This is what I'm working on.. Flying Geese. I figured out how to make wonky geese- fast, accurate and Im pretty pleased with it... Its the Elenor Burns method of 2 squares and then I hand trim. Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. There is no waste of the red/blue so I can use my OOP and be kinda improvy ... Im soo thrilled...
This weekend I went to Sew Expo. It was a visit in the way back time machine. This morning I woke to a mail about the Spring Crafty Wonderland Coming soon. ... ahh much better. Some ladies from the guild went and we had a nice visit Friday Night. We frequently talk about What Modern Means, our own artistic endeavors, fabric shopping on I-5 etc etc...I've been thinking a lot about the Modern Quilt Movement. Its been explained to me and a few of my friends that we are not MODERN. We don't meet the criteria, I've been told more than once I was traditional, Kaci has been informed she is Contemperary and others have told me similar stories.
Then I stumbled on the phrase "The Narcissism of Small Differences". *angels singing* HA! There is an actual term for this weird hostility.
God I love Google!
I had no idea I had been participating in and being judged by a concept that punishes me for not conforming to non conformity.
I like being a quilter. I like speaking with and having a conversation with the past. I like knowing my craft and working on my craftsmanship. I feel like we as quilters are in a place with quilting that is much like the turn of the last century was with painting...
Before Photography, making accurate, realistic painted renderings of things was the way to paint. But after Photos and Moving Pictures trained the eye to see movement, scale and modeling... well, Painted Pictures looked like a waste of time... So painting changed, less representation and more reinterpretation.
More emotion, more design, more speaking volumes with line weight, movement of color and a nice nod to tradition.
At the same time, learning the craft of Painting has remained relatively unchanged. Few artists don't own a copy of the 15th century manual The Craftman's Handbook. Craft is what connects us to the past, even if we dont grind our own Azure.
History and "connectedness" is what makes me weep to look at Picasso's "The Lovers" and really see the love, tenderness and sex. or Kandinsky's compositions. ...
As quilters we are 30 years past the invention of the rotary cutter. A good machine can sew a quarter of an inch with a person not really holding the fabric at all. Exacting, fine, perfect points are relatively easy and just a matter of focus.
Back in the day, a nice flat quilt top was hard to do, cutting the pieces wasn't nearly as accurate and sewing by hand or machine difficult.
When I look at where my work is moving I wonder.. Is less More?Or is it a Bore? Am I dissecting line, contrast and structure or making a mess? Is it handmade or homemade? Is it Art? or Process?
I'm not sure there is an easy answer.
When I make quilts that meet the definition of Modern Quilting, I sometimes feel like I'm pulling a stunt. gimmick. Maybe recipe would be a less negative word. I dont feel creative, I feel like I'm putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Snoozeville. Pablum. The artistic equivalent of a coloring book. Conforming in the ugliest sense of the word.
I like making Quilts. I'm developing a Voice. An artistic expression of my womanhood and femininity in cloth. Does it matter to me that I'm being told I'm not Modern? I'm not sure yet. In some ways its been a huge blessing: I got my feelings hurt, I got pissed(so I guess It did matter) , and then I got to work. Having an Arts Background, growing up with working artists, I have had enough training to hold my own at a serious Critique. Lately, I've been excited about my quilting and can really feel myself moving forward.
Does it mean I haven't found a home in the Modern Quilt Guild? Heck No! I love it. I get great input on my projects and have found some great quilty/artist friends. But I'm sticking with my prints and freehand frame quilting that references the past.... Hey, maybe I'm PostModern... Is there a Guild for that? :)