Quilts with Something to Say", and the many quilts with their messages to share and statements to make. In this post I want to talk about some of the new directions in techniques that showed up this year.

I Believe In This Quilt from QuiltCon
I Believe In This Quilt by Ruthann Grace 

Problem Solved and Beautifully Flawed by Jean Broemel Quilt
Problem Solved and Beautifully Flawed by Jean Broemel Quilt

With so many quilts in a show, it’s helpful to have some frame of reference for how a show like QuiltCon is organized. Every show has different categories and ways of organizing the quilts accepted, and for QuiltCon, The Modern Quilt Guild organizes the quilts by breaking them up into categories based on the techniques and design elements that feature prominently in the quilt. For example, a quilt with intricate pieces might be in the Piecing category, whereas a quilt featuring appliqué would be in the Appliqué category. Other categories include Minimalist Design, Improv, Modern Traditionalism, Handwork, Small Quilts and use of Negative Space.

ME by Kristen van Minden from QuiltCon
ME by Kristen von Minden 

Moon Phases by Laura Loewen Quilt
Moon Phases by Laura Loewen @loewensewen

While it is difficult to make broad statements about ALL the quilts in the show since they are so varied, one overarching theme was the presence of handwork, hand quilting, sashiko-style stitching, and other types of embroidery. In fact, I saw examples of handwork in every category of the show. Many quilts incorporated hand elements into their design, and as a quilter who embraces and enjoys the deliberation of handwork, it was great to see many quilts entirely quilted by hand.

Spotted Gums on Mount Agony Road Quilt
Spotted Gums on Mount Agony Road by Lorena Uriarte @lorena_in_syd

Tar and Cinders Quilt
Tar and Cinders by Laura Loewen @loewensewen

Another emerging element I observed was the exploration of textures and loft in quilts. A fun thing about quilting is that, often times, the materials you choose can really impact the appearance of the quilt. By using a combination of battings, a loftier quilt is created that highlights the surface texture and accentuates the design of the quilt. From the prevalence of this technique, it seems like more quilters are exploring texture in new and exciting ways.

The Spaces In Between Quilt
The Spaces In Between by Tara Faughnan @tarafaughnan

Waist Not Quilt
Waist Not Quilt by Eliu Hernandez @madeorremade

Lesson Learned Quilt
Lesson Learned by Jen Broemel @highfivesandsilverlines

I came away so inspired and excited to work on my own quilts after seeing so many great quilts from so many talented quilters this year. If QuiltCon ever comes to your city, it's worth stopping by to take in the show and celebrate such a vibrant and creative community.

Comments on this post (3)

  • Apr 07, 2020

    I attended QuiltCon and it was wonderful. I left inspired also. Even if the show isn’t in your town all should try and attend.

    — Gayle Liechty

  • Apr 07, 2020

    I attended QuiltCon and it was wonderful. I left inspired also. Even if the show isn’t in your town all should try and attend.

    — Gayle Liechty

  • Apr 07, 2020

    Thank you for the feature! I keep up w FT news and pay close attention when you’ve made a shirt or created something else. I’m flattered that you’ve included this in your article.

    — Eliu Hernandez

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