Thursday, July 18, 2013

If it hangs on the wall, is it still a quilt?

I was posed an interesting question today - is a wall hanging still considered a quilt?  I know that to some people if it is not meant to go on a bed they do not consider it to be a quilt, but I feel that it is the technique that makes it a quilt, not the finished size of the item. It is an interesting topic to consider, along with the entire evolution of quilting.

When I first started quilting back in 1986 most of us were still cutting our fabric pieces with scissors and hand quilting our quilts.  I remember hearing that if it was machine quilted it was not considered to be a "real" quilt.  Now, machine quilting is recognized as adding just as much artistry as hand quilting and there are some really fabulous machine quilters out there!

Another big change in quilting is that many of us now have the ability to use a computer to design and color in our quilts instead of using graph paper and colored pencils.  I still have my handy pad of graph paper, but I sure do love being able to place the images of actual fabrics into my quilts and see how they would look in a variety of colorways and prints.  It also makes it easier to share my ideas with others - for instance here is a quilt I designed, and now have substituted holiday fabrics for a totally different look.

Another fun thing that quilters are doing more of now is dying their own yardage, whether it is for backs, or for piecing the tops.  I've seen some really fun techniques for creating your own blends of colors and effects.  Many of them are quite easy and affordable.

There seem to be so many opportunities for creativity in the quilting arena these days.  I am really glad that there seem to be less rules and more room for spontaneity. I think the "quilt police"  have been relegated to white glove duty at the quilt shows, and quilting is all the better for it!

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