Specialist Group Focus: The Modern Quilt Group


The Modern Quilt Group is one of five special interest groups within The Quilters’ Guild. The group was born in 2014 through the endeavours of Helen Howes. She firstly explored joining American groups but (fortunately for us in the U.K.) found that impossible and so approached The Guild. Determined to establish a specialist group within its remit, following a small article in The Quilter and numerous emails, Helen had proved that there was sufficient interest in this new discipline. From the initial two members (Helen being one of them, Heather Hasthorpe the other), we are now almost 400 strong, with membership growing all the time.

A Modern quilt can be defined as a piece to be used, and is often quite heavily quilted. Many times, it’s a new interpretation of an old idea – nothing new under the sun and all that – but we can stretch the boundaries! I must confess that to see the Modern stand at Festival of Quilts being occupied by ladies using hand machines was rather a surprise, but now I understand the motives. Part of the Modern movement is the idea that sewing can be done anywhere, so, hand sewing, or a hand cranked machine make the craft eminently portable – quilting on the move!

MODQG West Country Quilt Show 2019

The Modern Quilt Group stand at West Country Quilt Show 2019.

The main aim of the Modern Quilt Group is to encourage sewers of all abilities. To this end, Modern have nineteen Tutor Boxes that can be hired for just postage costs. They consist of a lovely completed sample block with full instructions and are very popular – early booking is recommended. The tutor boxes can be borrowed by any size of group, for them to learn and teach from. To find out more visit the Modern Quilt Group webpage.

Being a modern group, we have a digital newsletter that is circulated to all our members. The money saved on postage is invested in postcards, some of which have detailed instructions for making the pictured quilt, others a link to our website where more information can be found.

We love to show our work and are represented at major shows, encouraging new members along our way.

Judith Dursley

Coordinator Modern Quilt Group

Quilt featured at top: Modern Jazz by Helen Howes, part of The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection.

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