A friend just emailed me and asked me what I had made on International Quilt Day? International Quilt Day… Never heard of it. Her email went on that, “traditionally the third Saturday in March is International Quilt Day when quilters make a point of working on a quilt on this particular day.”
This year she was notified that the third Saturday would be the start of International Quilt Week.
Now I like this idea a lot. It is only in the last few years that I have become interested in making quilts. I have always loved the tactile nature of fabrics but paper and card have always been my first love.
However, through classes and the generosity of spirit of so many quilters I am beginning to enjoy this art genre.
Now I don’t think I will ever make a quilt for a king size bed nor will I make a quilt built on blocks made of triangles and little squares. I tried a 12 inch block and to say I was frustrated is a total understatement. I have the utmost respect and admiration for those patch workers and quilters who do make the most intricate quilt blocks. I can admire their work knowing how difficult it is.
I have sat in front of quilts at quilting exhibitions and been totally in awe. There was one quilt of a night sky which i vividly remember because initially I thought it had been done with oils but in fact it had used fabric.
There are so many artists in the quilting world and then there are people like me, very late to it but enjoying the journey it is taking me on.
So if you are a quilter or ever have been enjoy Quilters Week.
Creative arts for me is when an artist uses their hands to create a piece of art. It is not merely seeing art as painting, music,drama, literature. For me, it is looking at crafts which are in fact works of art.
I am saddened when I hear a person saying “it is only a bit of sewing” or “it was just something I put together when I had a moment” or perhaps ” it is only a ….”
Take for example a quilt measuring 244 cm by 205 cm or 81 inches by 96 inches. This quilt could have been made using 2.5 inch squares or 5 inch squares to make a 10 inch or 12 inch block. Those blocks are then joined together to make a top. When the top is completed it is then quilted by placing it on top of batting and a backing fabric. Finally it is bound. This whole process requires mathematics to work out the pattern and how much fabric is required. It involves choosing colours and patterns on fabric which will meld. Then there is the sewing. It is a piece of art not merely “a bit of sewing”. However, how many people would be willing to spend €400 – €800 for such a work of art?
How would you describe a picture made entirely of felt? This is made using the fleece or tops from various animals. This fleece is either dry or wet felted to make a design. I have two friends whom I describe as felt artists. One produces pieces of art showing landscapes and nature. while the other uses nature as her inspiration for felted jewellery. Each of them are artists in their own right. But would you consider them as artists?
How about those who work with paper creating greeting cards each of which could take 3-4 hours to make. Not withstanding those who make the paper and then manipulate it into greeting cards or bags or designs depicting nature. Are they artists?
Theses are but a few of the many various pieces of art being created daily and which to a great extent is seen as being “merely a craft”. Who has decided what is art? How do we broaden people’s concepts of art?