Thursday, August 1, 2013

Minimalism in Today's Modern Quilts

One of the characteristics of today's modern movement
is an emphasis on the minimalism
advocated by early 20th-century modernists.
The cover of Modern Patchwork here features circles and rectangles.

Denyse Schmidt
Point Me

The thing that impressed me at first when I saw Denyse Schmidt's quilts was their minimalism.

Today's modern quilt designers are achieving a minimalistic look by using only the basic shapes, squares, circles, rectangles and triangles. They are also isolating the figures ---a minimalism in relative scale to the size of the surface.

Child's Play by Brigitte Heitland

Denyse Schmidt
Pretty Square
One can isolate the figures in regular fashion,
here by enlarging the scale of the sashing.

Thomas Knauer

Or in asymmetrical fashion

Blair Stocker
 Jewel Boxes 
from a Denyse Schmidt workshop

Or a combination of both.

Below some compositions using rectangles

Anne Deister
Rhythm & Blues

Alissa Haight Carlton from her book
Modern Minimal

Alissa Haight Carlton from her book
Modern Minimal

Pamela Hill
La Coperta IV

And circles
Denyse Schmidt
Single Girl

Denyse Schmidt
What a Dish


  1. For great modern/minimalist quilts, see also the work of Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle:

  2. Love this blog! You had me at Albers : ) I also like the restraint of quilting in the pieces you selected. So much open space and the quilter could have ruined the design. The precision of Doppelganger's quilting (kudos McLisa) and the organic of Alissa's quilt - I love them both!

  3. Yes, this pretty much sums it up. It is a sort of new orthodoxy, based on a few elements found in old quilts, the ones that resemble certain mid-century art trends. Things will get more interesting when modern quilters realize they don't have to make things using someone else's aesthetic. I think, as ever, it will be the unorthodox ones who lead the way to the next thing.