Monday, April 26, 2010

Why I Quilt


Holly Berries

I love nature, and finding a specimen that really speaks to me of the rhythms of life -- maturity, death and new life. The holly tree is very considerate in providing fruit in the dead of winter for the birds and me. While creating an image that conveys the form is nice, it does not convey my deep appreciation and wonder that this is a living, breathing, life-giving form.

The above image is before quilting and some hand embroidery details are added. Nice, but nothing special in my eyes. The image below is after the piece comes alive with the addition of quilting and embroidery. I never know what a piece will really look like until it is quilted. It never ceases to amaze me what quilting adds.


Holly Berries

To me the quilting line conveys that sense of a living organism that changes, matures, produces fruit that not only gives birth to new plants but sustains the life of many that partake in it. Quilting to me, along with hand embroidery details, take the image into something extraordinary beyond what painting of an image can do. The sculpting of the fabric with thread and needle, the contrast of the quilted areas with the unquilted areas is like bas relief sculpture. Art quilters have created a new art medium that brings a new richness to imagery whether realistic, abstract or non-objective.

And that is why I work in the quilt medium to create my art.

Your comments on this observation would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for looking

Nancy

17 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful piece of artwork! I really like that you show us the progress (or before and after) as it gives us a better perspective on how the quilting added so much to the finished piece! Wonderful!!!

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  2. Yes, Nancy, for many of the same reasons as you... I think the texture that an artists creates with needle and thread adds so much interest to a piece, it is more beautiful and more meaningful to me than many of the other arts. I also quilt because I love the medium of fiber and fabric. I love the challenge of doing something extraordinary with ordinary and every day bits of cloth...

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  3. I LOVE your blog and the work on it. I agree with you. I love the texture and art quilts combine art and sewing. Of course, love of fabrics is a good reason too.

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  4. Wonderful and lovely blog post. I use a different method of quilt--quilt as you go. Part of the reason I do it is to carry with the piece the memories of traditional quilts.

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  5. Nancy, I love your work and I agree that the art is better quilted. I think part of it is that we are drawn to touch things we love, and fiberart gives us the tactile satisfaction that paintings do not. There is comfort in our art. I love to add trapunto to enhance the surface. Fiberart speaks to our vision and our touch.

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  6. Fabulous, Nancy, as is ALL your work. It positively vibrates with life!

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  7. Thank you all for your comments and adding more depth to the thinking about why fabric and stitch.
    One of my teachers stated that we needed to be able to state why we work in the quilting medium and it needed to be deeper self analysis than that we "loved fabric". This discussion helps me with the thinking required on the subject. Thank you all. Nancy

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  8. Nancy - the berries are lovely and I agree the quilting makes all the difference. I take watercolor classes and then use those paintings to interpret a fabric piece. The fabric piece after it's quilted, always has more life and texture than the painted piece. My classmates are truly amazed at the difference.

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  9. Beautiful work and interesting question. I can sign under all the above comments and add that, for me, fabrics are much better for transferring emotions. And I like how they are getting older. I wash my works and allow them to live with their own life. Yes, fiber art is about live "organisms" - they breathe and change in time with us.
    Greetings!

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  10. A wonderful piece, Nancy. All of the reasons listed cover why I quilt. On top of the ones listed, for me it is "because I have to".

    It is one of the only mediums outside of wood carving that automatically makes me want to reach out and touch the artwork. I've been awed by many paintings, but never felt the urge to reach out and feel its texture.

    Continued Success!

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  11. Quilted art looks different than any other medium, which is part of its appeal for me. When a subject (including an abstract or non-objective one) is interpreted in a different medium, it can inspire the viewer to really look at it anew.

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  12. Oh, yes, the tactical qualities are irresistible to many. What other art form requires white gloves available to help keep fingers from the work?

    And Loreen, I think you are right about the change in the medium helping people to stop and look anew. Good observation.

    Thanks for all the comments, really taking the conversation deeper.
    Nancy

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  13. Thanks for explaining why we quilt!! Just love your work. And we just learned our new favorite word: "haptic."

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  14. Great discussion you started Nancy. It's interesting to read all the various reasons why fabric and thread are our medium of choice. Your pieces are, as always, beautiful!

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  15. I really like your work. I recently made a garden scene. My original thought was to quilt the piece using thread as the color source. As I progressed, I could tell it needed more. I ended up painting my piece with colored pencils and neocolor crayons. Neither method stood on its own. The painting part needed the quilting, and the quilting alone needed the paint.

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  16. Marion McCrindleMay 5, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    What a transformation. And some quilting changes the shape completely eg log cabin quilted with curves. Its those hidden layers - just like us! Marion

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  17. Ah, yes, those hidden layers!!
    This discussion has been great. Love to hear why others quilt. We share a great art form. Nancy

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