Saturday, June 16, 2012

What is old is new again - a commentary on differing opinions.

I have had the misfortune to run into a couple of "militant" quilters recently, who both disparaged the other's point of view.  I just don't get it.

One was a self-identified traditionalist, who felt that a quilt is only a quilt if it follows a "traditional" pattern and used "traditional" fabrics and had "no use" for "modern" quilts.  The other only did "modern" quilts, and felt that only "fuddy-duddies" would want to constrain themselves within "old-fashioned" designs and fabrics. They actually were starting to get quite disrespectful to each other in their discussion.

As a lover of all things quilty, I just don't get it.  Why can't we appreciate and admire all work, without trying to classify it?

By the way, is anything really traditional or modern?  Here are some pictures from my recent trip to Italy that I took to inspire me and I'll let you decide.  

Now, besides the fact that these are not quilts, but mosiacs, and some of the colours are faded, I could easily classify these designs into either category.  And they are anywhere from 500 to over 2000 years old, so really, what is traditional and what is modern?  

This last picture isn't quilty-related, but what does this 2300-year-old block of marble remind you of?

Doesn't it look like Lego?  Introduced as ultra-modern in the 60's, the building block toy appears to be inspired by Roman and Greek builders.  This block was found in Pompeii and shows how they built structures and "locked" the blocks.  To think they carved every one of those circles by hand. Makes ya think, doesn't it?  Can you imagine making a quilt today without a rotary cutter?


  1. I don't understand the debate, either. But then, my quilt instructor says I'm very abnormal in my choices! I really need to take a picture of my progress on my great-grandmother's quilt - it's 50 years old and completely "modern." Love the Italy pictures - I guess our ancestors loved flying geese!

  2. I'd love to see it, Kate! I'll watch for your post.