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Thread: A hornet's nest?

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    This might be a controversial subject but looking a lot of the quilts that seem to win all the shows I am not in love with them. There are a lot of "art" quilts, scenes of one subject or another or totally abstract. I appreciate the time and effort and the artistic expression, about as much as I can appreciate a painting. They don't even look like quilts to me, a lot of them.

    Where does the traditional quilter fit into all that? Can you show me a "traditional" quilt that won Best Of Show? First Place? Second Place?

    I am more of a traditional quilter. I like symetry and precision piecing, the use of color that gives a new look to an old favorite or a new way of putting them together.

  2. #2
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I agree and find the use of color makes all the difference in the world with a quilt pattern.
    Art quilts are nice to look at and admire at shows but not my thing, I want something usefull.

  3. #3
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    i'm an art quilter. i can make a more traditional style quilt - thats where everyone starts to learn quilting.

    quilting is an artistic expression and therefore a matter of personal taste.

    i don't take offense to your question. i can admire your work just as well as you can admire mine - good art and skill is just that - regardless of the style.

    if we all made the same quilts the quilt world would be boring.

    as far as shows go - i have found in all my traveling to quilt shows that certain shows favor a certain style.

    in NYC modern art quilts are the name of the game - when a traditional is up against Paula Nadelstern or Anna Faustino you've got to be 110% on your game to win.

    now move the show to Lancaster, PA and you've got to do a traditional piece and if you really want to win you better not use a stitch regulator and even better would be to hand piece and quilt if you want to increase your odds of winning.


  4. #4
    Senior Member quiltbugs's Avatar
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    I agree, Pam. I think most all of them are very beautiful, and they certainly take a lot of talent to make, but I also think they are more of "Fabric Art" than quilts. They just are not what I think of as a "quilt". This is not meant to be derogatory in any way, shape or form; they are simply a "different" object. Some are absolutely breathtaking in the talent and skill taken to make them, but are they actually "quilts"?

  5. #5
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    thats an excellent point and i think that might be why they call themselves fiber artists and not quilters.

    a quilt is typically meant to be slept with or used to wrap around the human form and art quilts are never meant to be used in this fashion.

    when a client wishes to commission a project from me the first conversation is do you wish to use this as a quilt or a piece of art on the wall.


  6. #6
    Super Member Sharon M's Avatar
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    when I think of quilts I do gravitate towards traditional. I certainly can appreciate the talent, work, time and experise that goes into the "art quilt" but with my style of decorating would not want to use them on a bed. IMO they are at their best displayed on walls as art. But that is just how I feel. I agree with kluedesigns, it depends what section of the country or world you are in what is more popular. Also think from experience in my area that quilts tend to run in trends at the local quilt shows. One year bargello was so popular and that was all we were seeing around here. Now that meandering quilting is popular I hardly see a quilt done any other way. A lot of quilts are dated by their material or type of pattern that was so popular during certain times....we are now living in a time were a lot of quilting will be known for its art form rather than quilts that were once known to keep us warm. We are a big enough world to accept all kinds of quilting and I am just happy that we have so many people that are so knowledgeable and skilled in all of the methods and that I can see pictures of so many of them right here on our board :D

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I think the definition of quilt is that it have a back, batting and backing. Over the decades/centuries they have transitioned, nothing at all like great-great-great-great-grama used to make out of used clothing and fabric scraps. I wonder if decades/centuries ago if some quilters looked at crazy quilts as art quilts, or more elaborate blocks like Mariner's Compass or Baltimore Blocks as art quilts too??? My grandmother (born in 1901) thought that a quilt needed to be hand pieced, hand quilted, hand tracing pieces onto the fabric and cut with "real" scissors to be considered a "quilt", but that was grama's way :D :D . I love all quilts, styles, but hand pieced and hand quilted of any kind are very special to me. I am so glad that there is room for everyone's own interpretation of a "quilt" in the quilt world. :D :D

  8. #8
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I am currently working on both types. I love the freedom of the art quilts, but traditional piecing keeps me focussed. My quilts are not made for exhibitions, though.

