Moscinski's "pink hot mess"

Modern dance I’m into, and modern physics is indispensible. Now there’s even modern quilting, and it’s spreading like . . . OK, like a quilt—and a lot faster than you’d expect. A group popped up in LA three years ago called the Modern Quilt Guild, and now there are chapters across the U.S. and Canada, six European countries, and three other continents. “It’s fed my creative soul in a way that’s been unexpected and surprising,” says Donna Moscinski, president of Chicago’s MQG chapter, of a recent experiement.

So what is modern quilting? It’s hard to explain, Moscinski says. She notes that it can involve lots of structure, improvisation, traditional techniques with modern fabrics, or a modern sense of line. Really, though, “the minute you make a rule, someone’s going to break it,” the retired CPS English teacher says.

Let’s have a look at the quilt above, which Moscinski calls “the hot pink mess,” a gift for her niece, who requested the color. She began with traditional, triangular piecing on the bottom of the quilt’s front, but “I just couldn’t do it,” Moscinski says, improvising the rays that reflected how she felt (maybe her hair standing on end). She’s submitted the work to QuiltCon, which is being held in Austin next February, and which 17 Chicagoans are attending.

The Chicago MQG is diverse in age, race, and sex, and it’s tight-knit, no pun intended. The 60 dues-paying members (140 engage online) meet each month to work on projects, like quilting for charity or their most recent one, where each member patched together a piece based on a work of art brought in by another. “It may have been the most fun that I have ever had,” Moscinski says, not wanting to sound too geeky. The group will soon discuss how to keep its early sense of intimacy now that more members have joined.

There are lots more pictures of the group’s work up at, and its blog is worth a look, too, at

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