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38. The 3 Types of Quilters, Which One Are You?

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Hi there. I’m Nicole Gilbert and you’ve joined the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Are you new to sewing and want to start quilting, but have no idea where to begin each Wednesday. Join me as I share the ins and outs of that quilt life. If you don’t have a sewing machine, have no idea how much fabric you need, or you’re just trying to figure out where the heck to stick that bobbin. This is the podcast for you.

Hey folks. It’s Nicole here. Welcome to episode 38 of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Have you ever gone down a Pinterest rabbit hole staring at quilt after quilt? No, just me? I didn’t think so… Some of the quilts seem to be charming antique replicas, and some are bold bright lines and still others. The most gorgeous stars you’ve ever seen. Now, how can all of these styles co-exist? Well, that’s what we are chatting about today. I’ll break down the biggest quote, unquote types of quilts and quilters and what are the hallmark traits of each.

But first, a quick announcement. So I touched on this a little bit in last week’s episode, but next Thursday, January 28th, at 3:30 PM Eastern, I’m going to be hosting my first crafty hour. It’ll be a private zoom call where I’ll be working on my latest projects and I invite you to join me. You can ask any questions you may have, I’ll assist you with what you’re working on, and we’ll just have a great time hanging out. And guess what? Adult beverages not required, also not frowned upon. To register and receive the zoom link, visit

Okay, guys, let’s get sewing.

So I am going to break down the types of quilts slash quilters into three categories. Uh, those three categories, I’m going to refer to them as traditional the next one, modern, and then the last traditional modernists. I know that one kind of reminds me of, you know, that episode of Gilmore girls, where it’s like cart, kiosk, cart kiosk. That’s kind of what happened just there, but I’m geeking out.

So let’s start with a traditional quilt. I love traditional quilts. I also never make them. It’s not my jam, but Oh my gosh. Can I appreciate a traditional quilt? So with the traditional quilt, um, these are going to be your antique looking quilts. That’s kind of the best way I can describe them. Uh, very often they I’ll see the words Amish or civil war reproduction then or Victorian era. Uh, these all kinds of denote that we’re talking about a traditional quilt. Another thing that you can see if somebody is not using those very specific techniques, Meeks are more music, darker colors think, um, of Victorian color palette. So were maroon and mov and cream and Navy. Um, these are going to be like really prevalent in your traditional quilts, besides the color choices. Um, also, um, the, the designs, the prints of the fabric themselves, don’t have a lot of different colors in each individual fabric choice. Um, and that’s just because of the kind of technology of that time.

So the fabric, even if it’s brand new fabric, that’s like a reproduction or around Luca will make sure follow some of those techniques or design elements to make it look like true to the time period. So you’re not going to see, like there is no Tula pinking here, like not a million colors. There’s usually two maybe B3 colors in any given print. And that’s three is a little bit of a stretch there, um, because that’s just, uh, the technology they had at the time. They didn’t have the mills doing the type of screen printing and digital printing that we have nowadays. Um, but also besides just the color choice and variations of the prints, it’s also the blocks that are being made. This is where you are going to see everything from Sunbonnet zoo, which you totally have to Google her. I will include a picture of Sunbonnet Sue in the show notes, modern culture, episode dash 38.

Um, so everything from Sunbonnet ETSU to log cabins to hi, all-stars Lamon stars saw two stars. These are all traditional blocks. Um, they can have some kind of small pieces in there. Not always, sometimes they’re, they’re kind of enlarged and basic more like a soft tooth star, if you will. Um, but very, very traditional. Now I think that they are beautiful quilts. They’re not my style simply because I love color coming out of my winging. I love, and they do tend to be a little bit more muted. So keep that in mind, a big thing, besides the very traditional blocks, your star blocks, your log cabins, um, is going to be those muted colors, uh, that is huge with traditional. Now, moving on to the opposite end of the spectrum from modern modern cultures. Um, um, and honestly this day and age, I do know quite a few modern quilters out there.

Um, the weekend quilter kind of pops into mind if you haven’t seen her stuff. She’s awesome. So it’s, uh, if you follow her on Instagram, it’s the dot Kent quilter beautiful work, super minimalistic. So like there’s not a block in her quilt period. There are huge swaths of cloth, a single solid color, like thin lines, really, really bold angular shapes, uh, curves, Oh my gosh, modern cultures love curves. Um, but I would say the hallmarks of this is the minimalistic design, a lot of straight lines and curves, but not necessarily blocks. Um, I know that sounds it’s straight lines and it’s curves, but not blocks. I know it’s the weirdest thing, but I will have examples of all of these over on the show notes. So don’t worry another huge thing with modern quilters and not so much with the weekend quilter who had to shout it out cause she does like Prince, but you are going to see a large tendency to solids.

So no Prince whatsoever like Robert Kaufman, Kona cotton is the Bible for 989% of modern cultures. Um, I mean like straight up and honestly, Kona cotton is fantastic for solids. I do tend to like Bella by Moda a lot as well. So don’t sleep on them, but Kona is a very, very popular option for solids. Um, so we’ve got your bolt, we’ve got solids, we’ve got these angular straight lines and curves, very minimalistic where a traditional block can be very intricate and a lot of small pieces and, and lines and seems modern culture like the exact opposite, exact opposite. I saw one modern quilt recently, and it was almost like a zoomed in Buffalo check. And so you’re like, seriously, this is just four squares of fabric, really, but it was gorgeous. And the quilting was amazing that, I mean, amazing quilting is happening on all of them.

So I’m not going to say it’s a hallmark of modern quilting, uh, to have this really intricate free motion quilting happening. However, the minimalist design that is included with modern quilters allows for more space to showcase the quilting itself, which is pretty flipping cool. I will say it’s probably like my favorite thing about modern Golder’s is how beautiful some of the quilting is simply because of how it gets showcased. Um, there’s a lot more blank space for them to really show off there and I’m here for it. Um, and now lastly, let’s talk about traditional modernists and spoiler alert a day. I definitely fall into this category. So there are a lot of really great ones out there, but this is the marriage between your traditional quilt style and your modern colder style. I know, I know it’s traditional modernist like Doug, you, you got that when I said it originally, but what I think is really cool is that you’re mixing the classic construction from the traditional quilts, with the color and print variation of modern quilts and it, Oh my gosh.

It’s just, it’s so pretty. I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. I, ain’t never seen a hot pink that I didn’t love, I want to use. So I love big, bright, bold colors and bold prints and weird designs. Um, I like really girly looking things like, Oh my gosh, my last like four projects that I can think off the top of my head look straight up. Like they came out of a 13 year old girl’s bedroom again, I’m here for it. Awesome. They’re so cute. But, um, I think what’s really cool is that I quilt without losing some of them of the classic quilt design. So I do Ohio stars. I do a little Moines stars. I do saw two stars, half square triangles and flying geese all day long. I love, um, I have this quilt book and I’ve been like working through making so many of the patterns in it and it’s all of Amish quilts.

And then I make them using like designers like Tula and Amy Butler and Kay facet. Um, and if you’re not familiar with them, please look them up. Bright, bold color, uh, Keith’s florals. Oh my gosh. I love backing me a quote with some cave because it is a party in the back for sure. Um, but I, I like that they’re unexpected to the pink. Oh my gosh. She had a fabric line called monkey wrench, literally peeled bananas all over the place in that. And it’s just, I crack up every time I snuggle under that quilt, I crack up. It’s so silly, but it’s so cute. You’re not going to find those types of things on a traditional coal and you shouldn’t, I mean, you don’t go to an antique store to buy an end table and expect to find like an, a key Ikea straight-leg like, you just don’t, you want those intricate carvings and you know, the fruit and all of that nonsense on there.

