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2QAQ: What is an Art Quilt?

What is an Art Quilt???
From Lajla Nystad,the current Curator of State of the Art exhibition.
On display is SotA17 – it’ll be at the Redlands Quilt Extravaganza. Each year we ask and hope that some of you will decide to enter one of your art quilts and have the great experience of seeing your work in an Art Gallery. It’s great to see that we do have first time entrants each year. I’m going to run through a little of the history of SotA.
In 2007, the President of 2Q, Kate Oszko, noted that Qld Quilters Inc was not supporting art quilters and suggested the formation of a group to do so, should there be anyone interested in forming such a group. Sue Dennis stepped up and with the help of 4 or 5 others formulated the plan for 2QAQ. One of the priorities of the new 2QAQ group was to raise the level of professionalism in art quilting by creating a prestigious, juried exhibition, open to all QQ members, and thus SotAq had its first exhibition in 2009.
The exhibition has toured throughout South-East Qld – galleries in Childers, Boonah, Crows Nest, Warwick, Chinchilla, Gatton have all exhibited Qld Quilters’ work. It’s also been displayed at Australasian Quilt Convention, Melbourne, the now defunct Textile Art Festival, Brisbane and some works went to Alaska one year in an exchange with Art Quilters there. 2018 will see the 10th Exhibition of SotA – something that Qld Quilters’ membership can be proud of.
This year’s exhibition will be travelling to Miles in south-west Qld in January, a new venue and one gallery that supports textile art. We are constantly looking at galleries, applying to have our exhibition hung and hope that the current director of that Gallery may embrace our art form.
From Chris Jones, 2QAQ Coordinator: What is an Art Quilt?
How do you define an Art Quilt? I have consulted a few different oracles & this is what I’ve come up with –

  • Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge) says:
    “ Quilt Art, sometimes known as art quilting, mixed media art quilts or fibre art quilts, is an art form that uses both modern and traditional quilting techniques to create art objects. Practitioners of quilt art create it based on their experiences, imagery and ideas rather than traditional patterns.”
  • The Art Quilt Association (USA) defines it as: “An art quilt is an original exploration of a concept or idea rather than handing down of a “pattern”. It experiments with textile manipulation, colour, texture and/or a diversity of mixed media. An Art Quilt often pushes quilt world boundaries”.
  • Studio Art Quilt Associates Inc (SAQA) is an international organisation with 3,400+ membership. They define an art quilt as “a creative work that is layered and stitched or references this form of stitched layered structure.”
    State of the Art Quilt Conditions of Entry define an Art Quilt for our exhibition as: “a fibre or mixed media piece of 2 layers or more held together in some way. The finished piece needs to be identifiable as a quilt”.
    So, you can see, there is not just one definition.

The maker defines whether it’s an Art Quilt – as long as the criteria for the ‘competition’ are met. Like all art – the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. How many times have you gone to an Art Gallery & wondered “how they could possibly class THAT as art!”
Art Quilts cover all aspects – landscapes, portraiture, graphic, abstract, modernist etc etc etc. You can use traditional piecing, blocks with your take on the tradition. Some modern quilts are a really good example of genres crossing the boundaries.
Like any quilt show or competition or juried exhibition, the conditions of entry must be taken in to account when you enter your piece. SotA’s definition has been kept relatively simple. There are size limits, no theme and it must be solely one artist’s work. The Juror has a very important role in the process as you’ve heard (will hear) from Sue.
When I entered the world of art quilting – and I have no art experience whatsoever – I went to the 2Q Library, found books on art quilts, looked through magazines and defined my own idea of what an art quilt was. Today it’s so easy to find inspiration and ideas – just ‘google’ your theme, idea, a word, art quilts & you’ll be spoilt for choice. I went along to 2QAQ meetings, watched, participated and learned and I took a chance and entered SoTA in 2009 and was absolutely over the moon to be selected for the very first exhibition. I have suffered rejection since – a couple of times – & in case, you’re wondering, the counselling is going really well!
Come along to a 2QAQ meeting and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn. I’ve heard comments that coming to these meetings has even helped in the planning of traditional quilts. We are so fortunate in Qld Quilters to have available to the membership – a wonderful choice of magazines and books catering to all tastes and even more importantly – our special interest groups where we can learn so much more about our art. I’d encourage anyone who makes an art quilt – to enter SotA, 2Q Show – art section (of course), national & international competitions – you never know where it will lead you on your quilting journey.

