Modern quiltingModern Quilting Blog

In this new showcase I’m featuring four Modern Quilters that you will love!

Franziska Andonopoulos

My name is Frances (she/her) and I am a quilter living in Portland, OR. I was taught to quilt by a lovely group of quilters that invited me to their guild while I was living in Red Wing, MN studying guitar-making in 2013. As the only woman in my program at school, I was happy to find myself surrounded by these women who were not only master quilters but eager to bring me into their world. I made my first quilt with their help in 2013 and have been making quilts since. 

My style is borne from experimenting with adding an organic element to quilting (which can feel very rigid at times). I primarily use muslin, which often misbehaves due to how thin and flimsy it is. This produces odd lines, seams that don’t nest, and shapes that create themselves as the quilt comes together. Muslin is one of the cheapest fabrics and is usually used for mock-ups and other throw-away purposes. However, it is also one of the oldest fabrics in the world and I am happy and proud to be bringing it into the world of modern quilts. I hand dye most of my fabrics and like to use up every scrap which also dictates how each quilt comes together. My goal is to honor the fabric and the shapes it wants to take. 
I feel blessed to be a quilter. It is my one true passion in life. It’s also an honor to be part of an amazing legacy of women who passed this tradition down to us. 


Bhiravi Rathinasabapathi

I’ve been sewing since I was in middle school, and I taught myself to sew from books, blog posts, and digital patterns. I sewed garments on and off for many years. However, I only learned to quilt in 2019, at the age of 26. Quilting opened up a whole new world for me. I became enchanted with the ways that different colors and shapes of fabrics worked together. I kept quilting, and near the end of 2020, jumped into pattern design myself. 

In my quilts, I like to reimagine traditional blocks and layouts with fresh, modern colors, and new proportions. The patterns that I learned to quilt with — beautiful, clear, and approachable — are huge inspirations for my own designs. I aim to make quilt patterns that are not only visually appealing, but also have an easy-to-follow construction process and teach new skills. Quilting has brought me, joy, fulfillment, and a sense of accomplishment, all of which I hope to pass on to others through my patterns. 


Jennifer Candon

I love to make things… to take things that are broken and fix them; to save scraps and create something new; to use colors in ways that make people look twice. Textiles, clay, metals, paint, woodwork – I love them all. There isn’t enough time in the day for me to play, learn and create. I am happiest with dirty hands and knee deep in a project.

I started my art life as a perfectionist and soon learned how tiring these ideals are (for me). A new mindset was liberating and much more fun. Experimenting is at the root of my making process, and many of the pieces of which I’m proudest started as random “doodles”. Improv sewing was a natural fit. Some things I love when they are finished, and some things are stepping stones to something else. I have high expectations for myself, but I try to remember that the goal is “exploring” rather than always “succeeding”. 

An immigrant to the United States, my patterns and palette have been influenced by my heritage in the West Indies, Denmark, and southern Africa. I feel lucky to have traveled so much and to have seen the colorful beauty of many cultures’ artistry.  

I am inspired by craftsmen and women from around the world – people who make beautiful things for every day use. Many of these artisans have talents and skills which parallel or exceed the fine artists we revere in museums, but often they are not recognized in the same way. They use pattern to decorate their daily world – rugs, pottery, bedding, personal adornment, housing, etc. Each culture has something to share, and I love seeing how color and design are used.

I began quilting because I wanted to make my young son a quilt for his first real bed – a blanket of love that he knew came from me. My mother taught me to use a sewing machine when I was a teenager, as she lovingly sewed many of my clothes growing up. But, I really became interested in sewing when I saw it as an artistic outlet to play with blocks of color. 

So, one day, on a whim, I taught myself to quilt by studying books and online tutorials. I sewed thousands of straight lines until I felt I had enough technical skill to start experimenting and controlling the fabric in improvisational ways that better suited my aesthetic.

And here we are, a few years later… my experimental journey continues – always lots more to learn. I am new to Instagram but have started posting as a self discipline to keep myself making and to contribute to the community that has helped me grow as an artisan maker. 


 Kimberly Tetzlaff

I’m Kim Tetzlaff of Holly Grove Threads. Modern and improvisational quilting is the focus of my artistic work. Although my quilting has transitioned to a more improvisational style, I continue to incorporate an underlying block-based structure in much of my work. The beauty of our North Carolina mountains is often a source of color inspiration.

In my early years, my grandmothers (and mom) shared with me their love for sewing and I made my first quilt in 1982 (in the days before rotary cutters, cutting mats, and online videos). Following a break to focus on parenting and career responsibilities, I am now enjoying more creative and artistic time

This year I challenged myself and entered two quilted wall hangings in the fibers division of a regional art show.  To my surprise one of those wall hangings was awarded second place. If you are considering entering a competition, I encourage you to take that leap.

I’m inspired by the work of so many modern and improvisational quilt artists. (Far too many to name.) I’m also delighted  to see many new quilters in this community, as well as an increased interest in improv quilting.

My sincere thanks to Carolina for her dedication to sharing the work of quilt artists.  Continue to create the beautiful quilts, my friends!