I've been writing a series of articles for the magazine Love of Quilting about recent quilt history to celebrate their 20th anniversary. In the March/April issue I have a short article comparing trends 40 years ago to what is happening today.
We've seen a couple of significant changes in techniques and design. One is the use of rotary cutters, introduced 41 years ago.
Castle Keep by Jinny Beyer, 1979-1981
Another is the shift in emphasis on the quilt block. I showed quilts by several influential people from the 1980s and how they developed secondary patterning, looking outside the square.
Colorado Log Cabin by Judy Martin, 1985
The articles are short so I get space for just a few pictures.
Here's another by Judy Martin.
Card Trick by Jeff Gutcheon, 1973
I remember very well taking workshops from these innovators as we explored secondary patterning, repeating seam lines but not shading. What happened when you alternated darks and lights? Shaded the lightest blocks in the center and darkest around the edges? Fragmented blocks into borders?
Goose Junction by Kimberly Sandberg
Today: The Block rules in isolation as you can see from this currently fashionable quilts patterned in the same issue.
Another by Denniele Bohannon. Pinafores & High Tea.
Bonnie Leman, editor at Quilters Newsletter Magazine, 1982
with an interconnected two-block star quilt by Judy Martin, Daisy Chain
Hard to find the star.