Artist Statements

At the EBHQ Show the other day, I noticed a lot of quilts that were made because the artist had something in his/her fabric stash already. There was a lot of “I made this quilt because these blues had been in the drawer for awhile” type of descriptions.

So, you made the quilt because you had some fabric laying around?

You didn’t like the pattern you selected?

There was no challenge in the technique?

You weren’t inspired by the blue of the sky and sea and picked appropriate fabric that you already had?

I don’t think it is wrong to use fabric in your fabric closet. I don’t think it is wrong to be inspired by a fabric line. If I did think that you would all call me out and you should!

Often, I am in the process of making a quilt and not at all inclined to go out, buy some fabric, wash and iron it before being able to finish. By that time it is time to cook dinner or someone needs my attention and the quilt will languish. I like having fabrics on hand with which I can work.

I do wonder why anyone would make a quilt solely because they had certain fabrics? Where is the fun in that? Quilts require a lot of effort so to have one aspect be the sole reason you make one seems a little odd to me.

I applaud using what you have, but let’s think about the whole process and not make the process solely about destashing. Process is really important to me. Some questions that float around in my head are:

  • What am I trying to achieve?
  • What am I learning?
  • What do I have that is appropriate to use to make progress?
    • Why or why not is it working?
  • What do I need to change to make the piece work?
  • Where am I, after making some progress, based on what I started out to achieve?

Quiltmaking is not a life or death situation and if people want to make a blue quilt because they have blues in their stash, at least more quilts are being made. I hope that quiltmaking will keep my brain pliable and active as I age. I hope that all the different aspects of quiltmaking will provide a variety of opportunities to continue learning and growing.

Why do you make quilts?