Each of the 7 PHFA’s understands all the rules, regulations and traditions of making blankets. There is something in our hearts about cutting up fabrics into small pieces and sewing them back together that flutters our spirits. Stemming from all that is wonderful about the art of quilting, the love of fiber artwork results.
Fiber art, or “Quilted Art”, is a maturation of creativity. So many folks who, for some unknown reason, love the feel of textile, the smell of fabric, the sheen of thread and the thrill of a humming machine, or the satisfaction of collecting small stitches onto a hand-quilting needle. How many among us have nearly fainted at the sight of a gorgeous hunk of cloth in the fabric store? How many of us are familiar with the sensation of our hearts beating nearly out of our chests at the sight of a beautiful quilt? We all know the excitement of getting to the part of the guild meeting when it is “Show-n-Tell” time. How many of us sweat and clamor to get to the sign-up list for a wonderful quilt teacher’s class before it is full?
Many quilters find themselves fulfilled in creating quilts for each grandchild, graduation, marriage and other special occasions. It is in the giving of a hand-made quilt that specifies our love for those recipients. After making all of these warm, cuddly creations, some quilters find their interest in the art of quilt-making shifting.. calling them to do something with her skills beyond making gift quilts. For some, it is trying –and either succeeding or failing– to make bags, wearables, and decorator items. Maybe it is the urge to try learning new skills; like running a mid-arm or long-arm sewing machine.
Curiosity often leads the creative soul to other paths. Perhaps it is seeing a landscape quilt that caused palpitations, or reading a magazine featuring other quilters who have stepped beyond, or attending a quilt show exhibiting heart-stopping fiber work.
Whatever the causation, many quilters mature into art quilters. Once the corner has been turned into the world of art quilting, the possibilities are endless for the creative mind. Rules relax, new skills are learned, new friendships are made, new revelations about our world are seen, and new understandings of the artistic soul all give participation to the art quilters essence.
As we would never, ever forget our beautiful grandmothers and mothers whose apt skills made those warm blankets for us to cuddle under during those cold nights, we should never forget our quilting roots. Sometimes it does a heart good to just stop, step back and pull out your early bed quilts. Cuddle with them, admire them, give homage to the beginnings, and allow the quilt spirit to envelop your soul. Honor your grandmother, the quilt.