15 of my favorite modern quilts (with descriptions from the makers!) from QuiltCon 2018

Enjoy 15 of some of my favorite modern quilts from QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, California. All descriptions were written by the makers.

Modern, quilt, color study, piecing, rainbow, Sarah Bond
“Ribbon Quilt” by Sarah Bond and quilted by Carol Heisler
Statement: The Ribbon Quilt is a color study and a challenge to myself. Life most quilters, I tend to gravitate towards the same color groups over and over again. My challenge here was to use every color in the fabric line at the same time. Despite the amount of piecing involved, I pieced this quilt top in about six weeks. Sometimes you make the quilt. Sometimes the quilt makes you.
Techniques: Machine pieced, machine quilted on a frame.
Modern, quilt, color study, piecing, rainbow, Sarah Bond
detail of “Ribbon Quilt” by Sarah Bond and quilted by Carol Heisler
Amy Friend, modern, quilt, paper piecing, foundation paper pieced, improvisational, mini quilt, solid colors, matchstick, quilting, quiltcon, 2018, pasadena
“Negativity” by Amy Friend
Statement: The focus of this design is the negative space, the absence of the pieced blocks, that forms a hexagonal shape, echoing the shape of the half hexie pairs forming each column of the quilt. The half hexies could have been made in many ways but I chose foundation piecing so that I could replicate the wonkiness of my irregularly shaped, improvisationally designed block. If I had made regular, symmetrical half hexies, I do not think that my design would have the same feeling of motion or the same degree of interest. The quilt is matchstick quilted and faced, rather than bound.
Techniques: machine pieced, quilted without a frame, paper pieced.
Amy Friend, modern, quilt, paper piecing, foundation paper pieced, improvisational, mini quilt, solid colors, matchstick, quilting, quiltcon, 2018, pasadena
detail of “Negativity” by Amy Friend
Joy Palmer, quilt, modern, applique, hand quilting,
“Cosmic Rays” by Joy Palmer
Statement: In my imagination I see streaks of light against the graying sky of early twilight.
Techniques: Hand quilted, appliqued, machine quilted on a frame.
Joy Palmer, quilt, modern, applique, hand quilting,
detail of “Cosmic Rays” by Joy Palmer
 Etsuko Takahashi, quilt, SAQA, art quilt, modern, inspiration, Japan, QuiltCon, 2018, pasadena, machine pieced, applique, quilted
“Waves #4” by Etsuko Takahashi
Statement: A sudden flash of inspiration struck me while I was trying to figure out how these fabrics could make my design more effective. The waves are like life—sometimes bright and delightful, sometimes gloomy and difficult. But hope always shines again. This piece reflects my life as a quilter.
Techniques: machine pieced, appliqued, quilted.
 Etsuko Takahashi, quilt, SAQA, art quilt, modern, inspiration, Japan, QuiltCon, 2018, pasadena, machine pieced, applique, quilted
detail of “Waves #4” by Etsuko Takahashi
Sarah Sharp, Rachael Dorr, modern, quilt, quilting, long-arm, dragonfly, paper piecing, foundation, paper pieced, quiltcon, 2018, pasadena
“Fireflies” by Sarah Sharp, quilted by Rachael Dorr
Statement: There’s something so magical about fireflies. I think that rings true for most people. I remember summers as a kid chasing after them on my grandmother’s lawn, and now I love seeing my daughter’s eyes light up as they do the same.
Techniques: machine pieced, quilted on a frame, paper pieced.
Sarah Sharp, Rachael Dorr, modern, quilt, quilting, long-arm, dragonfly, paper piecing, foundation, paper pieced, quiltcon, 2018, pasadena
detail of “Fireflies” by Sarah Sharp, quilted by Rachael Dorr
Lorena Uriarte, improvisonal piecing, improv, quilt, positive
“Positive : Negative” by Lorena Uriarte
Statement: Exploring negative space in a literal sense. A simple design comprised of 729 two inch blocks. Some are negatives and some are positives. Each block was improv pieced and then trimmed back. The scrappy fabrics give this an aged (and weary) look. Made at a time when I really needed some positivity. It still lifts my spirits when I am overwhelmed by the negativity around me.
Techniques: machine pieced, quilted without a frame, improvisational piecing.
Lorena Uriarte, improvisonal piecing, improv, quilt, positive
detail of “Positive : Negative” by Lorena Uriarte
Annabel Wrigley, applique, machine applique, quilted, modern, quilt, modern art, sewing
“Above and Below” by Annabel Wrigley
Statement: Above and Below is an experiment in color and shape. The quilt concept came about from the moments of quiet reflection that involved one line doodles for relaxation. The idea that a fluid shape could come from one continuous line. Raw edge applique was my technique and allows the edge to join almost seamlessly.
Techniques: machine appliqued, quilted without a frame
Annabel Wrigley, applique, machine applique, quilted, modern, quilt, modern art, sewing
detail of “Above and Below” by Annabel Wrigley
Kathy York, double wedding ring, quilt, hand pieced, hand quilted, hand-dye, solid, fabric
“Wedding Rings and Crossroads” by Kathy York
Statement: This traditional pattern of double wedding rings and strips of sashing speaks to me of marriage. It is a cautionary tale of how couples can have cycles of behaviors and patterns (which can be annoying or comforting) along with the crossroads and diversions that can divert our attention away from our loved ones.
Design Source: I hand drafted this oversized interpretation of a double wedding ring pattern, and added the rows of striped sashing.
Techniques: hand pieced, hand quilted, machine pieced, artist created hand-dyed solids
Kathy York, double wedding ring, quilt, hand pieced, hand quilted, hand-dye, solid, fabric
detail of “Wedding Rings and Crossroads” by Kathy York
Tara Faughnan, hourglass, quilt, hand quilting, half square triangles, modern quilt, color study
