Friday, April 17, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is my entry in Amy's Quilt Festival. If you haven't heard about the festival, click the button on my sidebar and check it out. Lots of great prizes and more importantly, loads of great quilts to see and read about.

When Amy first suggested the idea I knew right away which quilt I would post. It's not my best, or the most complex, but it has the most meaning and significance to the quilts I am making today.

The is 'Square Motion.' It was finished last January and was my first foray into improvisation. I figured how how to do this on my own. I love so much about this quilt...the movement, the colors, the aesthetic, the hand quilting. This quilt was the piece that gave me the confidence to step out on my own and create. It was the first time I believed I was an artist.

I think often about what it means to be an artist. For a long time I didn't believe I was or that I could be. I have a good friend who taught with me for many years. She taught art and would have discussions with her students around the question, "what is art?" She inspired children to understand that they were all artists because they had ideas and a point of view that was their own. Her words have lingered in the back of my mind for years, but it wasn't until I made this quilt that I believed them.

I read this the other day.
"What is art? . . . art is the deliberate creation of aesthetic sensations. Art is a work of a human being, not of nature. It is not accidental. It produces something that is perceived through the senses and results in a personal emotional experience. . . .

". . . it is the conscious, deliberate production of an event or object of beauty (or emotional import) by a human being, employing not only the skill of the craftsman, but in addition, an element of creativity--original, inventive, instinctive, genius. An art object is an aesthetic artifact, deliberately created.
Art actually lies in the act of creation, not in its result."--G. Ellis Burcaw, Introduction to Museum Work, page 66

There are words in this that I respond to...sensations, personal, deliberate, skill, original, instinctive....
I'm not sure I agree with all of this, but it's food for thought. Thinking about art and being an artist stretches me as I work to create quilts I love. The act of creating simply makes me happy. Thanks for letting me share my work with you.

70 comments:

Stephanie said...

And it's been full speed ahead of beauty ever since!!!

Sarah said...

Love it!

Bunny said...

Beautiful! It really "moves". Sort of reminiscent of cloudy skies through a window pane.

Stephanie D. said...

What a pivotal quilt. It might be the first one of yours I ever saw, because I think I started reading your blog right about that time.

Are you going to show this one in June?

Amy Sp said...

I was looking at this the other day on your blog. I even went out and bought some solid fabrics so that I could give it a try myself. I will let you know if that ever happens, LOL!

Just JaiCi's Crafts said...

After I saw this picture on your side-bar, I did my own 'variation' of this...in just blue and black. I am almost done and it is starting to be one of my favorites ever!!
Thanks for the inspiration...

I am also part of this quilt festival...and am very excited :)

shellysquilts said...

J, Interesting and thoughtful commentary, as usual. I whole heartedly agree that "art lies in the act of creation...". God is truly in the details. I find her there over and over again. Yipee! Luv the quilt, you are awesome! Have a fabulous weekend.


p.s. How's the clutter in you living room coming?

QuiltedSimple said...

Love it - and what a great statement!
Kris

Anna said...

I agree with "Art actually lies in the act of creation, not in its result." Until recently, I did not view my quilts as "art," but especially through Project Improv, I became more in tune with the process of creating, not just the finished product. I am enjoying the entire process -- I find that improvisationally piecing or designing my own quilts keeps me connected to the process.

I love this quilt -- the contrast in colors, the movement, the design -- it all works so well.

ivyarts said...

I love that "ah-ha" moment when something just clicks. I love this quilt and thanks for sharing the story.

belinda said...

YES....I agree with what you posted....I truly was an 'artist' before I started sewing...with paint brushes and everything...I have notice the same sentiments have shifted over into my quilt making...frustration...decision making...changing...ripping out and starting over....excitement...inspiration taking over to the point I am obsessed and stay up half the night so as not to lose 'the moment'.....I am new to the quilting yet, so I am still a little cautious...still learning just the basics...experimenting all on my own.....BUT YOU....you've come a long way baby!!! I always love your designs!!

Sara said...

