Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century

June 1 – August 25, 2019; Lightcatcher building

Curated by Riane Menardi Morrison, Alissa Haight Carlton, and Heather Grant of the Modern Quilt Guild

Modern quilts are utilitarian art. They tell stories. They are graphic, improvisational, or minimalist. They break the rules. They make a statement. Modern quilts are creative expressions made with needle and thread, fabric, and time, expressing today’s aesthetic through a generations-old traditional craft. Modern quilters respect the rich tradition of quilts throughout history, recognizing that they are makers in a lineage that stretches back centuries.

Over several decades, modern quilts have evolved into their own unique branch of quilting. From the graphic work of Amish quilters to the legendary quilts of Gee’s Bend, modern quilts have been influenced by many hands and voices. Today they embody the best of functional art and design. They feature graphic color palettes, bold design elements, expansive negative space, and alternate gridwork while maintaining traditional quilt construction: three layers bound together by quilting.

Experience the power of modern quilts firsthand in this exhibit of 60 innovative and inspiring quilts that represent the best modern quilts and quilters of the past decade. In this exhibit, you’ll see the work of modern quilters past and present and learn the story of modern quilting from its earliest roots and influences throughout today.

Hands-on activities will allow visitors of all ages to experience the artistry and process of quilting, and to explore the styles, patterns, and variations between modern and traditional quilts. Stay tuned for more information about upcoming programs and workshops related to this exhibition.

All of the quilts featured in this exhibit were made by Modern Quilt Guild (MQG) members, past and current. The MQG is a community of more than 12,000 quilters across six continents and 39 countries.

Program support is provided by the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum. Additional support is provided by Mary Summerfield & Michael O’Neal, the City of Bellingham, the Whatcom Museum Foundation, and the Whatcom Museum Advocates.

docent tours

Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays beginning June 1, 1:30-2:30 PM

Tours begin in the lobby of the Lightcatcher, last one hour, and are included with admission/free to members.