Is quilting ‘art’?

There’s a quote I love and it goes like this:

“Creativity is about being unafraid to make mistakes.

Art is about knowing which ones to keep.”

For me, there is one major hurdle I have to escape when making an ‘art quilt’, and that is not to be limited by all the practical rules of dressmaking and piecing that I learned previously.  Making art has to go beyond old boundaries, and sometimes, working in this free way does not come easily!  As dressmakers and traditional quiltmakers, we are always conscious of the practical needs of the piece, such as to survive everyday wear and tear, and to endure sustained laundering, for example.

Sometimes, this just does not apply to an art piece, and the maker can have difficulty experiencing the liberation if he or she is ‘old school’.

So to me, when making an ‘art quilt’ it means I can revel in the freedom of leaving edges raw, not worrying about having perfectly matched seams, mixing whatever textiles and any other media I want, including beads, paint, glue, feathers, and so on!  I can just delight in the play and juxtaposition of all the stuff I am working with.

And its only purpose is to hang on a wall, or drape over a piece of furniture, and just to please my eye!

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