‘Reflections’ is a piece in our museum collection made in the new-style category of Modern Quilt. This piece was created with the intention of making the fabric prints the main attraction, and simple triangles set within squares help the viewer to focus on the beautiful and carefully chosen arrangement of Japanese prints and Robert Kaufman Essex linen fabrics. Simple quilting enhances the design without detracting attention away from the fabric prints. This piece was one of two modern quilts accepted into The Collection at the start of 2019.
Sarah Hibbert is a Hertfordshire-based quilter, a member of Peartree Quilters and London Quilters, and joined The Quilters’ Guild in 1988. After many years of traditional work, she became interested in modern quilts and joined The Modern Guild in the USA, visiting their major Quiltcon exhibition each year. She has had quilts accepted into the past three QuiltCon exhibitions, with an unprecedented five quilts accepted in 2019. Sarah is inspired by modern aesthetics in quilting and by the beautiful Japanese linens that she uses in her work, and she enjoys introducing a spark of colour in an odd position or twisting a block the wrong way.
Defining Modern Quilting is difficult; in many ways the genre can be described as a collection of stylistic and creative characteristics, not all of which need to be present to classify as a Modern piece. The Modern Quilt Guild (established in 2009 in Los Angeles) defines Modern Quilting as ‘Quilts that are functional, include bold colours and are inspired by modern design’. Elements include minimalism, asymmetry, use of negative space, and improvisational piecing. Many modern quilters use traditional blocks but give them a new twist by altering the scale or using modern printed fabric designs. It is described as an attitude and approach to quilting, which allows quilters to challenge the rules whilst respecting the artistry and traditions of its historic roots. However, the ‘no rules’ rule can also be the cause of much debate and confusion! The Guild’s own Modern Quilt special interest group formed in 2014.
Whatever your thoughts on or interpretations of Modern Quilting, the acquisition of a Modern Quilt for The Quilters’ Guild Collection marked an important point in the history of our organisation and the evolution of our Collection. We are thrilled to have a piece that brings us right up to date, and to represent the latest development of styles in the always developing, growing and evolving crafts of patchwork and quilting.