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International Quilt Festival, Houston 2021

It was exciting to walk through one of the most well-attended quilt shows in the world and see so many quilts that fit into the ‘modern’ aesthetic. At this year’s International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG) sponsored an exhibit of modern quilts. In addition, there were a number of modern quilts that hung in the ‘IQA World of Beauty’ juried show. 

We congratulate all the makers whose quilts were accepted into the juried quilt show and the MQG showcase at the Festival. The more you share your talents with the quilting community at large the larger our modern quilt community grows. We believe as the modern quilt community grows that innovation, creativity, and opportunities for modern quilt makers will flourish. Here are some of the fabulous quilts that hung in Houston this year. 


Differences by Karen Maple @karenmaple

Differences by Karen Maple @karenmaple

Maple made this quilt as a response to the lack of uniformity in the world. The quilt is composed of 81 blocks, each unique and different and composed of primarily three colors. The shifting color represents the variety that is found in the world. Maple’s use of scale and negative space has created an incredibly dynamic quilt.


Stovetop by Linda Leake

Stovetop by Linda Leake

During the pandemic, Leake decided to branch out from making traditional quilts and created her first modern quilt. After many hours at her stovetop cooking and cleaning, it became her inspiration for this quilt. The feeling of maximalism created by Leake’s intricate pieced patterns is grounded by the solid diamonds between them.


Neon Radial by Audrey Esarey @cottonandbourbon

Neon Radialby Audrey Esarey @cottonandbourbon

Neon Radial is Esarey’s tenth quilt in her ‘Offset Quilt’ series which explores concentric circles of high contrast radiating wedges. The way Esarey has used color in this quilt draws the eye in different directions that demand the viewer to take notice. 


Hexies at Play by Maureen Logan

Hexies at Play by Maureen Logan 

Logan has aptly named this quilt. The colors and strong shapes of this quilt certainly do create a playful, fun feeling. Though the hexagons are a strong point of reference, the triangles bouncing around the quilt make it vibrate with energy. 


Let’s Get Loud by Kathryn Upitis @kupitis

Let’s Get Loud by Kathryn Upitis @kupitis

Uptitis says about this quilt, “Let’s Get Loud is about coming out of the shadows and finding our voices and standing tall within them: our artistic voices, our voices for ourselves and what we want in life. Find your voice, get loud, and sing it from the rooftops.”Let’s Get Loud represents Upitis’s love for color and energy. 

Brûler by Heather Pregger @heapregger

Brûler by Heather Pregger @heapregger

The word brûler in French means ‘burn.’ Pregger says about her quilt, “Fire can be destructive. It can consume all within its path. Fire can provide warmth and illumination. It can be used to cook our food and light our homes. Fire can be mesmerizing.” Fire can also be intense. Pregger has done a fantastic job of creating a feeling of intensity with the multiple sharp points in her quilt. The variation of size in the triangles creates movement.  

You can find a plethora of modern quilt inspiration in the physical copies of Curated Quilts as well as visiting our blog and Instagram account. 


By Brittany Bowen Burton

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