What to do with the art quilts I'm creating

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Violet43 wrote
on 21 Sep 2010 9:53 AM

I have been quilting for many years, mostly I have been making minature traditional quilts but in the last year or two I have been moving away from traditional and doing more art type quilts, still small.  I am feeling very frustrated at the moment as I sometimes feel - why am I doing this and where is it going.  I don't know if what I am doing is good, bad, mediocre or what.  Other than hanging them on my wall nothing is happening.  How do I get some satisfaction that I'm doing something and that is is acceptable as fiber (quilting) art?

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Muppin wrote
on 21 Sep 2010 10:54 AM

Hi Violet43.  I also mainly make small works. As I progressed on my journey, I have often wondered the same thing as you.  I make things for myself, mainly, not to sell or to give away.  What it leaves me with is a bunch of questions about "where is this all going?" and "what do I do with all of these things?".  (I won't even get into the questions from others asking if I plan to join them all together into a larger quilt.) 

What I can tell you is that it took me a while to agree to make what I liked to make, rather than what I ought to make.  Eventually, your favorite style or technique will emerge, and perhaps that will be something you will to explore.  Or you may decide to eventually part with your works and decide to sell some.  But at least along the way you will have fun!

Perhaps you need a group of art quilters who can help critique each other's work to stretch your abilities?  That helped me decide what direction to take this whole crazy art train...  I'm sure there's LOTS of people on this forum who are in similar situations!

Cheryl / Muppin

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Shegirl wrote
on 21 Sep 2010 11:42 PM

Hi, Violet.  I'm fairly new at art quilts and found myself asking the same types of questions. I've given many away to friends and to charities...I also have many hanging on my own walls but still wanted to do more. Put them 'out there', but how? Where? I've decided to have a show in my own yard. I live on a fairly busy rural road and I plan to (with friends' help) put up a yard-exhibit, weather permitting.  I hope I can pull it off and have fun without too much stress.   Maybe you can find a spot to exhibit them...a local coffee house? Some ideas that have crossed my mind.  Best of luck!


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okieLinda wrote
on 24 Sep 2010 9:54 AM

I have the same thing perculating but approached my local library and arranged to show them there , they loved having them and a  local historical society called to show them there , that did make it into a out of state paper in Texas and I'm hoping that someone there contacts me, hope springs internal :) The one thing I hate to do with any of my quilts is put them in a drawer :( Good Luck to All of us that struggle with this problem , least we are in good company :)

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Pat Bishop wrote
on 26 Sep 2010 9:31 AM

Do you belong to a guild?  Even if you think its a traditional guild, there are probably like minded folks who would love to have someone suggest an off-shoot art quilter wannabee group.  This is a good way to discuss art quilty issues.  One way to come up with topics is to use "Quilting Arts" magazine.  Try out the techniques in the magazine or just discuss the articles.  Our group would come up with challenges for the group.  We would pick a word and create a small art quilt, (say 12 x 12) or whatever you felt you could accomplish before the deadline.  My art quilts really took off from this group.  One challenge turned into a ribbon winner at Houston.  So, small beginnings can lead to big things.  One of our favorite parts of the group was "show and tell".  Its very inspiring, enriching and encouraging to share your work with others like yourself. 

Our group met monthly, we have disbanded now but I will never forget all the great things I got from that group.  At this time in my art quilting I feel I need to spend more time on my own self-directed challenges.  I have limited time due to working a full time job outside of my passion for art.  a

If nothing else, just keep creating as long as you love to do it.  Don't feel restrained by what others do, do your own thing, its the most rewarding but sometimes the most scary.  I'm learning that if I'm having difficulty, procrastinating and avoiding the studio it means I'm learning something and have to push through it.  Try to think of it as playtime and the sky's the limit or there are no limits.  Be your own goofy self, you'll be glad you did 



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