I don’t have a large number of ribbons from the big shows like some of my quilty friends do, but I do have a few. Several of them center around surface design, color choice, and embellishment. I got to thinking about that recently and I decided that I am really more of a fiber artist than I am a quilter and wondering if that impactsthe ribbon worthiness of my quilts. True, I have struggled to learn the things one must pay attention to as a competition quilter, such as nice square corners and even quilting, but I am far more interested in the overall look of the art of my show work than I am the overall quilting techniques. When i am doing the actual quilting, I might take a more organic freestyle pattern over a more formal design pattern simply because I think it corresponds best to my quilts. One of my quilts recently received “quilting needs to improve” from a judge, when I was thinking it was one of my best results because it looked like the wind to me. Maybe that’s not what they meant. I don’t know. I wish they had said what they meant.
I regard “making a quilt” as an entirely different activity than “making an art quilt” or to the extreme of “making a competition art quilt”. I love warm cuddly love-filled quilts that one can curl up in, drape over a lap, eat a picnic on, give to your pet, or cover your bed with. I enjoy making them. I just would never make one for a competition quilt. Why, you ask? Well, because I am not that good at it. I have been to enough quilt shows to see those fabulous traditional or even contemporary perfections. But I am really good at making a piece of fabric art in the form of a wall quilt. Still, I do make snuggle quilts, but I usually use only piecing and applique and perhaps a little bit of embroidery. My points aren’t always good, and things just never quite look right, but they are fun and pretty.
I love joining my computer art, hand painted art, thread painted art, composition fun, color play, and even my love of history or space together in a piece of quilted art for the wall. In my enthusiasm to get the look I want, I draw from whatever technique I think will work, sometimes resulting in a project with piecing, applique, hand painting, digital art on fabric, thread painting, machine embroidery, quilting, beading, hot fix crystals, and some additional elements on one single piece. Does it work? Well, it works for me, not always for judges, apparently. LOL
Sew what do you think? Is a piece of quilted wall art actually a quilt?
Sew happy everyone! Make that quilted piece you love. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkuh!