Due to its long history, quilts and quilting is often seen as an old fashioned hobby. While this may be the case, just because quilts have years of tradition behind them does not mean that they have not found a way or a place in modern times. The very fact that people are still quilting proves that the hobby is still relevant. Plus, quilting itself has changed. Many quilters create contemporary quilts, which are often reflective of current society.
In one sense, all quilts were contemporary quilts at one point or another since quilts often reflect what’s fashionable, what’s trendy, or what society considers important. For example, double wedding ring quilts were very popular in the 1930s. This trend reflects what 30s women felt towards marriage. The fact that women were meant to sew these quilts is also reflective of the roles they had to play in that decade.
Today’s contemporary quilts are also reflective of current society. Many quilters have shown modernity by focusing on art, treating quilts like canvas instead of pieces of fabric meant to be sewn together. Quilting has become about creating or creativity, about stretching your imagination. That is reflective of the freedom the members of our current society enjoy. The fact that you don’t have to follow the rules when quilting and the fact that it is acceptable for both men and women to quilt shows us how far society has come.
Modern quilts and quilting have gone through several trends. Quilt art or QuilArt is one of the most popular. Quilts are used as canvas, and the quilter is given free reign over how to create and design their creation. Patterns and symmetry in patchwork need not be followed, which can be a lot of fun for quilters, but it also means they may have to create their own pattern based on what they have designed, and this can be a challenge.
Before you try creating contemporary quilts, try your hand at crazy quilting. Since these modern quilts will have you disregarding certain rules, throwing symmetry out the window, and letting your imagination take over, learning how to crazy quilt will help you conceptualize designs. It will also help teach you what fabrics—assuming you plan on mixing fabrics—can work well together. Basically, it’s the best training you can get. Plus, you get to dabble in another form of quilting while you’re at it!