Thursday, April 6, 2017

Un-modern Made Modern Challenge

Un-modern Made Modern Challenge

Our goal: Make a modern quilt with un-modern fabrics. Sounds un-interesting? Take a quick look:

These quilts were made by Denyse Schmidt, a Modern Quilt Guild big-name who was keynote speaker at the first Quiltcon. What's different about her work? Look here:

The detail shows the fabrics are quite traditional, even oldish:

Who has not been inspired by the ladies of Gee's Bend? These artists did not have the luxury of the latest modern fabrics, and still made modern, improvisational masterpieces like these:

So... go hunting in the stash. You want those neglected fabrics that you are embarrassed to use and still call yourself a modern quilter! 

Rules are simple:
  • To participate, please leave a  comment on this page, or e-mail me, or leave a comment on the Facebook page (our private page Orlando MQG Members Only Group)
  • Start today. Pick a design and a few fabrics, including some decidedly un-modern. Civil war reproductions, 30's reproductions, vintage polyester, primitive/folk, Liberty fabrics...
  • Any quilt size is permissible and you can make more than one quilt.
  • You can give the quilt away at the end of the Challenge or keep it.
  • Be ready to present your progress at the June meeting. That DOES NOT MEAN a finished quilt then. We want to see the design, the fabrics, whatever you have achieved to that point.
  • Challenge ends at the September meeting, meaning: if you start today, you have 5 months to finish something. We'll present our work, hopefully mostly finished, at this time.
  • Please post your progress on Instagram and on our Facebook page. Use hashtag #omqgunmodern so we can quickly see what we are all doing.
  • Finally, although the project is a Challenge, there won't be a jury in session. It's just a personal challenge.

Here is a link to another post with more inspiring unmodern modern quilts.


  1. Interesting challenge, Alejandrina! Count me in.

  2. I love this idea and am really inspired by the last image you shared, the HSTs with wacky borders. I'd like to participate.

  3. I have a stash directly from the 80s. Count me in.

  4. I want in. Even though I try to purge my stash from time to time -- some of that "special" fabric just hides and refuses to leave the building! I think this will be a fun challenge!

  5. Boy do I need this, a good challenge to reach into the recesses of my stash of 15 years and make something creative, even modern. Sometimes I think my stash is tired of being overlooked! Like toy story, it has a life of its own when I am not,looking. I'm in. Will miss June meeting but will post my progress or at least my ideas.