(I'm blogging this morning to distract myself from the children. I love those little buggers but the hubs has been working TONS lately and I'm tired. Also, the hubs complained about me not getting to his laundry so he did it himself (FINALLY!) except that he washed and DRIED everything with an ink pen. I just spent the better half of my morning cleaning the inside of my dryer. I have a headache now and the kids, well the kids aren't helping.)
I wanted to post my thoughts on what some people/quilters refer to as 'Dumbing Down' quilting.
Quilting /sewing is a creative process. It comes from deep in our souls. It's personal. It's art. You may not do it like your neighbor or like the other girls in the guild but that's ok. Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso are both famous artists but their works are completely different. People don't say Picasso isn't a real artist because he can't paint a human face symmetrically- that's what makes him famous.
Recently a friend showed me a quilt that she had done. The fabrics were ones that I would never have in my stash. The pattern was completely "not ME" But the quilt was....BEAUTIFUL. I looked at it and could appreciate the time and effort that went into making it. I could tell in the way she talked and how she showed it to me that she was very proud of that quilt. I could see the beauty in the quilt even though it wasn't 'my style'. It IS a beautiful quilt.
I've walked the floor at Quilt Market and looked at the special exhibits. There are some AMAZING quilts out there. But most of them are ones that I would never attempt. Most artists have a particular style. Some are abstract others are realistic. It doesn't matter.
I design patterns with one purpose- to fulfill MY needs as a quilter. I started selling them because others were interested in my designs. But I never claim to be an AMAZING designer. My patterns are on the easy side. They are for the 'instant gratification' quilters (like me). But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the paper piecers, the hand stitchers, the traditional quilters. It just means that I prefer a different genre of quilting. Sometimes I might use a technique or a block that has been in the quilting circle for generations. My intent is not to imply that I made up that design. I'm just sharing it with others. If I could give reference to the original designer behind that block, I would. But can anyone tell me who the very first person to make a 9-patch, or a shoo-fly, or an Ohio star block was?
Quilting has been around for-EVER! Mother's taught their daughters and they taught their daughters. They taught their friends. In the quilting world we're all just one huge family and we're sharing basically the same designs over and over with our friends. Nothing is wrong with that. And as one person learns a new technique they might tweak it a little to their liking and that makes it all the more PERSONAL.
I don't tie quilts because it's not my preference. I don't buy lesser fabric because it's not my preference. But I understand those that do because it's their preference. If someone asks my opinion I will share it- but I'm not going to look down on you if you do something different.
This is getting lengthy. I think I better wrap up.
To all those quilters that think people are 'dumbing down' quilting I want you to ask yourself why you quilt? Your answer should be because it brings you peace, joy, and happiness. Now remember that that's what it brings to all the other quilters out there too! Regardless of what style quilting they do. If we all made the same kind of quilts in the same fabrics using the same patterns, quilting would be BORING and no one would do it.
So I say- QUILT LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic- leave a comment.
(p.s.- just got some GREAT news. I'll share next week!)