Saturday, December 19, 2015

"What was the attraction to quilts?"

During my Crafty Planner podcast, Sandi asked, "What was the attraction to quilts?" When I listened to my response later, I realized I was maybe a bit too brief. There was more to say on the subject. Yes, quilts were less expensive than paintings and good for acoustics, but that wasn't really the initial attraction.

As I mentioned at another point in the podcast, quilts were a meeting place for my love of art and antiques. Beyond that, quilts blurred the line between craft and art. They were graphic, and surprisingly modern looking for antique, handmade objects. Also, they represented the longest continuous tradition of women's creative expression in America.

Most of all, quilts were beautiful. In 1989, when I first discovered quilts and acquired my first antique quilt, I was receiving a lot of information about art and history in my college studies. My major was photography, and we learned there was a period when photography was a new invention and people debated its practical applications. Was it science or was it art? It was both!

Is a quilt craft or art? It's funny to hear that question today, having gone through the whole discussion about a million times in the past, and not just with quilts. The answer is, a quilt is both, but its function can evolve over time, shifting from utilitarian object to museum object.

Quilts are so much more to me today. I love how they connect us all. No matter who we are, we share a love of quilts. There's something magical about that, and also about quilts. Great old quilts sometimes appear to guide their own journeys. It makes me wonder what, if any metaphysical forces could be at play. If you want to know what would make me say that, you can read about how a national treasure fell into my lap. That story was even more uncanny when I noted the coincidence of Williams.

So, that's a lttle more of what I would say in response to Sandi's question. To listen to the Crafty Planner podcast, click here. The quilts in this post are from my first book, "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" available from Quiltmania and select retailers.

1 comment:

  1. Bill, I enjoyed your blog today. Quilts are graphic, colorful, warm and extra special. --Terry