Monday, August 10, 2015

Quilting freely- with purpose

Just back from a weekend visit to Austin.
I had an "AHA" moment I wanted to share with all of you quilters reading this.

On Saturday we went to the Bullock Museum of TX State History.
Much to my surprise & delight, there was a quilt show in the special exhibits room!
Gleefully, I sent my family on their tour- and planned to enjoy my unexpected treat.

It was a collection of fiber art quilts about black history.
As I walked from quilt to quilt the same things popped out at me again & again.
It was a curated exhibit in a major museum...
and while interesting, informative and very creative...
I could not understand how the majority of these quilts made it past the quilt police!


Bindings were crooked...
corners not mitered...
stitches uneven...
clashing fabrics with disregard of color wheel... 

They did not hang flat…
Blocks and entire quilts were not squared up.
I can go on and on about what I viewed.

Had I become one of those judgmental bitches I not so affectionately call the “quilt police”?
I hoped not.
But I wish some of you had been there because I had no one to discuss it with.

For those of you who knew me when I started taking workshops to improve on creating facial features 
& my disturbing obsession with the eyeballs looking good in my own portrait quilts... you will understand my reaction.

I have been frustrated enough to toss otherwise nice looking portrait quilts dismissively to the (never to be picked up again) WIP pile- because of those damn eyes!

In the majority of the facial features used in the quilts I saw: the quilter’s had painted them in, or used prints on fabric!

They combined all sorts of fibers, and frankly- I think they had a hell of a lot more fun than I have had getting quilts ready for "show standards” to satisfy the “quilt police”.

At some point in my own quilting journey... I gave in?
I resolved I would do 2 types of quilting.
I would create cuddle quilts & show quilts...
& the two have really not overlapped since.

What I realized as I looked about this room that shared such an important message through the quilters artistry.
It would be exciting to partake in a museum exhibition! To create based on their challenge and commit to 
entering for consideration.

And perhaps what made this exhibit even more inviting to this observer… 
the quilt police were obviously NOT invited!!!

I am setting a new goal for the remainder of 2015...
Or better yet… for the quilts yet to be.

A goal just for me:

To remember the early days, when I was so excited to make a quilt, just its completion made it perfect & I was so proud.
When I look back at those early quilts they are a mess! But I loved creating them…

I will let the advertised challenges & contests inspire and encourage me to participate.
I plan to enter quilts more when appropriate without obsessing over a stray seam or stitching.

Children create freely… like no one is watching…

I am determined to let myself remember what that feels like.

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