That’s why you’re shopping in an antique shop. The same goes with a quote. I don’t expect to find those crazy things on a traditional quote and I don’t want to see them there cause it’s weird. It doesn’t make sense. They’re beautiful on their own and something I genuinely love about quilting is that there’s such a large spectrum. And when you find where you fit in that spectrum, Oh my gosh, just absolutely gorgeous. So I would definitely consider myself a traditional modernist and I know quite a few, um, quote designers, quote, instructors, feel like they fit in that mold. Um, and genuinely, I think it’s because we needed to make a category for ourselves because there’s modern and then there’s traditional, but there’s so many of us who just enjoy quilting. And when you boil basic quilting down traditional styles rule the day, however, we’re newer, we’re younger.

I’m going to count myself as younger. I love that about being in the quilt world, being in my mid thirties, I am not, I am not older as I am in other realms of my life in quilting. Oh my gosh, I’m super young and I love it. Um, but you know, we’re younger. We like fun things. We, we have the tendency to be a little bit of a, a basic, you know what, and that’s where these bright colors come in. That’s where these cute designs come in. Uh, so I am here for it, but I really wanted to do this episode for you guys, because I know sometimes it can be daunting to know where to start. And when you go on those Pinterest rabbit hole dives, and you’re just like pinning, cause you think something’s cute. And then, you know, your feed a little, the more you pin, the more tailored your feed becomes for that scroll session.

And sometimes you’re like all over the place and then you look and you’re like trying to figure out, okay, what’s my next project going to be? What am I going to do? And everything seems great, but you like this, but you like that. But, and understanding where these elements come from and, and align with one another, we’ll help you figure out what your individual design aesthetic is. And the great thing about quilting is that once you learn how to quilt and you learn the basic skills and fundamentals, you can do anything. You don’t need to learn to be a modern culture. You don’t need to learn to be a traditional quilter. You need to learn how to do a scant quarter seam allowance. You need to learn how to baste and how to quilt and how to set your machine up to do that. But once you have the basic skills, Oh my gosh, the sky’s the limit.

So I just wanted you to kind of start thinking, as you’re looking through these Pinterest pins that you’ve done, what, in that quilt that you’re looking at speaks to you? Is it the color choice? Is it the construction? Is it the design elements? Um, these are the things that are going to help guide you down your culture need. So I know this was a quicker episode than I typically do, but I really want to get you guys thinking about this because I was thinking about how I’ve made all these goals and all these projects and, Oh my gosh, you guys, I really am doing these little projects. I just finished a table runner legitimately in a day and so happy. And first of all, who does table runners? I was kind of like, this goes against everything in my farmhouse chic design concept that I have in my house.

And then I put it on my table and I was like, Oh my gosh, I am here for it. I love it. And that is what I love about being a traditional modernist because I chose modern fabrics. I did a very traditional pattern. And honestly, just the fact that it’s a table runner itself is quite traditional and it looks so good guys. I’m going to post a picture of it over on the Instagram. So if you’re not following me on Instagram, you can check it out. Nicole Gilbert quilts, uh, is my Instagram handle, but I just wanted you guys to kind of start thinking about what you’re going to be doing, how, how you’re quilting 2021 is going to go. All right, guys, you have finished another episode

Of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Thank you for hanging out with me and to catch up on today’s episode and all past episodes, head on over to the modern culture circle that com slash podcast and make sure you never miss an episode by hitting subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Now, stop scrolling and start sewing.

Quilt Love

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and...

Noelani T.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and Nicole’s expertise was invaluable for this large project. Nicole is very patient and explained the different steps and their purposes clearly. She improved my original idea to better accomplish my overall goal. I highly recommend Nicole as an instructor and would personally have another session in a heartbeat!

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked...

Michelle L.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked me through everything step by step. And it was amazing. She taught me the ins and outs of my machine and how to add each basic concept together. It was invaluable, because now I can figure things out and get creative without fearing the dreaded unravel!
The Modern Quilters Circle