    Why judges may prefer one over another is a mystery to me. I can overlook technical flaws if the overall quilt has great design and color. Others need every stitch in place, "just so" to consider a piece worthy.

    Quilting changes more than any other art I have been involved with - hand piecing purists and longarmers who can enhance a top's appearance with their own artistry. It's all good.


  9. #9
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    Pam, I am pretty traditional myself. We were just at the Glendale Ca. quilt show last week. They had a beautiful traditional pieced and applique, it won best in show. This was a very large show too. I think there is always a place for traditional.

    Pam if you are in Pittsburg, CA, not sure. The Amador Quilters have their show at the Alameda County fair grounds, the 25th and 26th of April. Parking is free if you attend the show. You should go, I think you would love it. Great show and great vendors.

  10. #10
    Senior Member quiltswithdogs's Avatar
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    My favorite style is traditional patterns. I only have about 6 years of experience so I still have many many patterns to try. Fun!

    But, this past Christmas was financially so hard, we could not afford to buy even one present even for our wonderful daughters. So, using only fabrics I already had, I made one for each of them as well as for my mom, sister and nieces. With my medical issues I knew I didn't dare make anything big or too difficult or it might not get done in time. So, I tried small quilted fabric landscapes and put them into frames that I bought with a gift card I had gotten for my birthday. So, it was all free and a huge hit! Of course, my sweet family members already have wallhangings, pillows, quillows, lapquilts and my daughters each have a bedquilt. So the "artsy" project was different and as it turns out, conversation pieces for their visitors. So, I like this landscape quilting too.

    Always a history buff, when I go to a quilt show, I mostly love the traditional style. I must admit, however, that I am also amazed at the art quilts.. especially when there are people in it and with such perfect shading on faces that when you step back, it looks like a photo! I can't draw or paint, so wonder, how do they do that? Were they fine artists first?

    Cathy

  11. #11
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    i just entered a quilt show (very small!) and the main thing, apparently, was the theme of the quilt. Many of them were not so well made but the work that went in to them was loving and plenty!! the viewers choice was SO ugly - nothing on it matched. it was a panel with several borders - none of which matched the panel OR each other. but it's what the viewers liked - it had a religious theme to it. the winner - first place - was actually an afghan - US flag. my son was less than kind when describiing the other quilts ( he IS biased!!) i did get third place...

  12. #12
    Super Member quiltnut4ever's Avatar
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    I'm a traditional quilter and will quilt that way however when I go to quilt shows I am marveled at the quilts as art. I know its good to get outside of the box to try new things but to appreciate any quilt whether traditional or art is greatly appreciated. I've had people tell me to enter mine and I don't feel so because there is much competition out there. But always remember "your quilt is what you make out of it and its yours".

  13. #13
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    In most of the competitions I have seen, there are separate categories for different kinds of quilts.

  14. #14
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    This is very interesting :-)

    We have a wide range here. Where I live the quilt guild is VERY traditional, mainly much older women who seem to frown on any "cheats" or modern techniques. They do use rotary cutters, etc, but are against things like spray basting.
    The one I am joining is a half an hour's drive from here, and it's a much better mix.
    I like both types... I love the traditional patterns and colours, like pam. And I like the art quilts that show a "picture", like landscapes, or similar.

    The only ones I don't like or understand are where there's one bit of fabric, and a few lines of quilting, and it's called an artwork. I just don't get it! :?

  15. #15
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    I personally like traditionally pieced or appliqued quilts. They remind me of my family and the strong feminine sewing tradition found there. Each block and stitch reminds me of them.

    We must not be alone, or the "Dear Jane" quilts would not be so popular.

  16. #16
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    Part of the reason may be in your sentence - they are in love with their art just as we are in love with ours. I prefer the "traditional" style, and like bold colors put together simply.

