This Old School Handicraft Is Making a Comeback in Homes—Is Yours Next?
There are some things in design that are easy to cast off as having very little chance of ever being the hip, trendy “thing”. One example that comes to mind? Quilts. I’m not talking about quilts as bedding but rather quilts as art. If the year 2020 has taught us one thing though, it’s that anything is possible. Grandmillennial style is all the rage, after all. So I’ll give you one guess as to what I’m about to say next: Yes, quilts are back, and I’m happy to follow that up with… and they’re better than ever!
Truly, though, quilts have gotten a bit of a bad rap from those outside of crafting circles for a long time. The immensely time-consuming and exacting process of quilt-making is actually quite beautiful when you boil it down. Creating a larger beautiful something out of smaller maybe not-as-beautiful somethings is really quite telling of the times. Even if this design trend has absolutely no political undertones, the craft speaks to something I think many can get behind: the art of slowness and slow living.
There’s a warmth and character a quilt brings to a room, but it can be very tricky to work one into a more modern-leaning aesthetic. That’s where the work of brands and artists like Louise Gray, Vacilando Quilting Co. and Thompson Street Studio come in. They’ve taken a homegrown, humble art form and elevated it to a thing of design-forward beauty. Quilts can be hung on the wall in place of a more traditional framed piece of art, they work great over a bed in homes where earthquakes are a concern, and depending on the size—sure, you can put them at the foot of the bed or on a sofa, too. You’re the quilt boss, applesauce.
If you’re still dubious, allow me to show you some of the offerings that are currently on the market right now, from some niche sellers on Etsy to even mainstream stores like West Elm. Keep in mind though—these quilts are hand-crafted, modern heirlooms in the making, so they’re the kind of thing you buy once and have forever, and their prices do reflect that. Saving up for one you love in a favorite color palette or design motif is probably your best option.
Arc Quilt Neutral
Thompson Street Studio is one of my favorites in the “modern quilt” game right now. Their creations are always subtle but interesting. They have a quiet beauty to them that feels fresh but laced with provenance. Yes, they’re a splurge, but this quality, handmade quilt is something I could see myself using forever.
Buy: Arc Quilt Neutral, $400 from Thompson Street Studio
Cottonwood Wall Quilt
Sold through numerous retailers including West Elm, Vacilando Quilting Co.’s designs are minimal, modern, and executed in tightly curated color palettes. Pieces range in size from this linen and cotton style, which is roughly the dimensions of a poster, to creations big enough to cover king beds.
Buy: Cottonwood Wall Quilt by Vacilando Quilting Co., $150 from West Elm
White Moon Quilt
Artist Caroline Z Hurley offers a small collection of beautiful artwork quilts like this piece, White Moon. If it looks familiar, that’s because it was hanging on the wall in the house tour photo in this post, which is actually the home of Hurley!
Buy: White Moon Quilt, Starts at $255 for a Small Size from Caroline Z Hurley
Harriet Throw Quilt
Louise Gray might just be the one that started it all—modern quilts, that is. Her designs, including this striped style, are minimal and created in beautiful colorways that fit right into quiet, contemporary interiors. For an extra dose of warmth, the brand even sells handsome wooden quilt hangers in three different finishes for easy mounting.
Buy: Harriet Throw Quilt, $295 from Louise Gray
Little Quilt No. 2
Isn’t this little guy just lovely? Another Louise Gray quilt, this piece is a smaller size than the previous quilt but would work nicely in either an adult space or even a nursery. One way to save a little bit on these pieces is to look for crib quilts. They’re still large enough to hang or casually drape over a chair, but less fabric often means a little bit less expensive.
Buy: Little Quilt No. 2 by Louise Gray from In the Pursuit, $225
Modern Art Quilt
Designer and artist Hanna Mazza runs the Atlanta-based Mazzy Threads, where she creates everything form large-scale pieces like this one to much smaller wall hangings. Her use of color is super on-trend, so if you’re really into ochre and rusts, this just might be your modern quilt soulmate. Her Etsy shop is on a brief hiatus right now, but when she’s back up and running, note that she also takes custom orders.
Buy: Modern Art Quilt by Mazzy Threads, $300 from Etsy
Shay Patchwork Quilt
Wall Quilt Chisos
Can’t stop, won’t stop crushing on the work of Vacilando Quilting Co. This design is so playful and punchy with the bold shocks of red. I’d try it hung over a sofa, but it would also work for a bedroom, since the energetic red is balanced out by the low-key blues and cream background.
Buy: Wall Quilt Chisos by Vacilando Quilting Co., $225 from West Elm