Monday, July 11, 2005

What makes an art quilt an art quilt?

There is something in the quilt world in the works that has bothered me for some time. It seems wherever I go, be it a guild meeting, a quilt show, a quilt shop, a quilt list.....There is a rift, a division. There are definate cliques. There is this attitude that says "While we enjoy and admire more traditional quilts, this list, group, webring is not intended for quilters that focus on traditional quilting."

Frankly, I feel some quilt racism going on! Traditional quilt discrimination. Is there such a thing?

Maybe I should come up with a list guideline that says "While we enjoy and admire artsy fartsy quilts, this list, group, webring is not intended for quilters that focus on your so called artsy fartsy quilting if you can even call them quilts."

The quilt world is a strange section of society. There are groups for gay quilters, lesbian quilters, man quilters, wiccan quilters but one group that was the MOST discriminatory was a group of "conservative christian" quilters who would not let me join their group because my denomination was not christian enough, nor conservative enough for their likings. I was spammed with bible verses to supposedly set me straight, get me to repent, give up wearing pants and find the true way of conservative christian quilters. Good grief!

You know, I love quilting down to it's roots. Down to when people would share patterns, have quilting bees with potluck food, share fabric, life's stories, joys and sorrows...when things were not so divided. When quilts were made to cover people and beds, no matter how traditional or maverick they were (Just look at Ghee's Bend quilts and some of the other african american influences in quilts and tell me if they are not ART!) and copyrights were not to be feared nor claimed.

When did quilters start having to fit in to this category or that one? And what about those of us who are caught between more than one definition by the quilts that inspire us? What is the quilt world coming to anyway?



  1. I dunno if it is so much having to fit into a category, Bonnie. To me, it is a feeling of belonging. Being part of a group of like-minded people. (I run a list for lesbian and gay quilters.) I love to quilt and have learnt a lot about it from countless people of all creeds, religions, genders, sexualities and races. People I have met face to face and others online. I don't agree with those who hold up their style of quilting as "the best", but I do enjoy the variety of different styles and being able to belong to different groups. I think it makes me a better quilter. Looking at different styles and techniques and having a go at them stretches me as a quilter. I think there will always be a need for people to belong, but we all need to remember that we are all part of a wonderful world wide community of quilters who should take pride in the diversity of the groups.

    I enjoyed reading this post very much. It made me think. I’m also a fan of your Quiltville site. I’m currently making a crumb quilt from all the scraps I have.

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS POST! YOU ARE WELCOME TO QUILT AROUND WITH AND EVERYWHERE WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT GREAT GREAT POST!!!!!!!!! Did I mention how much I love this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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