Rather than looking to historical styles, artists like Thorpe are incorporating other aspects of design in their quilted works. Thorpe, who recently collaborated with Nike on quilts inspired by the NBA's past and future, brings Black history, his own biracial experiences and childhood dreams to life through textile portraits. But despite his contemporary approach, people at the artist's recent Miami exhibition still brought up their own grandmothers when looking at his work, he said. "Quilting makes people feel," he added. "It's like this knee-jerk reaction of familial (ties). I think that's what people are reaching for."