Trending: 5 Spectacular Quilts that Highlight Fuzzy Elements at QuiltCon 2024

March 8, 2024

Each year at QuiltCon, I walk the show floor in search of new trends in the Modern quilt world. What color palette(s) are popping up? Which shape is getting a lot of play? Is there a technique gaining popularity?

My first step in looking for trends is to walk the entire show floor quickly without spending much time with any individual quilt. This process helps me to get an overview of everything in the show and pick out patterns.

This year, I found no discernible patterns in that first walk-through. In the second round, I saw one exciting trend I’m sharing with you today: yarn and fuzzy things.

Tied Quilts

For many years, quilt shows have shunned the use of yarn in quilts, especially when used as a tie to hold the layers of a quilt together. In fact, many quilt shows have explicit rules against tied quilts being entered into their shows.

Coral Quilt: Stitched and Tied

By Amanda Nadig @amandanadigart

You may have seen this quilt pop up on your social media feeds recently—it won first place in the handwork category! This design juxtaposes straight-line hand quilting with organically placed ties in a range of colors that develop a landscape-like effect. The ties in this quilt aren’t just a means of holding the layers together; they are the prominent element of the design.

Fulll view of Coral Quilt: Stitched and Tied by Amanda Nadig
Detail view of Coral Quilt: Stitched and Tied by Amanda Nadig
Description of Coral Quilt: Stitched and Tied by Amanda Nadig

Why Knot No 2

By Simone Symonds @salty.plum

The tied element of Why Know No. 2 is the dominant design feature. In this quilt, the soft, organic shape of the ties is positioned into a grid reminiscent of traditional patchwork.

Full view of Why Knot No 2 by Simone Symonds
Detail of Why Knot No 2 by Simone Symonds
Description of Why Knot No 2 by Simone Symonds


By Casey Engel @casey_engel

The ties covering the surface of Pathway achieve subtle texture, as the ties’ colors blend into the gentle color shifts of the fabric. The artist talks about their background in ceramics, which is evident in the texture handling and the glaze-like effect of the color shifts.

Full view of Pathway by Casey Engel
Detail of Pathway by Casey Engel
Description of Pathway by Casey Engel

Other Fuzzy Elements

Tied quilts weren’t the only textural elements evident in the 2024 QuiltCon contest. I noticed many types of fabric textures and fabric manipulations within the show, including these examples of fuzziness!


By Charan Sachar @charansachar

Handwoven features- you guessed it- handwoven fabrics embracing the textures of various yarn types and weights. The color shifts within the woven pieces are gentle, and those same colors are pulled into the surrounding solid fabrics using a color-blocked style. The pieced lines of the quilt embrace slightly curved lines mimicking the organic shifts in the handwoven elements.

Full view of Handwoven by Charan Sachar
Detail of Handwoven by Charan Sachar
Description of Handwoven by Charan Sachar

Color Transformation

By Diane Kearney @kearnedi

Color Transformation was part of the fabric challenge category at QuiltCon this year. The challenge fabrics are shot cotton with yarn-dyed warp and weft threads in different colors. This technique means that if the fabric frays in one direction, it will be a different color than if it frays in the opposite direction. The maker of this quilt used the frayed edges as a design element, incorporating these edges into the design to effectively create additional colors within the limited color palette.

Full view of Color Transformation by Diane Kearney
Detail of Color Transformation by Diane Kearney
Description of Color Transformation by Diane Kearney

An Up and Coming Trend?

What do you think of these trends that evolved from several traditional techniques? Will any of them make an appearance in your quilts?

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