Modern quiltingModern Quilting Blog

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

 Pascale Michalski 

Since a young age, I have always been a painter/illustrator and I have never been afraid of venturing out of my comfort zone. I’ve only started quilting over 4 years ago, but since then the love for textiles and variety of quilted textures has only flourished. Most of my quilts include stylized animal scenes, as I believe animal shapes are very playful and their textures lend themselves to experimenting with colours and surface qualities (i.e. the scales of fish, feathers of birds). The pieces I create are borderline surreal and are not to be taken seriously. It is an escape from the humdrum of everyday life and an opportunity to engage in more colour. 

All my creations are my original designs. I create a silk painting as my main quilt top and then work with cotton fabrics in raw-edge applique to embellish and complete the movements in the composition.

I am 38 years old, and I am originally from Luxembourg. I have lived in London/United Kingdom for 18 years now. Since the start of my quilting journey, I have created many award-winning art quilts, exhibited across Europe, the Middle East and contributed to many quilt festivals. By getting involved in events I feel that I don’t just support my quilting community, but I also support the craft I love so much.


Jessica Wohl

I started quilting in 2013 when I needed a quilt for an installation I was doing at the Knoxville Museum of Art. I took a class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts with Kim Eichler-Messmer, and another one the following year from Luke Haynes, and after that, I was pretty much hooked. I’ve continued to acquire quilting skills from workshops at Quiltcon and online, but since I am trained as a painter, I like to think about my quilt design as if it were a painting. I love how fabrics allow me to hold the color in my hands, and how quilting lets me touch the lines that I draw. I’m inspired by a number of things, but they predominantly fall into the categories of social justice, women’s issues and motherhood. Just this week I opened a solo exhibition of quilts called Imagining Matriarchy where I imagine what the world would feel like if it were run by women. In that show, I use a lot of fluorescent pink, florals, blues and blacks to imply femininity, masculinity, blackness as well as combinations of all of them to imply intersectionality.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how curves bring a softness to the work, and how darkness can be a source of light and celebration, but much of the movement in these works is explosive, and radiates outward from the center of the composition like rays of the sun. There is also a mending station as part of the show where remnants from the quilts are turned into patches that visitors can pick out, and then I will mend their garments with the patch of their choice as a gift. If participants choose to share a story with me about their garment, I plan to collect those stories in a zine to be made later this year. 


Maria Freudenreich 

I am Maria, a textile designer and quilter from Berlin Germany. For more than 30 years now I have been producing patchwork pillows and quilts for everyday use. Mostly out of plain color second hand clothes. However my love for colors, fabrics and art goes far back into the late 60s. Originally I started my textile career in the knitwear business. For a few years I created knit patterns and designs for GDR companies. In 1973 I moved to Berlin and started my design studies at the Kunsthochschule Berlin, an art school based on the ideas and concepts of the Bauhaus. Through the interdisciplinary approach of the school I was often in contact with painters, sculptors and ceramic artists. The artistic dialogue had a profound impact on me and my further style. Still I am very much inspired by the color fields of Paul Klee, the works of Vasarely, Miro and Hundertwasser.

For me as a surface and textile designer, patchwork is a perfect technique to abstract figurative and detailed images that I have in mind. I re-use worn clothes and turn them into new useful objects. Since I usually don’t have a lot of fabric of one kind available, I work with many colors and rather detailed. Quilting is fantastic for textures. I prefer working with rectangular shapes, though I love the imperfection of lines and playing with contrasts like big/small or bright/dark. In my designs you won’t find round shapes. Nevertheless, the color remains the determining element in the implementation of my design.I love colors, its compositions and variations. In my designs I combine classic quilt blocks with thin color lines that give the minimalist severity of the squares a certain lightness and liveliness. My favorite (non)color is grey. Its shades can go in almost all directions. From yellow to green, blue and red. It is such an amazing color companion and brings out the best to all other colors. 

Mostly I have a rather playfully intuitive approach. Sometimes I make water color sketches, use photos or just my memory to remember a special wall structure or nature encounter. And the fact that I am able to create a valuable and individual gift with my own hands, in my own rhythm, out of material that led a former life, fills me with joy and satisfaction. Hand-Quilting is such a great way to sit and slow down, anywhere at any time. Commitment and freedom at the same time. By recycling used fabrics, I wish to make a sustainable contribution to the use of our textile resources.


Tenille Fati

Salaam and hello! My name is Tenille Fati, and I’m a quilter and natural dyer living off-grid in rural Georgia. I have been sewing since I was 5 years old when my mom first taught me to hand sew Christmas ornaments for our tree. I have been experimenting with natural dyes and making quilts since 2018 and I haven’t looked back. I’m obsessed with both! They are a direct extension of the art I’ve been creating my whole life, though my early art primarily centered around drawing, collage, and spray painting. I was greatly inspired by artists such as Faith Ringgold, Jean-Michel Basqiat, and Keith Haring growing up in the 80s, but my sewing, making and quilting inspiration came from my late aunt Jeanette Johnson. She has made quilts for my three oldest children (one of which I still have, and it has lived, loved, held and been used by all six of my children and has traveled to four states now). I, however, didn’t learn to make quilts until I took a class one summer in a lovely little quilt shop in Eugene, Oregon.

Art, music (hiphop in particular) and traditional textiles continue to influence my quiltmaking, but I also come alive when I am in natural environments (trees and sunsets move me!). Being outdoors and tending a garden are what initially led me to conduct my first experiments with natural dyes. I love the array of colors that come from plants, soil, roots, berries, bark and leaves. My favorite color is the beautiful golden yellow that comes from onion skins (followed very closely by the dusty pink you get from avocados!). I love to work with natural colors on natural fibers like linen, cotton, hemp and silk, and I tend to source my fabrics from thrift and reuse shops. I’ve been using a sewing machine to piece and quilt the objects I make, but recently I got into hand quilting with cotton sashiko and embroidery threads, and it’s been such a beautiful undertaking.

I’ve successfully grown my own cotton plants, and hope to one day learn to spin it into fiber and weave my own cloth. I also grow and forage most of my dye materials. I have this dream of growing a quilt in my lifetime that seems to slowly be manifesting itself mashaAllah. There have been a few occasions where my quilting and dyeing practices have overlapped, and I’ve made some beautiful quilted pieces with naturally dyed fabrics. It’s such a dream come true when that happens! I’ve also found a way to marry my religious beliefs and cultural heritage with my sewing by making quilted prayer rugs. For me it is a way to acknowledge the intersection of my identity as a Black Muslim woman.