You always have such great work, and this is beautiful too! I love the colors of it!

Junie Moon said...

It's a beautiful quilt. I love the colors and the design aesthetic. I especially am appreciative of your process in figuring out what you want to do and how to accomplish your goal.

Rebekah said...

Beautiful quilt! This is definitely what put you on the map as a quilting blogger and I love it :)

Anina said...

Beautiful! And so great that you posted the quilt that made you branch out into improv as well.

rachel griffith said...

cute, cute, cute!!!

Alissa said...

Love the quilt and love the sentiment even more! You absolutely ARE an artist and what a thrill to have found your outlet! Thanks for the endless inspiration!

Aunt Spicy said...

Gosh, this one is beautiful (I started reading your blog only a little while ago and must have missed it). I also LOVE your post from the 6th with the star quilt, stunning! But an even greater thanks for what you wrote about "art". I have never thought of anything I have made as "art" but your comments are making me re-think that!

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Thanks for sharing your work! I love all that this quilt represents for you, and all that is coming in the near future! Many blessings :)

foofanagle said...

It's a lovely quilt. I love how graphic and bold it is. Defining "art" and "artist" is so tough. I would never call anything I do "art." But I look at your work and I definitely define it thusly.

foofanagle said...

Erm. I can't believe I used the word "thusly". Sorry - it's a slow start Friday for my brain. :)

Sherri said...

I love your thoughts and quotes on art! I'm going to be reading this over again...thanks so much!

ellen said...

Jacquie, it's beautiful and it is art. Your quilts are beautiful expressions of who you are, where you are, and the wonderful, creative journey that is your life.

Vivian said...

I agree with Anna and Shelley that "art = creation". This quote by quiltmaker Sally Collins from her book "The Art of Machine Quilting" sums it up for me:

"I do not "create anything" new....the creative process is one of pulling various existing parts into a new or different whole, as much as it is noticing and orchestrating the beauty that is already around us."

...and this pretty well describes exactly what we do when we pull the various elements of fabric, color and shapes together to make a quilt.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Yes, you are an artist!

Andi said...

I have seen this one before but the story makes it even more wonderful
Thanks for the inspiration!
Andi :-)

Maggie said...

I've always admired this quilt. I'm now wishing that I didn't store my solid fabrics, but my car is only so big.

The definition of art works well for a quilter or fabric artist.

Zonnah said...

I love the color combination.

Natalie said...

I love this quilt! and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I so appreciate the inspiration! Keep it up!

Janet Brady said...

Your words about creating art really resonated with me. I have been moving away from traditional patchwork and gravitating to art quilting but I feel the same inadequacy and doubts that you did. I will be watching your blog in the future for encouragement in my own artistic journey. The quilt is lovely. Choclate brown and blue is my new favorite color scheme.

Melody said...

Great quilt. I love it when people go for it and create something.

Jan said...

What an accomplishment. I love your quilt.

melissa s. said...

this is just beautiful - the quilt and your thoughts on the creative process.

em's scrapbag said...

It is a beautiful quilt. You really do wonderful things with fabric.

Terriaw said...

I love this one too! I love the colors and the way the differing pieces of fabric make the quilt move. I wish I could make an improve quilt like this!

I am taking an art class now, and I love that quote about art. I agree with your perspective, that it's personal, deliberate, sensational, instinctive. That really helps!

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

This is my favorite of all your quilts too!

RED PEPPER QUILTS said...

Lovely quilt - beautiful color combination. Your work is inspirational!

Katherine said...

A beautiful work of art, Jacquie. Also the beginning of many more wonderful improvisational quilts from your talented hands. So glad this one got you started.

Rose said...

Don't ever doubt that you are an artist, and quilting is your medium!! You are fantastic and I am inspired by all the creations I see on your page, especially the ones you have created on your own without a pattern, as I have a hard time with that. I truly enjoy visiting your blog and look forward to seeing what you've created next :)

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Jacquie, have loved this work of art since I saw it on your blog and love your explanation of art. I've seen so many today.
Keep Stitchen'
Bonnie

Robin said...

