Finding Peace Through Minimalism

Quilting can bring comfort in times of distress. In this time of tumult and uncertainty throughout the world, we recommend the peaceful serenity of some of our favorite Minimalist quilts from QuiltCon 2020. They help us feel calm during the storm, and we hope they help you, too.


Minimalism arose in the 1950s, using simple, and typically massive forms. It integrates extreme elements of abstract art and simple geometric shapes. Living a minimalist lifestyle today involves eliminating non-essential forms, features, or concepts. It is meant as a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important. The result is happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. 

Passage No. 4 by Carson Converse

Passage No. 4 by Carson Converse @carsonconverse

Carson says about Passage No. 4:  “I have been striving to create order and calm amid anxiety caused by the increasingly inflammatory and divisive language that is so common these days. Focusing on creating ‘quiet’ quilts that push the boundaries of minimalism is meditative; I am reminded that we are a single stitch in a vast timeline.”

Peach Quilt by Kamala Murali

Peach Quilt by Kamala Murali @kamblistudio

Murali wanted to evoke a sense of symmetry and asymmetry in her quilt. The colors in Peach Quilt are subtle and warm, conveying a sense of quiet. Murali used discarded surplus fabrics for her quilt.

Rift by Jera MacKenzie

Rift by Jera MacKenzie @jeramackenzie

MacKenzie was inspired to make Rift while looking at images of glaciers with her son. During their exploration, they found many photos that showed rifts that had formed in glaciers. MacKenzie felt compelled to represent these rifts in a quilt, and the result is striking. Despite the simple design, it emits a feeling of stark separation.

Bauhaus Betty by Whitner S. Kane

Bauhaus Betty by Whitner S. Kane @whit.kane

This design here was inspired by the women of the Bauhaus school of weaving and textile design, a German art school that was operational from 1919 - 1933. During a time when women were denied entry into formal art education, Bauhaus offered women unprecedented opportunities to receive an education in textile arts. 

Tilted Lines by Kyona Nason

Tilted Lines by Kyona Nason @kyonanason

Tilted Lines is an interpretation of one of Nason’s grandfather’s paintings. Robert Nason’s original painting was displayed with others from a series he called, ‘Leaning Pictures’ in a gallery on Newbury Street in Boston, in the late 1960s. For added visual interest, Nason mirrored the leaning design in how she quilted the negative space. 

Bathroom Quilt by Lynn E. Stuart

Bathroom Quilt by Lynn E. Stuart 

Without shame, Stuart designed this eponymous quilt to hang in her bathroom. She began by laying a grid over the traditional female/male bathroom symbols. She then removed different parts to create the final design. Stuart says about her process,- “The more I removed, the more I liked how deconstructing the female/male forms communicated the dysfunction inherent in the strict binary presentation of gender.” 

Quattro by Caroline Hadley

Quattro by Caroline Hadley @geometricquilt

This quilt came about as the result of what Hadley calls her, ‘Sunday Sketches.’

Urban Development by Rita MacKenzie

Urban Development by Rita MacKenzie @jeramackenzie

MacKenzie was inspired to make, design, and sew Urban Development by the neighborhood redevelopment happening in her community. She noticed that many of the condos and townhomes being built had a modern aesthetic and decided to introduce the minimalist translation of what she saw. 

Reflections of Love by Shirley Ziegler

Reflections of Love by Shirley Ziegler @shirleyzieg 

Inspired by the stained glass windows of The Greenpoint Palace located in Brooklyn, NY, this quilt was a wedding gift for the maker’s daughter.

GeoDream by Laura Bongiorno

GeoDream by Laura Bongiorno @kittenandthreads

GeoDream was inspired by shadows from windows at Bongiorno’s work.

Voyager 2 by Brigit G. Dermott

Voyager 2 by Brigit G. Dermott @brigitgail

The Voyager space missions have traveled deep into outer space and were the inspiration for this piece. Dermott used an enlarged traditional drunkard path pattern to bring about her otherworldly design. 


Should you find yourself being self-isolated during the coming weeks, we encourage you to scale back from non-essentials by focusing on what is most important. And, as always, we hope you will find solace in the act of creating quilts. 


By Brittany Bowen Burton




2 comments

  • The serenity of reading this lovely piece was amplified by each quilt. Each quilt unique. Thank you for a joyful moment in these trying times. Quilting symbolizes the ability to make something from nothing. Quilting reminds me of each individual state and finally piecing each state to make the beautiful blocks that creates the magic and talent of living art, a practical use and something worth preserving. Our United States is our grand experiment. Like the quilt we have a common thread that runs through us all. I’m so thankful to God for this gift. Thank you!

    Cynthia Ann Illick
  • What a lovely collection of quilts! Soothing, artistic, and inspiring. Thank you!

    Linda Crowe

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