I’ve always had a thing for vintage quilts, even when the color or style doesn’t really appeal to me, I appreciate them for the stories they can tell about the time period they were made, and the technique used to make them. Just like an old house or building; “if these quilts could talk…”
I’ve heard some of today’s modern quilters (self-proclaimed Modern Quilters) make the statement that they don’t care for vintage quilts, or that vintage quilts lack creativity, etc. To me, those statements seem narrow-minded. Our modern quilting, or contemporary quiltmaking, wouldn’t be what it is without the patchwork quilts of the past, the innovation of new block designs spread across the nation and world through newspaper features and mail-order, and the individual re-interpretation over the years of these same designs.
Two color quilts? Very common in vintage quilts. Solids? Yep, especially white and off-white. This blue and white quilt has 256 8-pointed stars. 11 of them are pieced using 8 diamonds, Lemoyne Star style. The other 245 stars are made using v-shaped, or chevron shaped pieces with y-seam settings. (You might be able to see the two different methods if you click on and enlarge this photo:)
These English paper-pieced diamond blocks use some of the most contemporary and fun looking fabrics! It’s a wonderful quilt; I could see this being made in 2012 and posted to a modern quilt group on flickr, couldn’t you?
See, fun fabrics–this quilt had novelty critters, florals, geometrics, text fabric, solids…
And Grandmother’s flower garden, all the modern EPP hexies we see on blogs and flickr… well, it first appeared in Godey’s Lady’s Book (a journal) in January 1935. How cool is it that this design has lasted the test of time and is still considered creative, clever, fun, and worth making!?!
Of course, I don’t know too many Modern Quilters, myself included, that would take the time to finish the binding like this quilter did:
The fussy cut fabrics in this quilt are extremely well done:
Now, I’m not suggesting as a quilter that you have to like every quilt you see. Lord knows, I don’t. But acknowledging that many of our contemporary quilts are reincarnations of past designs and styles, and giving a nod to the history of our craft, doesn’t make our creations any less creative, any less “modern”, or any less. Period.