Simply stunning. I love it. One day, I hope to get brave enough to try some improvisational approaches. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Sandra said...

Thanks for sharing,I love freeform piecing. What a pieceful ;-) quilt.

Come see my quilt. #216 on the list
And if you like antique quilts, see my 2nd blog
http://utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com

Nadine said...

I admire you for being so improvisational with your quilting! I love the quilt, and your thoughts about art. Thanks for sharing!

Asiyah said...

"Art actually lies in the act of creation, not in its result."

I actually think I would agree with that except that art would be pointless if the result didn't move you in some way. I never struggle through some of the difficulties of quilting for the experience. I want to make something beautiful...sort of like having a baby. Who would trade their newborn for the experience of labor? Ha!

I LOVE the quilt. Those colors are perfect.

StegArt said...

Your first improv quilt is great. Thanks for sharing it and your wonderful story.

nicolette said...

I still love this quilt and I’m still impressed by your first improv steps!

Kritta22 said...

Great quilt! I still love it!

Quilt Rat said...

1 word...........Fabulous!

Cher said...

I am thinking the joy of this quilt and it's validation in your mind of you being an artist make it one special quilt. thanks so much for writing what I have long thought-it takes time to strike out and feel what you are doing is art-love the quote on what being an artist or art is.

Kim said...

JUST GORGEOUS! Love it!

Micki said...

I love your quilt...it is so special!
Micki

Coloradolady said...

What a beautiful quilt. My daughter would just love these colors. Such talent.

Amy said...

It's a question I contemplate often - what is art? Thanks for the insightful quote and your thoughts on the subject. This may be the first quilt I saw on your blog and kept me coming back for more. I love it.

Ariane said...

I love this quilt and it is beautiful art. You inspire many of us to think outside the box with quilting. Thanks for sharing.

whoopdedoo_5 said...

Really love this quilt! great story too! :)

MightyMom said...

" The act of creating simply makes me happy. "

ME TOO!!!


I love this quilt. What a fun festival...I may just have to join in...but I need new pics of my quilt first..oh and I may have a hard time deciding which quilt to post...thanks for the info.


by the by. got another finish.

mreteveian said...

A lovely quilt!

I love how I can look back at "old" works and know in my heart that this and that really made me change the way I work on my quilts. Theres no going back :-)

Thanks for sharing the artist-thoughts with us.

Amanda said...

I think we should all look at ourselves as artists. As quilters, our fabrics are our paints. I could write a lot about this!

Your quilt is beautiful.

Pamela said...

What a beautiful quilt, and a lovely post to go with it. I'll be thinking of your words all day as I create!

katelnorth said...

This is a lovely piece - I like it a lot. Thanks for sharing it!

Christa Irell said...

Thank you for sharing your artist story- and for all the food for thought. I want to think of myself this way. I am getting there... lol Beautiful quilt.

The Pink Ganeshji said...

I love your quilt-----it is so dynamic! Your quotes and observations are thought provoking. Am I an artist? The departure from tradition has been a great success for you!

Mandy said...

"Art actually lies in the act of creation, not in its result."
Thanks for sharing this quotation. So right!
The colours and style of your quilt are really interesting. Thanks for posting this one.

L. Jane E. said...

I love your color choices. It really makes the blue sparkle.

Jennifer Ofenstein said...

Lovely! You certainly are an artist.

Ilena said...

Beautiful quilt and I love your thoughts on art!

SewCalGal said...

I love your quilt. You did a great job. Thanks for sharing.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Jackie said...

Just catching up with you - great post!! And yes you are definitely an artist. I like the thoughts and perspective you shared here. I've just tentatively begun to think of myself as an artist.

Shawn said...

Hi I just found your blog and I love it and all your quilts, they are beautiful! Sorry but your Fudge post made me cry, I have a Fudge or two or three myself. Take care and thanks for all your inspiration!

Jeannette said...

You are a cutting loose sew tight quilter...keep innovating.