Sunday, December 02, 2007

Moving right along

in my quest to finish enough work for the gallery and my solo show, I finished quilting and facing two pieces this week. Now the total of rolled up work residing at the foot of the unoccupied side of my king size bed totals four. The reason they are at the foot of the bed instead of in the closet is because they still need sleeves. I hate to make sleeves. I guess I should correctly say, I hate sewing the sleeves to the back of the quilt. Now that I do more facings and linings rather than bindings where at least one edge is attached, leaving only one width to hand sew, facing and linings require the hand stitching for both lengths. GRRRRR!
Come to think of it, I hate to do labels too. Not because the labels need stitching on; I no longer hand stitch. I just Wonder Under then in place and leave it to my free motioned signature in the bottom right corner to be the permanent identifier of my work. But the reluctant to make a label thing is because I can never come up with a title for the pieces I make. Flower 1, 2, 3, 4 etc is a little boring. Orange flower 1, 2, 3 etc is worse. So I only make labels when push comes to shove and that time hasn't arrived for these four yet.
THINKING as your mouth moves Some call it thinking on your feet.
I've been doing a lot of that lately while teaching and lastly while doing a phone interview with an Art Major from the University of Missouri.
Before Thanksgiving, which now seems like a long time ago, two MU art students went to the three quilt stores in the city I am told in search of a quilter to interview for a class paper. The quilt maker needed to be an "artist" who is now doing quilts. In looking at the store samples, they did not find such a person in their opinion until they got to Satin Stitches where I teach on occasion. There they saw two of my class samples. Mind you I don't think of my class samples as examples of what I do. Mainly because while the fabric may be what I selected from the shop's inventory they still are not what I would have used if not influenced by the fact that students tend to duplicate class samples exactly and the shop prefers to have currently available fabric in the store for them to purchase. At any rate, one of them called me the other day, following up to an earlier conversation we'd had during which I told them they could come to the house for a face to face interview or stop in to see some of my work that was now on display at Bluestem . There, the pieces on display or more indicative of what I do and then we could do the interview by phone. Since Bluestem is much closer to campus than my house they took the Bluestem and phone option.
The main focus of the interview was why I decided to use my creative energy to make quilts and why not paintings for example since my work at a distance looks like paintings.
In essence I told her I've been there, done that (back before hubby, kids, job, home and acrylic paint). The there were the periods of painting on canvas, a time of pottery, weaving, and many other things that might be considered fine art even though "quilts" aren't. But I didn't stay with any of the other things once I knew I understood the process and could do it if I really wanted to. Making quilts has been different from the very beginning. First came the understanding and limitation of cloth. Then the understanding and limitation of a sewing machine. Between my beginnings and now the limitation of the machine has expanded. But I am still trying to master the totality of the process and understand the nuances of where the non-traditional contemporary quilt ends and the quilt as art commences and where in the imagination and proverbial sand the line is drawn between what is an art quilt and what is fiber art.
We also talked about the fact that lengths of surface designed cloth holds a higher place in University studies than any quilts made from surface designed cloth does.
She also got around to asking how I refer to myself because in her estimation I am not a quilter at least not a typical one. You know, the Grandmother in a rocking chair variety. Eeeehhhh Gads, I am a grandmother with a rocking chair, and could be a great-grandmother too. I certainly am of that age if circumstances were different. Which I am really glad they are not, but that another story that I will never bore you with.
I know I am doing a lot of rambling this morning, but yesterday after I sandwiched another top and decided not to start quilting on it until today I selected two book from my book stash (Library) by Sandra Meech in them she often refers to works I think of as art quilts as stitched textiles. So I paused to think as I was reading. Am I a stitched textile artist or is this title more apply applied to fiber-artist? Where is that line that separates a quilter from an art quilt maker, from a stitched textile/fiber artist drawn. What do or should we call those like me who create I think with one foot on either side of that line.
Oh well it is very grey here today and windy, not so cold and raining. I am going to my studio and turn on the lights. In there, the sun is always shining.

1 comment:

Karoda said...

ya know Juanita, I'm often churning over similar thoughts and what makes it fun and interesting is there just are any neat and tidy answers...the questions and the answers are always evolving.

its warm here today (upper 50s) but wet and cloudy too.