I am continually amazed at the talent and creativity of these wonderful quilt artists. I could easily spend hours looking at their work and continue to be amazed. I was the only quilter in the group of nine who went to the show, but four of them had been there two years ago and liked it. My brother-in-law and I had a conversation about these quilts and he feels that the creators are artists first and quilters second. I know that many will agree with that statement, but I wonder why we even have to make a choice between the two. I believe whole-heartedly that all quilters are artists in their own way. One does not have to actually design a quilt to be an artist. Fabric choices, the quality of piecing, the actual quilting, etc. all play a role. If a quilter wants to be known as an artist, I'm okay with that. If he or she doesn't, I'm okay with that too.
No matter what you choose to call these people, their works are wonderful and really inspire me. Unfortunately there was a time when that wasn't always the case though. I was intimidated by these amazing works and would even go so far as to evaluate my work by comparing them to these. Really, what was I thinking?
There had been times in the not-so-distant past when seeing really wonderful quilts made me feel like I don't do justice to the world of quilting. I felt like my skill level was down and out non-existent after seeing perfection in not only the quilting itself, but in the piecing, color choosing and overall design concept. I'm not really sure when my attitude changed, but I'm so glad it did. I can now look at these creations and appreciate the time and effort that has gone in to each one of them. Seeing some really non-traditional quilt has forced me to step outside my comfort zone and be open to many more ideas and concepts. You cannot imagine how freeing that has been!
After the visit to the show, I returned to the house and began working on the blocks for the library quilt. All that needs to be done with these blocks is to quilt them and sew them together to be put on display in the children's section when the library renovation is complete at the end of the month. These blocks (100+ of them) were all been painted by kids in the reading program and I am doing a quilt-as-you-go technique on them. I brought the blocks with me to the sisters' weekend hoping to have time to work on them. Well, I made a few other items first, but last night I started quilting these blocks. I have all but five of them done and these five need a little extra attention.
That stack of quilted blocks is just shy of 18" high. Here's a better picture to see what some of the blocks look like.
I have had these blocks a while, but I couldn't really decide what to do. Last night I started quilting some because it was pretty obvious how they should be quilted, but there were others that we're not obvious. After being at Quilt National today, I was all full of ideas and the quilting was easy and fun.
We're headed back to our homes tomorrow and even though it's been wonderful, it will also be nice to return to our own homes and get back into our regular routines. I can't wait to get my design wall loaded up with these blocks and get busy sewing them together. Of course I'm also excited to start my row construction on the quilt whose layout is being voted on by the general public. If you haven't voted yet, you can do so HERE. By voting, you'll also be in the running for a prize!
Check back soon for pictures of that quilt. And by the way, I saw some really cool quilting techniques that I may try on this quilt.