What do YOU call a quilt?

As I was working on step 3 of Bonnie Hunter’s new mystery (Roll, Roll Cotton Boll http://www.quiltville.com ),I was throwing in any old fabric I could find with a neutral background.  I have birds, poinsettias, candy canes, Christmas trees, dog bones, pigs, and chickens, calicoes, and big florals, stripes, as well as other vague patterns.  I loved the mishmashed “anything goes” look of it.

But I got to thinking about “show quilts”.    This last year I got to take a workshop given by a famous quilter.  But when I look at her quilts, I see lots of things I like, but I also see lots of things I like are missing.

It seems more and more that the big show winners are less and less like the quilts I like to make.  Quilts that have interesting and surprising textures and wonderful patchwork.  Quilts that perhaps show a sense of humor and don’t take themselves too seriously.  The winning quilts have a limited amount of patchwork, a maximum amount of dense (sometimes computerized) quilting, sometimes very impractical jewels, cording, thread play, and other embellishments.  And while they are works of art, they aren’t very inviting to put on your bed or sleep under.  They should be hung in galleries and admired, but I’m not sure I’d call them a quilt.  Perhaps there should be a quilt show for only patchwork quilts.

Does anyone else feel that way?


6 thoughts on “What do YOU call a quilt?

  1. I agree. Coming from a family of quilters–old style–I just can’t bring myself to make “cardboard” quilts. So I expect when I put a quilt in a show, one of the judge’s comments will be “Needs more quilting.” I’m just fine with my softer, cuddly quilting.

  2. Exactly. I have been differentiating between “quilts” and “textile art” for some time. If you can’t cuddle under it, it isn’t a quilt, it’s textile art. I’m not interested in being an artist, just a quilter.

  3. I agree with you Nancy and for that very reason, I have stopped going to quilt? shows. The last one I went to had some thread art ones(my name for them) but also some disgusting ones making political statements. I too like the old fashion cuddly ones, I think that is one reason we like Bonnie’s so much as well as being frugal. Have a great Quilty day!!

  4. I love love love the dense longarm quilting.. but computerized?? blah.. and jewels? impracticle is a PERFECT way to describe those things! nicely said1

  5. I agree wholeheartedly. I went to the Quilt Museum in Paducah … I was disappointed. I certainly expected some textile art on display but I certainly expected some “real” quilts on display, too. The largest selection of “real” pieced quilts were in the miniatures collection, which is where I spent all my time. I can appreciate the time and effort put into those art pieces, but IMHO, they’re not quilts. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone. 😉

  6. I agree. I am disappointed when I see only Art pieces. I am an avid Art Gallery attendee and love seeing beautiful artwork – even textile work- but don’t call it a quilt.

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