The New Crafters

By Charlotte Barnard

Old-fashioned? As if! Meet three women who've put their own cool, modern twist on traditional needle crafts.

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Latifah Saafir
By Peden + Munk

The Mod Quilter

Who I am: Latifah Saafir, 35, a project coordinator in Los Angeles.

Where you'll find me: Updating my blog, The Quilt Engineer, or browsing the bolts at Sew Modern, my favorite fabric shop in L.A.

Crafting cred: I learned to sew when I was 6 and even made my own clothes as a teen, so I already had the sewing basics down when I decided to try quilting a few years ago. I loved it so much that I made 15 of them that first year!

Building a community: Traditional quilt designs weren't appealing to me, but after I saw a friend's modern quilt I was inspired to make my first one. Not long after that I met a blogger, Alissa Haight Carlton, who shared my more contemporary aesthetic, and we decided to start the Modern Quilt Guild to bring together other like-minded quilters. There are now more than 120 chapters.

Marathon sessions: At a monthly chapter meeting, the members all bring their sewing machines and irons and work for six hours at a time.

Connecting to the past: I live with and take care of my 90-year-old grandfather, and he loves to watch me work at the dining table. He'll reminisce about his mother, how her relatives and friends in their rural Louisiana community came together to work on one person's quilt at a time. I feel as though the guild meetings are my own version of a quilting bee -- the members really are like an extended family.

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