    I don't like scrappy quilts. I have made small things with scraps, but not winging it. I need to plan, I need symmetry otherwise I get unnerved. I need lights, mediums, darks, and am particular about color matches. Probably why I stick to small things - runners, pot holders, tote bags, 4x4 or 5x6, larger would send me over the edge...

    Many quilts I see I don't understand, others I think that person must be obsessed, others insane, but in good ways. But think about it, look at someone's garden, choice of clothing, decor. I can appreciate the time and effort that goes into a quilt, but I'll stick to the kind I love. They make me happy - it's that simple.

  17. #17
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    some of what is being discussed here is very lovely thread art. or fibre art.
    that said, it certainly has a place in the sewing world.

    but, i agree that some of the newer styles of quilting are more like photo copying with fabric or like collage with fabric. running some machine stitches over that kind of sewing, IMHO, doesn't make it a quilt. it still is what it is. thread art and fibre art.

    i also don't think that should insult anyone's taste. i just feel that it's two different things. IMHO.

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    A plain log cabin will probably not win a big show, or an appliqued Sunbonnet Sue probably won't either. I can see those type quilts everyday and although beautiful they don't stir my imagination.
    The show quilts to me are to inspire me to see what is possible. New color combinations, new techniques, new designs to take one step further. I look at the show quilts and think a quilter did this! She stepped out of the box, took a design one step more, added detail that was never thought of and made a showpiece.

  19. #19
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    I love the traditional and/or scrappy quilts. But I stand in awe too of the 'art quilts', their ability to make them, the creativity!
    I agree with Motomom, about the popularity of the 'Dear Jane' type quilts.
    I'm glad to hear shows honor both.
    :-)

  20. #20
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    oooooh!


    i can see this debate going on.....and on.........and on........

    LOL!

  21. #21
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittsburgpam

    I am more of a traditional quilter. I like symetry and precision piecing, the use of color that gives a new look to an old favorite or a new way of putting them together.
    I am with you. I quilt because it is a practical use of scrap fabrics (though I have to admit, my scraps have been replaced by new fabric pieces), I like the colors, I like the angles. "Art" quilts aren't my thing, though my quilts tend to tell a story if I have anything to say about it. The fact that the quilts shows may or may not recognize clever use of fabric colors and shapes with awards, etc ... cannot diminish the joy I get from the making of a useful, colorful, well-made quilt.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    What did you all think of the link I posted about last years Paducah best of show winner? Isn't that just amazing?

    i think that quilt is breath taking. i would love to have seen it in person because i'm sure the pictures aren't doing it justice.

    its a shame she wouldn't part with the quilt but i can't say i blame her - i wouldn't let a quilt like that go.

  23. #23
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Since I'm fairly new to quilting and sewing in general, I'm amazed at all the different types of fiber arts period! That being said, I'm more of a traditional type of girl...like you are Pam. I have to admit that I do love to look at some of the art quilts and I'm amazed at the talent it takes to do that. I have a full appreciation for what they do.

    I do think that the shows will always have catagories for all types of quilts so that lots of us can appreciate our own favorite style. Its a good thing! :lol:

  24. #24
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I talked with Ted, the winner at Paducah last year! That quilt was truly GORGEOUS! The detail was WOW! Ted was amazingly easy to chat with, very humble, but proud of her work! :lol:

  25. #25
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Each quilt is an example of someone's personal taste. The art of layering fabrics to provide warmth and even protection is an ancient art. The tapestries that hung on the walls of mediavel castles were created for warmth. They became a way for woman to express themselves artisticlly while fullfilling a need for their homes. Quilts do the same for us. You can express your love for the look and feel of fabric, color, embellishments, embroidery, thread or just another human being. Quilts help make my home warm and welcoming. They are a way I can be creative and keep my hands busy. They are a way I can express my love for my family, community and friends.

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