I’m pretty much a by-the-book traditional quilter. I don’t mind applique, I don’t mind having fun with various embroidery techniques and I’ve even been known to throw a few buttons or decorative pipe cleaners into my designs. But, if you gave me a choice of what I’d like to piece, it’s gonna be a simple nine-patch or some other basic quilt block, with a little Tammy twist thrown in for good measure.
But, I don’t feel as if I’m an artist….not based on the defenition that I’ve always held art up to.
My daughter? Oh, she’s definitely an artist. That girl can paint and draw things that I’ve only imagined. She recently received watercolors for Christmas, and the day after she got her gifts, she was outside with her drawings, creating a lovely little postcard with a drawing of the end of our house…complete with the scrub brush that rolls around in the winter time.
And then there’s Maggie. She’s an artist. She is a lovely lady who occasionally comes to our little quilt group (she lives farther away than most, so it’s really not convenient for her all the time) to share with us her creations. She likes to do postcards and business cards and all sorts of adventuresome art-quilty things…
In this photo above, she’s been preparing some 5×5 items for a recycling challenge….and she used things in her project that would amaze you — such as crawfish antenae and the plastic from sanitary products! Any woman who can come up with a secondary use for things like that deserves a great big attaboygirl!
Maggie says she has a lot of quilt UFO’s because she starts projects, but loses interest or forgets what she’s supposed to do to finish, and then sets it down and goes onto something else. Boy, do I know that feeling! I don’t know if it’s the same for Maggie, but I get so very bored with things like 20 of the same blocks, out of the same colors in a quilt. She goes on to be artsy and I go on to find a better way to slay the quilt dragon!
Last week, Maggie brought us some beading that she’s been learning lately:
Isn’t that just gorgeous?! Again, this is artsy … compared to my personal quilt defenition. I’ve seen quilters and designers who like to embellish their projects with beads, I just don’t think it’s practical unless it’s a wall hanging or some other decorative piece. I can’t imagine sniggling up with a warm quilt, only to find that my big toe caught the string holding some beads and then I’d have little tiny beads falling all over the place!
Yeah, that’d probably only happen to me … because, I’m so, errrrr, graceful.
But when I see things like what Maggie puts together, I am truly inspired. Inspired to design quilt patterns that people CAN embellish, if they want to. Inspired to grow beyond traditional quilting, if only for a little bit, to bring more spice into life. I’m inspired to look beyond my blinders, to find beauty in things that I normally wouldn’t see beauty in … and to share the love of all handiwork with others.
Because art is created out of a vision … the eye of the creator and the eye of the beholder. And it’s created at a single point in time, with passion.
Well gee, if I put it that way – what I do with my quilts IS art!