Friday, February 28, 2014

Now I get it

In the previous post I mentioned my confusion over the concept of low volume and Barb R. cleared that up for me:
I took 'low volume' in the Modern Quilt Movement to mean something entirely different. I though it meant less pieces of color and more neutral background fabric - negative space.

So that fits in with Mies Van der Rowe who is  often associated with his quotation of the aphorisms, "less is more" and "God is in the details"
To illustrate, here are two of my quilts. The first is Not Modern vs. the second which is more Modern. It's even got gray going for it, which is kinda popular in the Modern Quilt Movement.
Boxed Stripes #3, 53x59" hand dyed and commercial cottons, machine pieced, machine quilted, with pieced and faux piped binding. vs. Mid Century Modern, hand dyed cottons, fused, machine quilted, 21x25"  Fibermania

Just to be we go: Take a look at this Wikipedia definition of Modernism;

Lots of people refer to things being modern when they really mean contemporary. Contemporary is what is currently happening, or in style, or the way we are making things now. So these things are not modern by that true definition really, just the new current thing.
So a new quilt may be contemporary but not modern. And a modern quilt may be contemporary since it was made recently, but have that style that is associated with low volume or modernism.
Words. Aren't they somethin'?
I've had lots of questions on the process I am using to make the quilts featured recently. I refer you to the Process Pledge section on the sidebar. The posts found there, from the archives, have lots of pictures and descriptions which explain what I am doing. One in particular may be helpful.
I gotta say that I am loving my new studio. The light is so wonderful, and the cleanliness, being away from outside exit doors is fabulous. I didn't realize my old studio was a gateway for dust, mud and leaves. Now being upstairs means that lots of that stuff (the dawgs!) gets unloaded before it makes its way up here.
I brought up a TV and the dvd player a few days ago so I can stitch and watch Netflix in the studio. So luxurious. I am rewatching  the first season of House of Cards, and then I will indulge in the second season, all primed for the intrigue I know is to come.
All I need is a bed and bathroom and I could live up here. ha!


  1. Don't know where to begin. . . .clearly the terms contemporary and modern have different meanings, as you said. And then there is post modern -- a term widely used in literature, architecture, and the visual arts. But I just googled "low volume quilts" and found quilts with light value, low contrast fabrics. Very traditional, not modern at all.
    My sense is that the quilt fabric industry has borrowed the "low volume" term as a marketing term. If they can sell more fabric and more books using "low volume" as a new concept, it works for them.
    So I suggest you move on, Melody, and keep making the quilts you love. We all love them, too!!

  2. Brige in IL11:09 AM

    here is low volume in modern quilting - this is what they are speaking of... (not bold or super busy as in popping out)

  3. Replies
    1. Brige in IL11:13 AM

      Well that did not work... Image google.... Low Volume Modern Art and you will see "quilt" pictures pop up that are low volume. This is what they are speaking of. You will see a trend or common factor in what pops up in the search.

  4. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Melody - I so agree with you on how people often confuse and misuse Modern vs Contemporary in all fields. But I think in the case of the Modern Quilt Movement, "modern" is just it's name, not that the word is being used or is being intended to be used in its correct meaning, if that makes any sense. I mean, they could have called it "The Hoop De Doo quilt movement" or "The Quilt Movement for Young-ish Quilters of All Ages in the 21st Century" for all the importance of the name of it. It's just a title of a genre in this case, or at least that's the impression I have. Claudia W

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