quilters are artists… in 1961 and 2018
a kindred spirit recently offered me a copy of her motherâ€™s Womanâ€™s Day magazine from November 1961â€¦ 57 years old and 10 cents as the purchase price. Â it happened to feature an article by Rose Wilder Lane about quilt appliqueâ€¦ The Story of American Needlework – Applique.
the magazine was a delight to look through, old advertisements revealed a window into our past… but what delighted me even more was that Rose, writing 8 years before i was born, shared my own belief that quilters are artists and must first acknowledge and then celebrate their place in art!
â€śAny scene that an artist can paint on canvas, an artist can put on cloth in applique, and many thousands of homekeeping women have been, and are, artists. Â If you think you arenâ€™t one of them you may surprise yourself with a bit of applique.â€ť
RoseÂ goes on to encourage her readers to make their own art, to be inspired by the world and the shapes and designs around them, to make their quilt a piece of their own art…
â€śNow the design should be your own. You donâ€™t know half the joy of needlework until you create something wholly yours. Â Then whether it is as subtle as an arabesque or as naive as a Grandma Moses painting, it is honestly you own idea, your design, your satisfaction; it is a work of art. Â It will not be original because nothing is; it will be unique because you are.â€ť
Aim for unique, donâ€™t obsess about originalâ€¦ love that message!
Rose knows that we all have artistic ability inside us, waiting to be askedÂ to come out and play…
â€śYou need not be able to draw a line (though probably you are; nobody knows if you havenâ€™t tried). Â Wherever you look you see shapes and colours; take what you please where you find it. — cut them out of magazines and seed catalogues; enlarge them from snapshots; buy patterns from museums; but arrange them to please yourself and work them in colours that sing to you.â€ť
Rose is kindred spirit and reminds me that as quilters we need to stop diminishing, undervaluing and even under pricing our work. Â i feel that we are the last group of artists to stand up and take our place beside the sculptors, painters, potters, architectsâ€¦ we all love design, we all create and we all want to make the world a more interestingÂ place.
quilt artists unite! Â celebrate your art! Â claim your space in art, there is nothing stopping you. Â the world is waiting.
let’s make 2018 the year of the quilt… artist đź™‚