Ella Mae Irby, 1923-2001.
"Texas Star," 1973,
cotton, corduroy, cotton blend, 88 x 85 inches.
|All quilt images from Auburn University
I'm sure you've heard of Cotton + Steel. This is a new company of designers that make a point of honoring the traditions of resourcefulness, innovation and of course creativity in the sewing, quilting and crafting communities. Currently, there are five designers that make up the team at Cotton + Steel. Melody Miller, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, Kim Kight, and Sarah Watts are the dream team of creativity, beauty, and inspiration.
I love looking at each designer's unique take on color combinations and the way in which fabric comes alive. Their prints are lovely, quirky and modern but with a definite nod to tradition and history.
Speaking of tradition. One of my favorite quilting exhibits is the Gee's Bend quilt exhibit that traveled the country not too long ago. I imagine quilters and textile geeks from all walks of life soaking up the amazing resourcefulness, vibrant energy and color of these quilts and quilters. I'm so pleased that someone had the insight to show the world these beautiful quilts and not keep them packed away.
Of course the quilts these ladies made so long ago were made not to hang on walls out of reach, but to be used daily. I often wonder what they would think of their quilts hanging in prestigious art galleries and museums around the world. I like to think they would be more than a bit amused.
I must admit I tend to be quite the romantic when it comes to the past and traditions. I believe that's why I like Cotton+Steel so much. They have a perfect way of joining the past with a modern aesthetic. Now you can stitch modern quilted items with the charming prints of Cotton+ Steel with the Stitch Diamond Pieced Kitchen Set. It would make for a fantastic gift too.
How about you? What do you prefer in your fabric, quilting or sewing? Do you like more modern looks and tend to stay away from vintage, retro themes? Or a blend of both? How do you incorporate vintage into a modern life? I would love to hear from you.
Get your stitch on!