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Buderim Quilt Show

I’m just back from a lovely visit to the Buderim Craft Group Quilt Show.  It was nice to see the range of quilts – traditional, modern, scrappy – you name it and there it was.  I also had a chance to catch up with Sheila who dropped off the Buderim quilts for QuiltConnect and I also ran into Jacqui who was on the trip to Japan that I did earlier this year.  There were 2 great traders, Kimz Sewing and Patchwork Angel to tempt you as well as a really well set out sales table.  Both raffle quilts looked lovely.  The Challenge showed a great variety of ideas and it was really interesting that members were limited to a 16 inch square (or thereabouts!!!)  As for the food, let me tell you, the corned beef and pickles sandwich was fabulous and I couldn’t resist just a small piece of Apple Crumble.  A fabulous show – make sure you get there if you are in the Buderim area.

Chris Harvey

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Bundaberg Quilters Inc 30th Anniversary

Bundaberg Quilters Inc 30th Anniversary Sat 17th June 2017

“Thank you to the Bundaberg Quilters for making me feel so welcome at their 30th Anniversary celebrations.  This group was keen to focus on their history and how far they had come, the present group and the wonderful work it is doing in the community, and looking ahead to the future thinking about how patchwork and quilting will be practiced 30 years from now.

 A great deal of thought and effort went into the demonstrations and displays and the hall was buzzing with lots of chat,  friends catching up and sharing stories.” Judie Bellingham

  •  Queensland Quilters’ President, Judie Bellingham, was invited to open the Anniversary day.
  •  Bundaberg Quilters Inc was officially formed 20 June 1987.
  • Logo: Quilting Forever – Housework whenever
  •  Affiliated with 2Q
  •  A sign: Quilters are: Feminine & formidable fantastic faculty of fabulous fabric fondlers!!!
  •  New initiative – Basic Patchwork & Quilting Classes being introduced. Using a popular “reference” book with kind permission from the author. Encouraging 20-30 year olds to learn the art of patchwork and quilting.
  •  Membership is $30 per year.
  • The Bundaberg Quilters have a huge store of tools and resources for use by its members including a Sweet Sixteen long arm sewing machine, quilting rulers, rotary cutters and boards.
  • Bundaberg Quilters have an extensive library for their members which is culled regularly and always contains up to date and recent publications.
  •  The Men’s shed made hanging stands for the Boomerang bag which the BQ make. They already have 5 outlets in Bundy offering these bags. (Plastic bags will be mandatorily banned by the Qld Government in 2018)
  • Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry bags are frequently donated by BQ. Here’s an idea: Use Aussie teatowels on the front of the laundry bags.
  •  TAG – Textile Art Group had a wonderful display of quilts and amazing creations. This is a very active art quilt group and they showcased the wide and varied skills they have developed over the years.
  •  An exhibition of “0” birthday quilts.
  •  Congratulations to Sandra Sullivan, Margaret Brady and the fantastic team at BQ for a really interesting and delightful day celebrating this dynamic group of quilters.
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April’s Speaker – Kaye Sauer

In April, Kaye Sauer, of Apatchy Quilting, delighted us with her quilting journey, comparing it to a walk she took with her husband along Hadrian’s Wall – not exactly sure where it is taking you.

The quilts she showed us told her story – a story of attempting anything regardless of whether she thought she had the skills to do it or not! From traditional quilts, to story quilts, to art quilts, to her most recent experimental work, depicting faces, people, her Top 40 and, ultimately to that wonderful quilt Bowie – Evolution of the Starman!

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