Today, following up on my summer homestead inspiration board, we are going to take a closer look at one key piece: the quilt. Specifically, we will be looking at three top quilters who are working their own fresh, modern twists on this time-honored practical art. First up is Denyse Schmidt, seen here. I have been a huge fan of Denyse Schmidt for many years, and I actually own one of her quilts — a pattern that was sold through Anthropologie at one time. Denyse has an amazing sense of color and rhythm, which makes her quilts fresh and exciting, like modern art for your bed!
Denyse grew up in Massachusetts in an area near many old textile mills, so her fascination with fiber arts started early. She studied graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and eventually found her way to quilting. She is really at the top of her game now, with a long and impressive career already under her belt — including two books, many lines of quilts, fabric, stationary, and in-person workshops. I especially love her newest book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration, which I flipped through recently in the bookstore and was aching to buy it (too many books, too little cash!) If you are at all curious about the rich history of the craft of quilting, I urge you to pick it up. It’s gorgeous. Next we have Meg Callahan, based right here in Providence, Rhode Island, where she stayed after graduating from RISD. Meg’s work, while it does look very modern with crisp lines and white space, also pulls inspiration from Native American designs and the landscape of her home state of Oklahoma. I, for one, am totally smitten.And last, but certainly not least, we have Folk Fibers, a small scale handmade quilting biz that is the heart and soul of Maura Grace Ambrose, pictured below. Maura has an incredible commitment to seeing the entire process of creating a quilt through from start to finish — beginning with the cultivating and foraging of organic dyes, and finishing with hand-piecing quilts in her Austin, Texas studio.
Maura studied textile design and fiber arts at Savannah College of Art & Design, and after graduating spent time teaching, working on organic farms, and traveling around America. Her quilts are stunning, and very much her own, but at the same time they are deeply rooted in the long tradition of quilting in America.
Each Folk Fibers quilt comes packed up in a beautiful wooden box — now that’s what I call a perfect wedding gift!
So, that brings us to the end of our little survey of modern quilting. I hope if you hadn’t given quilting much thought before that this has whet your appetite! I for one love that what was once purely a practical art (how much more practical can you get than gathering up old scraps of unusable garments and stitching them into a blanket to keep warm on cold winter nights?) is once again being honored and explored by a new generation.