Tuesday, June 2, 2015

happy birthday FLTQ - what now?

Floating Leaf Tiny Quilts just had it’s second birthday last month, or so Blogger reminded me. It’s been a fun two years. I’ve been able to focus on art concepts, intentionally seek out and write about art exhibits, and experiment with making small projects that are not in any way utilitarian. It was a tough move for me to go from making bed quilts (decorated blankets) to creations that began to resemble art for art’s sake. I still live with the conflict between decorative art and ART.

I've realized that one thing holding back my progress towards more artistic freedom is the process of quilting itself. I have lots of fun planning the pieces: sketching designs, picking out fabric colors and stitching. The finishing process of putting a layer of batting in, stitching the layers together and sewing the binding has made problems for me.

The first problem is time and materials. Once the design is finished, I still have hours of work left to do and double the fabric cost, plus batting. And this is work, not play. I still enjoy the stitching, but it’s just structural. I want to move on to the next piece, not fuss around finishing off this one.

The second problem is that by making my design into a quilted piece, I feel it loses some stature as a piece of art. Fine art is traditionally framed. Quilted fabric layers are traditionally a type of household bedding. A tiny quilt has started to feel (to me) like something to keep a body warm that has gotten all uppity and wants to hang on the wall like the fine art does. But it’s still a “quilt”.

I’m not saying that doesn’t work for others. There is a huge art quilt community and galleries have opened their doors to the art quilt world. There are competitive, juried shows. Art quilts are beautiful and they are truly art. I just like the surface design part better than the quilty part.

I will take up the needle as a pen and play with embroidery as drawing, in addition to the appliqued bits. I’ve done some cool pieces in the past. I’ll dig out some old stuff from my sister’s attic when I go there in July and post up some pictures.

Which brings me full circle around to the blog.

What is Floating Leaf Tiny Quilts without the Tiny Quilts?

Should I combine my art posts with my travel, book reviews, and other philosophical musings in my 1womanwalking blog?

Should I just keep posting non-tiny quilt art stuff here?