by Lesly / Tuesday, 23 February 2010 /
I ride a Vespa motorscooter, which was made in 2007. It is called a "modern Vespa" because it has an automatic transmission, unlike the traditional, or "vintage Vespa", which has a manual transmission, requiring shifting, like most motorcycles. With so few Vespa riders in North America, you would think we could all be friends, wouldn't you? But, no, the human urge to classify and establish Us and Them reigns, and there is significant factionalization between twist-and-go modern sorts and shifties who ride vintage scooters. Crazy and unnecessary? I think so.
"Modern quilting" guilds are popping up all over the place. Not everywhere, not here, in the smallest outport of Ontario - but in bigger centres. And a question that is being asked of members is "what is modern quilting?" I'm sure you've seen this meme on many blogs over the last few weeks. Although there is no modern quilting guild for me to join here, I do think it's an interesting question, and one that I have considered off and on since I started quilting again. I read a lot of answers to the question that seem to be various riffs on "it's something new and improved over what they used to do in the old days". Personally, I don't think that's true - I think there are many more dimensions along which modern and traditional quilts are similar than they are different. And I'm left wondering why it seems to be important to draw this dividing line between modern and traditional quilting, when in fact all quilters together represent such a small fraction of women throughout the world.
The question at the top of this post is a trick question. Yes, I am a modern quilter. And yes, I am also a traditional quilter. I make what I like, and I like a lot of things. Quilting makes me feel connected to the generations of women who quilted before me. And it makes me proud to know I am leaving a legacy for my daughter and family members who will have something made by my hands when I am no longer here.
What about you? Do you see yourself as a modern quilter?