I call myself a Modern Traditionalist quilter both in my head and on my Facebook page. Recently someone asked me, "What is a modern traditionalist quilter?" I glibly answered, Uh, I dunno. Or something to that effect. So naturally I've been pondering this question. I did some research.
Here is the definition from the Modern Quilt Guild:
"Modern traditionalism" or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.
I also went back to the post that prompted me to start referring to myself that way. On March 22, 2013 I wrote a post examining the difference between modern and traditional quilts. My sweet husband comments on every blog I write and here is his comment.
As you can tell by my response, I loved his combination and I immediately latched onto it. Now mind you, this is 4 years after the Modern Quilt Guild has formed. But it was before I had read any official definition of the phrase. I think that the definition of Modern Quilts has changed since its inception and this definition of Modern Traditionalism was added after that.
I even used the phrase when I started my quilt blog Facebook page, around that same time. I liked having two modern quilts and one traditional quilt as my cover photo, I felt that also described me as this kind of hybrid.
Now that I'm aware of the "official" definition I feel a bit squirmy. When I quilt I do far more than just update classic quilt designs. I use traditional methods I learned over 30 years ago to make some modern quilts.
I use some new methods I just adapted, like improvisational quilting, to create items that still look kind of traditional. Look at this table runner I made for my daughter's huge table. I did improvisational piecing but it's got a traditional feel.
And I have made a table runner that is fairly traditional but again there is something else there. There's a modern flavor.
I don't mean to be a trouble maker but for me, being a modern traditionalist means you use traditional methods or have those influences. But you combine it with modern styles to create something which has the best parts of both in your quilting world.
It's like I'm ambidextrous as far as quilting goes. And I think there are many quilters who combine styles and don't fit into a one sentence definition. We're bi-quilty!
Or maybe I am just a troublemaker!
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Here's my first post where I defined for myself modern and traditional quilting.