Friday, December 23, 2005

No Apologies Accepted

I was going to post this picture the other day, then had second thoughts. I realized I was feeling apologetic about starting this blog to explore a creative journey in contemporary textiles or art quilts, and then posting so many pictures of traditional work. Better not show any more pictures until I have something artsy to talk about.

Many of us coming to the art quilt from a traditional grounding (me included) spend a lot of energy downgrading the importance of that background to our arty endeavors. We've heard so often that there's nothing creative or artistic about traditional quilting that even when we are confronted with an example (maybe even a quilt of our own), we deny that it is in the same league as "true art quilts." We remember instead responses from strangers when we say that we quilt, realizing that they are remembering grandma's quilt and thinking "craft" not "art."

You know what? I'm tired of apologizing for my love of antique quilts. I'm tired of feeling obligated to describe the time I spend making traditional quilts as less important and easier than art quilts. I love them both; they each pose their own challenges. I honed my skills on traditional quilts, skills I need to make the art quilts. The art quilts push me even further, and teach me things I can apply to my traditional quilts. They need not be at odds with each other. I should not feel embarrassed about either one. I will no longer accept my apologies about my love of traditional quilts.

As for the picture, it shows the old and the new: an antique applique quilt top from the 1860's or 70's and my own rendition of a poinsettia quilt block from an antique quilt. Holiday greetings to you all!


Anonymous said...

Good for you. Another thing to think about -

I believe the huge number of hours I invested in making more traditional and utilitarian quilts are what allow me to make nearly perfectly crafted artwork.

I think that is invaluable.

I've seen some pretty poorly crafted "art quilts" and any art value is completely lost in the lack of technical skills.

The Idaho Beauty said...

You don't know how much this means coming from someone of your success. Sometimes I feel all alone in the belief that good technique is as important as good design. But you can see it in the best of the best.