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Quilting From the Gut: Quilter's as Activists

Wow, I spent the whole Memorial Day weekend quilting in the studio - like "quilting on steroids". I finally came up for air, and my family still recognizes me! I primarily focus on art quilt design that depicts social injustice, political dissent, spiritual awakening, healing quilts, and personal experiences (something I call personal mapping(tm). Believe me, there's a lot of good material out there to comment on. I don't have any trouble finding subject matter!

I am a Buddhist however, so I must nurture my Buddha nature and keep kindness in mind when I create an art quilt design (Nam-myho- renge-kyo chant.....) Although, I don't pull any punches when there's an injustice that needs to be surfaced. I'm a political junkie who listens to CNN and good music at the same time.

I am excited about a 2 day class I'm taking in NY next week. If you're a fan of Paula Nadelstern's puzzle and kaleidoscope quilts you'll understand what I mean. I couldn't get into her class at the International Quilt show in Houston, but I did get into this class featuring puzzle quilts (even this was by lottery). Her technique is exquisite, and I'm always in the mood for learning new things. Half the fun is picking out the fabric -I always buy a little extra, just in case, don't you?

Well, pet a cat, and back to joyful working. Lynne

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Comment by Meagon on June 2, 2010 at 10:31pm
Funny enough, after I read your blog, I searched google for art quilting and saw tons of other quilts that, well, didn't look anything like traditional quilts! I've already got an idea in my head! Lol! Goodness, my husband will not be thrilled with the addition of yet ANOTHER hobby! Thank goodness we're moving to a bigger place soon! I'll have a whole half of a room devoted to my ever-growing collection of works in progress.

Thank you for the tips, I'll have to look for that magazine at work. We're an arts and crafts store, so we SHOULD have it. Hopefully.... Thank you again!
Comment by Lynne Brotman on June 2, 2010 at 6:55pm
I didn't know about art quilting when I first started out, and I didn't know how to sew either. Well, one thing led to another, and after making a quilt for every member of my family, I decided there must be more to quilting than traditional quilting. I attended a few quilt shows, and had an ah-ha moment of mine own. Thank goodness, I just couldn't sew one more 1/4" seam! I joined a few organizations like the Surface Design Association and subscribe to "Quilting Arts Magazine".

I took classes in my area from visiting artists that made traditional quilts and then applied the technique to my art quilts. Since I'm known for having an opinion on just about anything, I decided to use my new found quilting freedom to apply it to topics I care about. Learn the rules, then break every last one of them. It's liberating.

Ok, art quilt monster go out there and quilt!
Comment by Meagon on June 1, 2010 at 9:43pm
As I don't quilt (yet, haha!) I can't comment too much, but the idea behind your art quilts resonates with me. Being new to sewing, I had the idea that quilts were just old country looking blankets with geometric designs like diamonds and pinwheels (NOT that there is anything wrong with that, but it's an eye-opener). Obviously a VERY wrong assumption (and what do we do when we assume...?) The image of the quilt above blew my mind. I guess there are just as many breakable rules in quilting as there are in every other craft, and I love it! Although now you might have created a monster. Wonder what my husband will say now when I come home with the idea of art quilting in my head! Thank you for sharing your inspiration and style! And have fun in your class!

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