Thoughts on Quilt National 15

Now that I have had a chance to calm down from the excitement of the Quilt National weekend I want to make some further comments about our quilt art medium.

Seeing the quilts ‘in person’ is such a different experience from looking at them in a book, no matter how nice the book and its photographic reproduction.  The size and impact of the larger works makes a strong and compelling impact that can’t be reproduced on the 9×12 page.  The textures are crucial to the experience of this mixed media, largely fabric, medium.  Frayed edges, shiny paints, ripples caused by stitching, the sheen of silk; none of these come through well in even the best of photos.  The intricacy of the stitch patterns (the drawing in quilting) makes for an intimate experience when seen up close that is often lost in photography. The 3-D-ness of our medium is of course hard to convey with photos. 

Many of the things which make our medium different from paintings or paper collage are the ones less visible on the printed page.

Some think better photographs is the answer, but I think, like much of real life, you can’t reproduce the realness of the experience of standing in front of art in any reproduction. Just as the photograph of your loved one is only a poor stand-in for the real person, in the same way viewing photos of these art works is only a stand-in for the real experience of seeing them ‘face to face’.  That’s what makes it worth a trip to see art quilt exhibits whenever you can.


Here are a couple of my photos from the weekend. 


Charlotte — talking with my hands




Kathleen Loomis and her triptych




Daren Redman and her art



Barbara Schneider and her 3-D sculptural work



For photos of all the artists that were there, check out Deidre Adams’ blog:


For the prize winning art quilts (and soon to be seen videos), see the Quilt National website:



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