Doing it yourself, together
A Tulsa couple catches the DIY wave and encourages other local crafters to jump on board.
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Not your grandma's quilting
Young quilters put a modern twist on a timeless craft. -- by Ashley Antle
Not all of today’s quilters stick to the traditional. Many are the same people perusing Pinterest on their smartphones — and they bring a fresh twist to the art form.
They are marrying an age-old skill with modern fabrics, using asymmetry and negative space, creating new patterns and block structures.
It’s a minimalist, “anything goes” attitude for the individual creativity and artistic potential of the quilter, according to The Modern Quilt Guild website.
Many of the trends seen in modern quilting — such as graphic prints and bright, bold colors — mirror those in fashion and home décor.
“There’s a lot of really great fabric out right now that probably wasn’t available 10 or 15 years ago, and I think that has generated a lot of interest,” says Meredith McDaris, co-founder of the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild. “People are seeing this really beautiful, modern fabric and wanting to do something with it.”
Additionally, McDaris points to the DIY movement spurring some to return to or pick up crafting. Many young quilters are putting a modern spin on the art, using technology to hone their skills, share ideas, gain inspiration and connect with quilters around the world.
“I would say the amount of information available on the Internet and the fact that there are so many quilting blogs being written by 20- and 30-somethings have probably helped spark people’s interest and have got people thinking about something they probably wouldn’t have considered before,” she says.
Growing up, McDaris learned sewing techniques from her grandmother. She didn’t become interested in quilting until adulthood, however, when she got a sewing machine for Christmas and was figuring out what she could do with it.
In 2010, McDaris co-founded the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild with friend and fellow quilter Lauren Houston. They discovered the Modern Quilt Guild — a nationwide community of quilt guilds — online, which sparked the idea. They also wanted to connect locally with other modern quilters.
Within 24 hours of the new Tulsa guild’s website going live, the group had its first member. Four quilters showed up to the first meeting.
Today, the Tulsa guild boasts approximately 40 online members. About 10-15 quilters, ranging in age from early 20s to 60s, attend the guild’s monthly meetings. Members show off their latest project, swap fabrics, learn new techniques and connect with others who have the same passion for the remerging craft.
“We have people who have yet to make their first quilt and people who have been sewing for 30-40 years,” McDaris says.
The Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild meets the second Tuesday of every month at Owl & Drum and is open to quilters of all ages and skill levels. For meeting times and more, click here.