Anita's quilts and quilting

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

Textile art or quilts?

Hmm…. two blog posts in one day. What’s going on with me?

I went to the Museum of Art and Craft today with two of the Nice Ladies group. In case you don’t remember who they are…. they are three quilting friends. I call them the Nice Ladies group because I rarely use personal names on my blog.

I had to see the pieces of art made from cardboard before moving on to the quilt section. Interesting technique but nothing like my cardboard furniture. I like this piece.

And this one.

Then it was up the stairs to see the quilts. All with the theme of “water” from the collection of John Walsh III. I goofed and didn’t write down names of artists but this one I know. It’s Ruth McDowell. It’s what I think of when thinking of art quilts.
This one was interesting too and still what constitutes an art quilt in my opinion. It’s pieced to create the curves of the design and then painted to create the shadows.
Here’s another piece that I would call an art quilt. It’s recognizable as a quilt.
On closer look I realize it’s an art quilt that even Bonnie Hunter could appreciate. It’s small crazy pieced squares and triangles sewn together to make the design. It’s stretched over a frame.
Then there were pieces that were clearly “art” and not simple quilts. The use of textiles in unusual ways make them art. In traditional piecing we are taught: to always keep our seams straight, to make our points crisp, to clip all loose threads, don’t let any raw edges show, make sure our binding is stuffed and miters sewn down, be sure our tension is correct and our stitches even, etc, etc, etc. In art quilts nothing is considered wrong. Anything goes.
For example this quilt. You will have to enlarge the picture to see what I’m talking about. See the trees or bushes or whatever they are in the center bottom of this quilt?
Now enlarge this picture and look at it up close. See the loose threads and the raw edges? That’s what makes it textile art instead of what I think of as a traditional art quilt.
Now look at this one. See how the waves appear to move? Also look at the small orange color section in the bottom right corner.

Here’s a close up of the waves. Enlarge the picture to see even better that the flat piece appears to have waves in it. Yes, it is a flat piece. I assure you it was flat against the wall. It’s the creative use of raw edge applique and fabric color that gave the appearance of movement.

Here is a closer look at the orange section. I’m not sure but I believe it’s supposed to be a fish under water or maybe it’s a swimmer.
Ok, you need an even closer look to see the way the fabric is used. Just look at all those raw edges. Certainly NOT your average traditional art quilt.
Here is my favorite piece from the show. I like it because of it’s whimsy. This one had many, many techniques and fabrics in it.
I also liked this one. I like the lights and shadows of it all.
So what did I learn from today’s field trip? That traditional art quilts and textile art have only one thing in common….. fabric. The rules are entirely different.
I did learn a lot from going to the show and talking with my friends. At times it may appear I’m not listening to their advice but truly I am. It just takes awhile for it all to sink in and make sense. I learned I need to start thinking more outside the box. To stop listening to the traditional “No, No” attitude and simply create to make myself happy with my designs. I believe when I’ve become comfortable with my own work it will show itself to others.
Now if only…. if only…. I could focus my mind enough to figure out just exactly what do I want my future to hold? Do I want to create cardboard stuff? To create textile art? To do portrait quilts? To become a well known repurposer? (Is that a word?) To make rugs? I compare my cluttered mind to my cluttered studio. What do I mean? Well, when I pull out fabrics for a quilt….. not satisfied with the choices, I pull out more fabrics. Still not satisfied with the choices…. I pull out more fabrics, and even more fabrics until my studio is a very cluttered mess. Right now I have all these projects rolling around in my mind and I haven’t quite found my path to move forward. My mind keeps pulling out more projects and possibilities.
Sometime before the beginning of the new year I will focus my mind in one direction and see what develops. I have so many choices but I also know I can’t do everything. If I focus on one or two things then I can do a much better job of moving forward. If I want to add other things in the future then its ok.
I know the Nice Ladies read my blog so THANK YOU BOTH for a very nice field trip. I really enjoyed it.
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This entry was posted on November 30, 2009 by in Journey 2009.

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