As a small preface to this post–all of the quilts shown here were photographed by me and exhibited at the International Quilt Festival Houston, Texas Special Exhibition The Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2014.
Quoted Directly from the IQA program,
“Modern Quilting is a new twist on the traditional art of quilting, and is rapidly gaining interest from the next wave of quilters. Members from chapters of Modern Quilt Guilds around the world were invited to submit their works for this popular annual exhibit.”
I mentioned, briefly, in a recent post that YES I was going to hop on a plane and attend this year’s QuiltCon in Austin, Texas.
It has all been a bit random, but I am going with it.
First, what is QuiltCon? Well, that’s what I’m flying across the country to find out.
For the last six years, I’ve pretty much kept my head down and spent most of my stitching time making art quilts. About a two years ago, I looked up from my sewing machine and discovered that there was a new take–speared headed by the Modern Quilt Guild–on the traditional quilt. This made me oh-so-curious. In 2013, they held their first conference in Austin, Texas, and the quilting world was a buzz.
Traditional quilt makers and art quilt makers and everyone in between had something to say about these new modern quilters. Good, Bad, Indifferent–people were talking.
I am a traditional quilt maker who has made her way into the art world. My work is shown in galleries and museums, but I am a traditional quilt maker at my core. I believe that to separate these things is to create a false dichotomy.
Why can’t traditional quilts be seen as art? There are naysayers on both sides of the fence here, and for the most part I turn the volume down on their comments and just keep stitching
Still, I think about it. And as a visual response to the discussion, I decided I would, once again, exhibit my work in traditional quilt shows. While the range of feelings I have had about this decision are all over the place, I’ll save them for another post.
I decided QuiltCon would be one of the traditional shows where I shared my work. Of course there is the tricky part of getting into the show! When Lite Brite got into QuiltCon, I felt good. From reading other blogs, I knew many excellent quilters work did not make it into this show.
My quilt was going, and I wanted to go too.
I knew that QuiltCon was wildly popular, and the classes and hotels were booked. Even if I could get there, where would I stay? Then my blogging friend Lois from Australia said she would share her hotel room with me!
I booked a airline miles ticket for $25.00, and there you have it.
In the wee hours of Monday morning, I will be traveling 13 hours across the country to arrive in Austin, Texas and attend QuiltCon.
My hope is to blog LIVE from QuiltCon. I did start my adult life as a journalist so this really isn’t that big of a leap.
I think I am going to try and channel Hunter S. Thompson.
Gonzo Quilt Journalism–it could happen. Although I do promise not to take quaaludes before the awards ceremony.
If you see me at the show, don’t be shy. Stop me. Say hello. I want us to meet.
And while we are having this conversation, I might as well ask. What do you all think the Modern Quilt Movement means for the quilting world at large? I’d love to know.
The dialogue to define what is art is getting old and rusty. We all know that art has a wonderful history and will continue regardless of how we try to separate or join art and craft. Let’s not waste our breath but just continue to create. Time will tell as we work to improve what we see based on what we saw.
I get what you are saying Carole. I suppose that is part of why I want to put my work in different places–art shouldn’t be have boundaries. We will see.
I gave up on trying to define modern quilting awhile ago, in favor of just making the quilts I want to make. I’m going to Austin too. Driving from Wisconsin and glad to be heading south. And now if I see you I’ll say “hi”. Safe travels.
Love it Diane. Living without defining is harder, but I think more fulfilling. We like to put things in boxes, but it is way more interesting when things are free range. I really hope you will introduce yourself. Safe Travels to you too!
You showcase some nice examples here. I think people get caught up describing quilts as good/bad clever/art/functional/craft labels. Well not so much the labels but the whole “this is better than that” thing. Isn’t diversity a wonderful thing and a kind of microcosm of what makes people interesting in all their differences? Perhaps I will feel more at home making one “genre” of quilt than another, but I’m sure we can all learn from one another and nothing exists in a vacuum- there are lots of wonderful interlinkings here.
Enjoy Quilt Con I wish I could come-bit far from NZ, but maybe one day…?!
Camilla- What you described about quilt making is part of why I love it so much. The variety is endless. The medium is so incredibly flexible. Hope you get to travel from New Zealand someday, in the meantime, I sure do enjoy your nations lovely merino wool!
The label I am choosing for myself is “quiltmaker”. Sometimes my pieces are art quilts, sometimes traditional, sometimes more contemporary. The Modern Quilt Guild has generated an amazing response from quilters around the world. I enjoy the sharing and support of both my local guild and the international organization. Glad you’re going to make the trip to QuiltCon. Maybe we’ll have a chance to meet.
I choose quilt maker too! What to call ourselves is series of blog posts really, but I’m with you. That is what I want to call myself.I think your description of the Modern Quilt Guild is spot on. They have done a wonderful job of connecting makers through quilting. Marla, please introduce yourself if you see me. I’d love to meet.
Congratulations on Lite Brite getting into the show! Enjoy the show; I am envious of your trip and look forward to all the pictures and descriptions!
I have been deep down in the knitting & dyeing world until recently. Then I started searching around and also discovered the modern quilters. I like their work very much. But I am sort of art-omnivorous. I think them trying new things and going off in new directions is wonderful and fascinating. But I love the old traditional quilts too. It’s like last time we visited NYC we went to both MOMA and the Cloisters.
Carrie- I totally agree. Why limit ourselves? I hope I can QuiltCon justice on my blog. I will try! Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting.