Modify Tradition

In 2009 I started a project with a friend I met online through quilting blogs. She asked if I wanted to start a quilt-along blog where we would take traditional quilt blocks and re-imagine them in a "modern" way. We called the blog "Modify Tradition". At the time, there was much discussion about what "modern" was. I was never really comfortable leading discussions on this subject. It's all so subjective and I think it rubbed some people the wrong way.

It was a lot of work, making blocks and posting tutorials and inspiration. It was rewarding too. I met so many super nice people through that blog and I learned a lot about quilting and about myself.

This quilt is the result of our first quilt-along on the blog. I both loved and hated making these blocks and this quilt. Inspiration is a fickle thing and I found that when I had to make blocks or finish the top, they were the last things I wanted to work on. I was really happy the day I finished the top and I pretty much never wanted to see it again.

It wasn't the quilt's fault, or the blog. I remember feeling really accomplished and totally worn down all the time. I just needed a break from all of it.

And yet, there are good memories too. To this day, I think the Starflower and Antique Tile blocks are just about the prettiest blocks I've ever made. And at the time I HATED sampler quilts (maybe this is where some of the stress came in?) and it was a fun challenge to figure out a layout that didn't look so "traditional" and "boring".

Ten years later and now I love traditional and boring and sampler quilts! I don't like wonky and "modern" and I'm not that into bright colors anymore. It's interesting how our tastes change, you know?

I feel like I've finally come to terms with this quilt and the time in my life that it represents. I can't change what happened, I can't take back things that were said. But it has made me a more thoughtful person, more aware of other people and their feelings. I'm also more aware of my limitations and have been very careful about taking on only projects that are right for me. I'm also grateful for the people who put their trust in me way back then. I'm grateful for their support and their time and their community. I doubt I will ever find that again...the online quilting world has changed so much since then. It was a golden age...and I can't wait to see what comes next!