I recieved a very comfortable desk chair for Christmas so am catching up on all the forums that I have missed in the past several months. I came across this one and think it is very interesting. I have also been thinking about "art quilts" versus "traditional quilts". I guess I shouldn't say 'versus' since that gives the idea of competition between them and there is absolutly none! Art is in the eye of the beholder. Traditional quilts can be art but art quilts aren't usually traditional. Traditional quilts are usually a repitition of a pattern or several patterns. Art quilts usually have no set pattern. Either one can have embellishments of many types, beads, lace, paint, etc.( I have painted the center of a traditional block.) I don't think wall quilts are all 'art quilts' as some are made with traditional blocks. It doesn't seem like there is a simple easy deffinition for traditional and/or art quilting. I wish there were.
I am an artist (painter, clay, dress maker, photography) that said she would never be a quilter. HA! I know that I can't do repetitive work. Half way through I loose interest and leave it. Four years ago I joined an art quilt group, "Oregon Fiber Artists" They won't hang my work unless it has 3 layers of fabric and a proper hanging sleeve. There is a lot of my work they won't hang and that's O.K. - I will just find some place else that will! I enjoy very much what I am doing and even do a little traditional work. I have always loved working with fabric and color! Carolyn
You are absolutely right! and I am doing only what I want BUT I also want to support my local guild's show by entering my work and since I never KEEP the traditional quilts, I am just curious about shows/guilds and "untraditional" hanging methods. But I am REALLY enjoying what I do so, I will keep on doing it even if the guild won't show it.
I belong to a traditional quilt guild and a contemporary quilt guild and the two blend beautifully together. I also teach thread work, including bobbin drawing, couching, how to use metallic thread, two threads in one needle, and twin needle sewing among other things. I've been teaching this class for years and many of the students in my classes are traditional quilters. What I teach are the techniques, not a finished product, and that is what all the students get excited about. What they learn is how to use their sewing machines to the fullest extent, whether it's a 40 year old machine or a brand new one. What my students tell me is that they don't necessarily want to be art quilters, they just want to learn everything they can about what they can do with thread. Most of them are tired of using just cotton thread and in my class they never even touch any cotton! Your seem to be wavering, thinking that you have to be either an art quilter or a traditional quilter. That is so not true! I do all sorts of crazy things with different fabrics, threads, embellishments and paints and dyes. But I also do what I want to do, which is the most important thing. I urge you to keep a quilting sketch book or diary or journal and take your camera with you wherever you go. I get so many ideas from my pictures and what I write in my journal (and believe me, I can't draw). That's what I base my quilts on. Too many quilters are trying to copy famous quilters and I think they lose sight of what they love. Only buy fabric you love, thread or embellishments you love, etc. Don't try to be someone you are not. My 6 year old nephew takes pictures with his Dad's camera and he does an amazing job of taking pictures of just what he wants. He has no preconceived notions of what he should be doing so he just snaps away like crazy. I am making a quilt based on one of his photos! He thought it would be fun to take pictures of a neat iron railing he saw and in one of the pictures he is peeking through a beautiful round piece of iron. That's the one I picked. I'm not sure I would have thought to do that. I know I've rambled on but the point is DO WHAT YOU LOVE NOT WHAT YOU ARE TOLD TO DO. Don't worry about what is "right". Just follow your passion.
Thanks for your responses. I will check out Beth Wheeler's site for possible answers. While my pieces (at least, most of them) ARE three layers, I may need to explore another idea for display IF I want to enter them in quilt shows as opposed to art shows.
I think Beth Wheeler's pieces are stretched like a canvas (show 211) --That doesn't answer your show question, but maybe she's got some info on her site. She mentioned something about it, b/c she also doesn't always use 3 layers, which shows might also require.
Sorry I haven't been keeping up with this forum and glad it is being used again . I am also an artist turned quilter who is taking my quilting back into the realm of art! I do traditional quilts but they are really donation quilts for our church's baptism/confirmation program. While I enjoy those quilts (almost as relaxation) my real love is the wide range of art "quilts" I have begun doing. Some are thread painting over watercolors I have painted on fabric during my travels with my photographer husband; some are abstracts using Jane Dunnewold's "complex cloth" techniques; but all are great fun and offer a wonderful challenge to try new ideas and techniques.
What actually prompted me to post to this discussion is the idea that a friend and I are using (nothing new in the artquilt world but new to me ) of mounting our pieces on stretcher bars and framing like a painted canvas OR mounted directly onto a painted (gallery wrapped) canvas. Either of these techniques seems to "allow" art patrons to view this "craft!?!" as "real" art. How it will or does work in the quilt world will be interesting to see as I have never tried entering a quilt show with any of these pieces. Anyone out there with experience in quilt shows? : I would love to hear how they handle quilts that are not traditionally presented (or if they allow them).
Betty Ann, how about those net bags that oranges come in, or the foam fishnet-type things that protect Asian pears? I've been saving those things for some such use. Recently I used one of the Fiskars texture plates to make wood-grained fabric. I used crayons rather than paint sticks because I thought it would be harder and less likely to smear.
I am off to take a (traditional) class ( 4 stack posies) today because i want to learn the correct process and as much as I can. I adore the teacher who is leading us, so it will be great fun and educational. I have so much to learn!