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Quilts as Modern Art

 

Quilt making has been on the rise for the last few years and new versions are turning to modern art for inspiration

Grandma's quilts will always be special and love for these treasures will never fade. In fact, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of groups in existence today gathering to keep the traditional patterns alive and kicking for generations to come.

A few years ago, the quilting bug hit a younger generation. The intense interest garnered a rediscovery of the joys in connecting with history and friends. Guilds and gatherings fired up along with a rise in specialty shops. Much discussion is available on the Internet regarding the historical aspects of quilts and much is remembered by older generations. It is true that quilt-making died out in America for a couple of decades beginning in the 1940s and running through the 1960s. A resurgence hit then that brought many back into the fold, but rarely did younger women engage in the practice.

Now the fun is seeping out and garnering a growing interest in younger women. They are "getting it" - making a quilt is not only fun, it's for posterity. Quilts are used as fund-raisers and made as friendship gifts. They tell a family's history and are a good use of old material, including baby clothes and T-shirts.

While traditional patterns will always dominate, newer kicky versions continue to emerge. Creative souls are using art as inspiration and even turning to computers to skew and tilt for a new twist on old designs. Whether stitched by hand or machine, today's quilts are showy enough to display on walls. Many department and specialty stores are tuning in to the market and offering colorful and trendy quilts. For traditionalists, there are always flea markets and family attics.

It is truly an exciting time for quilt-making. The very thought of a quilt as history-in-the-making creates a challenge in all of us to gather around the traditional frame with needle and thread while sipping on a cup of coffee or even hoisting a glass of wine.

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