Then & Now: Community and Creativity with Jenifer Dick

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“I joined the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild in 2010 and have been happily making modern quilts ever since!” – Jenifer Dick 

 

For Jenifer Dick, the MQG is all about community, creativity, and going outside of your comfort zone. We are so honored that this “modern traditionalist” chose to join the Kansas City MQG 10 years ago and even more excited she is looking forward to 10+ more! Thank you, Jenifer, for your continued support. 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve been quilting since 1993 and have written 6 books on quilt-making, including my current book, Nine-Patch Revolution with co-author Angela Walters. I currently co-own Everyday Stitches, a pattern company with business partner Trisch Price. We have 40+ modern patterns for stitchers of all skill levels. I live in Kansas City, Missouri, with my husband Ray and 2 adorable cats, Poppy and Bunny. I joined the KCMQG in 2010 and have been happily making modern quilts ever since! 

 

This quilt is called Handyman (c. 2011) and is based on the Carpenter’s Square block. It’s inspired by my dad, who is a retired carpenter. I love this quilt because it’s the first time I used so much negative space in a quilt. I am not usually drawn to negative space in my personal quilt making since I'm a piecer and not a quilter by nature! But this was a fun exercise and it’s good to expand on your comfort zone. It has the dubious distinction of hanging in the first QuiltCon - the one and only time I’ve had that honor! Quilted by Angela Walters. 

How/why did you become a modern quilter?

Quite simply, I was ready for a change. I made my first quilt in 1993. In the beginning I dabbled in all the styles and techniques I encountered – primitive, civil war, contemporary, art, Dear Jane, appliqué, paper piecing, etc. And I loved making these quilts.  Over time, though, I wanted to expand and do some more quilts that felt a little different from what I was seeing in my traditional guild, but I didn’t know what I wanted or how to do it. When I first started seeing these new, “fresh” quilts online in the early 2000s, I knew this was something I wanted to know more about! 

One of our most memorable guild activities was a picnic dinner before a meeting at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Everyone brought their favorite quilt to show off on the lawn. Oct. 2017. Photo by Jan Durham. 

Why did you decide to join the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild? 

I wasn’t in on the original organization of the Kansas City Modern Quilt guild, but I joined soon after. I knew they were forming the guild and I knew many of the quilters who organized it, but I just wasn’t ready to join. Honestly, coming from the traditional side, I was a little worried that I would be seen as an outsider. After a few months of going back and forth in my head, I decided to check out a meeting. Wow! Was I blown away! I saw the most beautiful, creative quilts! I had no idea quilting could be like this! I was instantly hooked! And the quilters were so welcoming – there was no judgement at all. 

Guild retreats are very popular and always sell out. Recently, our retreat was in Hamilton, Missouri, at Missouri Star Quilt Co. Photo by Mary Thomas.

What’s your favorite part about being a part of the MQG?

Without a doubt, it’s the people! The community of modern quilters in Kansas City is close-knit, supportive, encouraging, and fun! We have multitudes of social and educational opportunities to participate in – and they are some of the most fun I’ve ever had quilting! My best friends are the quilters in the KCMQG!

One of my best modern quilts. Modern Traditionalism resonates with me the most, and you can see that in almost all my quilts. This is based on an old KC Star newspaper pattern called Chinese Gongs and I call it Dinner Bell. Although by today’s standards, it doesn’t look too risky, at the time (2010) using all solids and those particular colors were very much not the norm! Quilted by Angela Walters. 

How has modern quilting and the MQG impacted your life?

Having the freedom to make the quilts I want to make without having to justify my style or color choices to anyone is the most liberating experience of my quilting life! I would probably still be in a creative box if I hadn’t taken the leap and joined the Modern Quilt Guild in 2010! I hope to be a member for 10+ more years!

 

Images by Jenifer Dick unless otherwise noted.

Featured image: Photo by Patty Simmons at the picnic dinner before a meeting at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Oct. 2017.