Anita's quilts and quilting

A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.

State fair 2008

I went back to the fair yesterday. I had had several people tell me there were ribbons on my quilts. My daughter took me there so I could take another look. I swear…. when I was there on opening day there was not any ribbons on my quilts! Or at least I didn’t see them. These quilts were hanging in different places on opening day too. Originally this quilt was next to my friend Yvonne’s quilt… not next to a round rug.


This quilt didn’t have a ribbon either on opening day. Or at least I don’t think it did. I’m beginning to doubt my own eyesight now.

This next picture is of the winner of best of show in the textile department and also received the LAFTA award for ? I’m not sure what the award is for. Somebody’s idea of “quality” art. The award was supposed to be given in the art department and wound up being given in the textile department instead.


I entered a quilt wall hanging in the art department for the first time because I was asked to enter a piece as support for the LAFTA efforts to improve that department. (Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists) I’m also a member of this group. Right this moment I’m almost afraid or ashamed to admit I’m a member. I believe in the concept of the group but I also find the internal politics of the group very troublesome for me. Thank goodness there are other members who feel the same as me about the internal politics.

LAFTA offered a special award of $100 to entice entries in the art department. Believe me…. I’ve tried getting into some of the LAFTA sponsored art shows. My quilts are not the “quality” of art work the powers that be want in the shows so I stopped trying. They always keep the entry fees even if the entry doesn’t get accepted into the shows. I can’t afford to keep trying when I know it’s going to cost so much to be turned down.

I see no reason to enter a piece in the art department next year either. If the LAFTA award is going to be given anywhere in the fair; why would anyone be enticed to enter the art division? I’d rather take my art work to the textile department where it feels most comfortable. My art quilts feel best when they get entered into either the original design or the open technique classes. At least in the textile department my art quilts will have a chance of winning a ribbon. And….. my quilts are appreciated for what they are….. my art and my techniques…. not somebody’s idea of “less than quality” art.

Hmm… as I sat here type-talking; I remembered something I had come to realize many years ago. It goes back to the history of quilts and textile art. The art community doesn’t consider quilts as anything but something to cover a bed. One day someone in the art community decided that a textile art piece could be considered a quilt if it contained three layers stitched together. But not the other way around. Quilts cannot be textile art because quilts are not artsy enough.

So the art community started entering art pieces into the quilt shows for the prize money offered. Over the years the quilt shows have accepted these and created separate catagories just for textile art type quilts. At the Nashville show I even saw one piece of painted artist’s canvas that was quilted. But; to my knowledge and years of visiting art shows…. no actual quilt has ever been accepted into a textile art show. The art community still does not consider a bed quilt as a piece of art. No matter how skillful the technique and no matter how beautiful the maker does a design…. a quilt will remain just a quilt in the art community.

Ok, I think I’ve type-talked enough this morning. Once again I’m going to work hard at getting back on schedule. Before I start in the studio though, I’m going to put pictures in webshots of the fair quilts. I didn’t get pictures of them all. Only as many as I could before my daughter got “bored” and wanted to leave.

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2 comments on “State fair 2008

  1. Anonymous
    August 24, 2008

    Also congrats on the ribbons your colours are great.I also find it hard putting my art(fabric art, wall quilts, textural art…or what ever the term is) in the right place. In NZ fabric art is in it’s start phase so quilt exhibits are sometimes the only place to put these items. I think why “bed” quilts wouldn’t fit in with “art” is because sometimes the quilt is made from a pattern where as art is original… and quilts seem to be judged on technique..it’s looked at very close up and stitch length, colour etc has to be right whereas with art anything can(?) really go and is usually best looked at as a whole from a distance. All this I find is the opposite of fabric art where the close up techniques can leave alot to be desired but the overall look is wonderful. And this makes it hard when I enter my art in quilt shows? But anyway as fibre artist we need to keep putting our art and ourselves out there to challenge the status quo.And thank you for your thoughts and actions on this.

  2. Anonymous
    August 24, 2008

    Congrats on your ribbons! You deserved them. I honestly don’t get the best of show….I won’t say what I thought of it.Riea

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