A Stitch In Time

My Life In Words

Time On My Hands…

Posted by debraroby on March 3, 2006

While getting ready this morning, I was thinking about what Lisa Call wrote:

There seem to be trends in quilt making and this show ( Miniature Art Textiles: Dallas) is fairly representational of what I feel is currently “hot” in quilting today: collage applique, surface design with dyes/paints/etc, image transfer, text, “content”, and embellishment. When I look at the catalog for quilt national 2005 I see about the same things.

I get the impression looking at a lot of these pieces that, while there is thought in the design, the actual work is relatively quick. Paint or stamp or bleach or fuse or screen. Rinse and repeat until complete. Stitch together densely by machine. Not that it’s a bad thing!

Is a perception that one needs to produce a largish “body of work” behind this trend? (this sounds like a discussion on the QuiltArt list every x months). Much of the work could be done in another fashion: careful piecing, needleturned applique to construct the pieces. Embroidery to create the surface images.

All these would be slower more demanding methods of working. Fewer pieces of work out there. The pieces, too, would be very different. Is this a good thing? Or just a different thing?

Would they be equally received?

Can one DO the other work now and still stand toe-to-toe with today’s “trends” ? Lisa has decided that the trends do not effect her work. She does what she does irregardless of trends. She is established, though.

I do not have much of any “established reputation” , but I also don’t have much of a desire to follow the current trend, exactly.

So if I (for example) took a graphic design that might be done with a silkscreen.. and instead marked it and did it with a variety of hand embroidery stitches, would “people” (Ok, read “show jury”, “show judge” and ultimately “buyers”) accept it? Or would those “people” think: not in the current vein?

This work takes on a very different look. More 3-D texture. Can I choose to take my own path and hope that the work stands up against the trend? Guess I will have to find out, because I would love to experiment more with this idea. Then I remembered this pronouncement of one of my goals for this year:

-I love texture in pieces brought about my dense machine and hand stitching, weaving, embroidery and encrustation. I will seek out places to use this for emphasis. (practice more to develop my own “stitch vocabulary” first.)

Apparently, I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time.

The last couple days and all of next week, I’ll be working on pieces that need hand work. At the moment, it’s a piece I started at AQT last fall; I’m adding hand embroidery to it to emphasize and adhere the lines of the silk. I expect there won’t be a lot of time online… so I may be quiet.

But I’ll be thinking. And you, lucky readers, get to hash out (that is, comment on)the stuff that I disgorge through my fingertips.

See what trouble my mind gets into while hands are otherwise occupied?


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