Thursday, March 7, 2013

No projects, just some thoughts

Have you all seen the Fuck quilt? Or the gun quilt? Or the rape quilt? What about Annabel Rainbow's naked quilts?

How about Thomas Knauer's set of fabulous blog posts about all of these conversations surrounding thought-provoking quilts [you should scroll between posts from the end of February to the present]? Or his very irate response to the reactions of some of the above quilts?

I spent hours reading through all this material.

I followed the process of the Fuck quilt as blocks were sent to Chawne. I didn't bat an eye. To tell you the truth, it didn't get any particular reaction from me.

Fuck is a word. Just like any word, its meaning changes with context. Is using the word "fuck" any better or worse than calling someone ugly? 

This is why I am reeling from the commentary about the Fuck quilt hanging at QuiltCon. I didn't go to the show, but there have been comments ranging from the fact that it's a disgusting word, to the fact that it makes the quilt no longer a piece of art, to the fact that someone isn't a fit mother if she gifts a quilt like that to her son.

Of course, there are plenty of people who are encouraging of the quilt as well.

My problem is this: at what point is this community no longer celebrating creativity if we try to impose the artistic, social, religious, academic, personal, moral viewpoints of a few onto the majority? That's what the dissenters are suggesting. That this quilt doesn't have a place in our community. And even worse, maligning the creators because of that!

Some people journal their thoughts. Some people have long discussions with friends. Some people go to political rallys. And some people spend hours, time, money, emotion, skill, and perspective on quilts.

I'm not really a fan of applique, but I would never go to someone and tell them that their applique quilt is disgusting, ugly, and not a sight for anyone's eyes. I can still recognize the workmanship and craft that went into the project. I can even want to improve my own skill at applique so that I can take a technique that might not be my favorite and use it in my own creative process in a way that suits my desire to make. Why can't we celebrate fellow makers?!

If you don't like something, that's ok! If you do like something, that's ok too! We can all exist in the same space :)

Now you all know:
I think all the quilts at the top of the post are fabulous in their own way.
I celebrate the creative ideas in this community.
I take the time to understand the reasoning and the journey behind the concept.
I appreciate those who disagree, but do it in a way that is respectful of the right to open dialogue.

Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments, but please do so in an adult manner. I do not tolerate mud-slinging.


  1. Preach, sister. Thanks for blogging about this - I completely missed it in the dense mass of QuiltCon posts.

  2. It's not a word I personally use, but I still wouldn't take offense to that quilt. It's an art quilt, and subverting a traditional craft with a word like that is in my opinion art. Art that is far more understandable than a lot of other modern art!

  3. Hahaha Jessica! I was about to say the same thing! Preach Sista! Amen! I totally agree with you. I think it is also just a form of respect that a lot of people have not shown. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and no one's opinion is better than any one else's. Some like it, some don't. Like you said, can't we just all appreciate the workmanship, art, and creativity that went into these pieces? I think it will be interesting to see the next round of these type of quilts because I think the statements these made might arouse some more people to step out of their box and express their thoughts through this art.

  4. That sure is a lot of reading! I just finished up ALL those posts and I totally agree with you. They are definitely not my style per se, but I do view quilting as an art and like any art, it's up to the artist to create a work of art meaningful to them. Not everyone likes every piece of art, but yes, we can appreciate the craft and workmanship. I think it's unfortunate that as a community we can't appreciate each others work, or respectfully say it's not your style and leave it at that. No need to bash anyone over their quilts for goodness sakes!


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