The OCMQG holds a challenge once a quarter for its members to show off their creativity and have some fun. See the Challenges Page for our current challenge and challenge details.
For the first quarter 2016, the challenge is about taking a traditional state star block or log cabin block and making it modern.
Take 30 seconds and think about / write down what “making it modern” means to you.
Below are images from Google Image searches on “California Star Quilt Blocks” and “Log Cabin Quilt Blocks” – which are showing mostly traditional ways of creating the blocks.
How can the modern aesthetic be brought to these blocks to create a modern quilt? Well, first – what the heck defines a quilt as “modern?” This question is hotly debated and is as controversial as “should you prewash your fabrics?”
Basically, modern quilting has no rules. The individual quilter decides what rules to follow or not follow. For example, in traditional quilting, there’s usually a standard sized block that is repeated in rows and columns, has one or more borders, and uses traditional fabrics.
What rules do you “break” or “bend” when translating traditional into modern?
One way to make the block modern is to use a solid “background” fabric to create negative space and to use modern patterned fabrics (right) or to use only solid fabrics (left).
Another way is to super size the block and show off one block or a part of the block. The quilt to the right is a traditional block called Ohio Star. The OCMQG member who made this blew up the block to the size of the quilt and used saturated solid fabrics.
These three example all use precise measuring and piecing, but move away from the traditional in the fabric choice and block size.
Other ways to make it modern:
- Use only scissors to cut the block pieces (no rotary cutters or rulers)
- Make the pattern “wonky.” In a log cabin, the sides of each strip are usually parallel to each other – What would it look like if they weren’t? What happens when a star block made with 60 degree triangles now has triangles that vary between 45 degrees and 90 degrees?
- Use “found” fabric. Old jeans, ties, button down shirts, slacks, bedsheets, towels, curtains can all be used to make a quilt. How do different fabric types affect the look and feel of the quilt?
- Create blocks and align them so a large amount of negative space is created
Join the conversation – Tell us your favorite ways of making traditional patterns into your version of “modern.”
Follow our hash tags for this challenge on Instagram #ocmodernstar and #ocmodernlc