“Hourglass Quilt” by Tara Faughnan
Statement: I wanted to explore a new palette and a new form with this quilt. I played with the value placement to create areas where the design flowed and then came to an abrupt stop. Quilted by hand in large waves a la Sherri Lynn Wood style.
Techniques: hand quilted, machine pieced
Tara Faughnan, hourglass, quilt, hand quilting, half square triangles, modern quilt, color study
detail of “Hourglass Quilt” by Tara Faughnan
Heather Kinion, handwork, quilt, hand quilted, modern, art
“Geese Study #1” by Heather Kinion
Statement: The second in a series of quilts, exploring dense quilting and using contrasting 12 weight thread to create a feeling of more piecing than is actually present, influenced by the handwork of Chawne Kimber and Heidi Parkes and the “ghost” quilting of long arm quilters.
Design Source: Hand quilting of Chawne Kimber and Heidi Parkes, Machine quilting that creates ghosts of pieced elements by Nikki Maroon, Angela Walters, Gina Pina and others.
Techniques: hand quilted, machine pieced, false piecing by dense quilting to recreate the idea of pieced shapes.
Heather Kinion, handwork, quilt, hand quilted, modern, art
detail of “Geese Study #1” by Heather Kinion
Tara Glastonbury, jean, quilt, modern, Le Moyne star, sashiko, hand quilted, hand quilting, Australia, Sydney Modern Quilt Guild
“Blue Giant” by Tara Glastonbury
Statement: Increasingly I’m drawn to making from secondhand or repurposed materials, using we already have in the world, rather than always purchasing new. For some time I had wanted to make a quilt from upcycled jeans. I had in mind a star, and a big star at that, but I struggled to find a black that owuld work at scale within the limits of a jean-leg width. I finally came across a child’s wooden block puzzle that was perfect for turning into this quilt. The quilt is machine pieced, but I hand quilted using sashiko thread.
Design source: This quilt is loosely based on the Le Moyne star—a different way of piecing however, an extra extension of star points and more pieces on surrounds.
Techniques: hand quilted, machine pieced
Tara Glastonbury, jean, quilt, modern, Le Moyne star, sashiko, hand quilted, hand quilting, Australia, Sydney Modern Quilt Guild
detail of “Blue Giant” by Tara Glastonbury
Jacquie Gering, Kansas City, modern quilt, walking foot, quilting, American flag, modern art, minimalist design, QuiltCon
“Veer” by Jacquie Gering
Statement: Veer expresses my concern over the direction my country is moving and my disappointment in its leadership. It also reaffirms my commitment to political and community action and to be part of the solution.
Design source: The American flag
Techniques: machine pieced, machine quilted without a frame.
Jacquie Gering, Kansas City, modern quilt, walking foot, quilting, American flag, modern art, minimalist design, QuiltCon
detail of “Veer” by Jacquie Gering
Nydia Kehnie, Gina Pina, paper piecing, foundation, paper pieced, solid, fabric, lines, modern quilt, long arm quilting, minimalist
“Lumen” by Nydia Kehnie, quilted by Gina Pina
Statement: I wanted to create a quilt that focused on thin lines and shape. I wanted the shape to stand alone without the help of using many colors. I debated the color of the binding between the yellow and the beige but opted to create an invisible end. Lumen was foundation paper pieced.
Techniques: machine pieced, machine quilted on a frame, paper pieced
Nydia Kehnie, Gina Pina, paper piecing, foundation, paper pieced, solid, fabric, lines, modern quilt, long arm quilting, minimalist
detail of “Lumen” by Nydia Kehnie, quilted by Gina Pina
Debra Jalbert, matchstick quilting, modern, quilt, orange, bold, long-arm, wedding
“Pencil Us In” by Debra Jalbert
Statement: This quilt was created for my friend Lori who is getting married in March 2018. Her save the date postcard said “pencil us in”. It is leftover pieces from a class that I sliced apart and reconfigured. I planned the quilting to enhance the blue linear lines while keeping the match sticks imperfectly spaced allowing for texture.
Design Source: Workshop with Jacquie Gering, my design.
Techniques: machine pieced, machine quilted on a frame
Debra Jalbert, matchstick quilting, modern, quilt, orange, bold, long-arm, wedding
detail of “Pencil Us In” by Debra Jalbert
Debbie Grifka, applique, machine, quilt, quilted, minimalist, lines, QuiltCon
“Canterbury #2” by Debbie Grifka
Statement: This stunning beauty and grace of gothic architecture never fails to inspire me. This quilt is based on a picture of a corridor near the cloisters in Canterbury Cathedral (Canterbury, England). Eliminating everything except the bare bones of the architecture keeps the focus on the hallway itself and it draws you to follow deeper into the cathedral. Restricting the color palette to black and white avoids the distraction of color and keeps the attention on the architectural lines. The quilting further separates the path forward from the beautiful, airy space around it.
Techniques: machine appliqued, machine quilted without a frame
Debbie Grifka, applique, machine, quilt, quilted, minimalist, lines, QuiltCon
detail of “Canterbury #2” by Debbie Grifka
Violet Craft, curved, piecing, modern, quilt, curves, QuiltCon
“Terrace” by Violet Craft
Statement: Terrace was an experiment in minimalist design and futuristic architecture. Drawn with curved piecing and simple lines, a residential development emerged. It’s possible I’ve been watching too much Star Trek Voyager.
Techniques: machine pieced, machine quilted on a frame
Violet Craft, curved, piecing, modern, quilt, curves, QuiltCon
detail of “Terrace” by Violet Craft

Do you have a favorite quilt you saw at QuiltCon (or online from QuiltCon)? If so, which one was it and why? Let me know in the comments below!

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