Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quilting Redemption

When my mom started quilting I thought it was pretty lame. As far as my teenage self was concerned, quilting was for little old grannies.

Mom won some points by never making a traditional quilt. She always made abstract wall hangings. It still wasn't "cool" though. I'd sew and knit, but I drew the line at quilting.

I'm still not a fan of the meticulous geometric style quilts. They don't suit my personality or my sense of style.

As an adult though, I have had to re-evaluate my opinions about quilting. One look through any issue of Quilting Arts Magazine will show you that there is so much more to the craft than grandma's old patchwork.

I am always stunned at the things people in the quilting world are doing. It's amazing, beautiful and inspirational!

I've made a few small quilts over the years as baby shower gifts. Following in Mom's footsteps, they were of the hang on the wall variety. Mostly I still stuck to sewing and knitting.

My latest projects, the messenger totes and wallets, have brought me back to the idea of quilting. Sure, I can whip up a bag out of a pair of pants, but that alone is pretty boring and unmotivating. It is much more satisfying to give the bag a personality through imagery.

Today I got two amazing quilting books in the mail; The Quilting Arts Book and Art Quilts at Play. I am totally inspired. I don't even know where to start! There are so many things I want to try. Definitely I am going to start by learning to paint my own fabric.

Exciting things are to come, I can feel it!



  1. I lThere's quilting and there's piecing: two different things. Pieced work is often quilted with other layers to strengthen them, padding may be included or not. Quilting is an ancient method of making warm clothes and bedding, wall hangings, robes, etc. Both piecing and quilting as art grew out of the need for frugality and the need of women for artistic expression when most women did not have much access other than needlework. It has been used for accessories and small pieces for a very long time. It has been exciting to me to see both piecing and quilting become recognized as legitimate art forms, and to see the delightful and often profound creativity that has come from that. I love this form of art, in all its manifestations. Shelburne Museum has a terrific selection of art quilts of all sorts. My daughter and I make an annual pilgrimage to see each year's show.

  2. And I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes from your exploration of quilting, Ashley, and incorporating it into your accessories.

  3. yaay for quilting! I'm a quilter who hasn't made a full sized quilt yet. It's one of my goals to bring quilting to the younger generation...make it cool. I'm not a big fan of "traditional" quilting either, but I do respect it & can appreciate the craftmanship.

  4. Ha ! Quilting - we knew it would rub off on someone ! i wanted you to know that I sympathize immensely with you on the Lyme disease front - lots of afflicted people here in the mountains. And that Nicholas is on the coast in Alabama working on the cleanup - perphaps he can give you some ral info but he doesn't respond to email too often - Nikolasdaly@gmail.com.

  5. WOW! I would have never thought of quilting b4 as being so cool but that bird is so awesome and once my motor skills get a bit better i am definitely going to try it out! as always- u are an inspiration!


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