Judie Rothermel’s Aunt Grace prints will always hold a revered place in traditional quilting, and increasingly, we’re seeing these traditional 1930s prints incorporated into a more modern quilt aesthetic as well, with gorgeous results. Part of the new appeal may be that contemporary quilting attracts a younger quilter, often with babies or young children as project inspiration. These delicate, small-scaled motifs are easy to mix and match in even the simplest quilt blocks, and work beautifully for a baby’s nursery. The 1930s collections often look best when all colors are mixed, a fresh, change from the too-familiar “pink or blue” choices.
Another reason for the renewed interest in Judie Rothermel’s 1930s designs is that, to beginning quilters, they’re actually brand new! Blending them with earthy linens, silk douppioni and other textures, modern quilters are giving the miniature florals, geometrics and conversationals a more artistic spin, creating not only baby quilts, but also chic totes, small accessories, and even garments.
Shopowners who quilt are enjoying the Aunt Grace renaissance as well. Jodie Heinold, owner of Fort Worth Fabric Studio offers the Aunt Grace prints, including new Aunt Grace Miniatures, alongside her decidedly more contemporary prints, and recently added linens to the mix to satisfy customer demand. “The 1930’s really can be mixed with more modern elements – I’ve seen a few blogs/quilts where they mix them with the natural linen/flax fabric – totally amazing! Heinold herself has always been drawn to “those sweet 1930s prints,” and has carried many full Aunt Grace collections since opening her online shop in 2009.
If you haven’t yet tried plugging 1930s prints into uncommon quilt designs, you’ll find great inspiration in Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen (Interweave).
For craft project ideas, also check out Zakka Style by Rashida Coleman Hale.