Definitions of Traditional, Contemporary and Modern and Art quilts

Here's a summary of the definitions that we will be using for the Exhibtion. These may help you identify which category best fits your quilt when submitting an entry for the Open section of the Exhibition.

Traditional Quilts (ref Modern Quilt Guild & AQPS)

  • Generally use regularly repeating shapes and blocks, based on a grid. Can be simple or complex, but usually made up of many repetitions of the same block and orderly rows. These are frequently combined with uniform sashing between individual blocks and/or borders all around.

Contemporary and Modern Quilts (ref, Modern Quilt Guild)

  • Contemporary Quilts take traditional techniques and push them to their limits by using new fabrics and technology and encouraging original design.

  • Modern quilts feature use of negative space, no borders, minimal, bright and graphic colour palettes, improvisational piecing, grid work, asymmetry, modern traditionalism, exaggerated scale, pixelisation, texture, less is more.

Art Quilts (Wikipedia,

  • Art quilts feature experimentation with textile manipulation, colour, texture and/or a diversity of mixed media. An art form that uses both modern and traditional quilting techniques to create art objects. Practitioners of quilt art create it based on their experiences, imagery, and ideas rather than traditional patterns.