Is That an Art Quilt?

“Choose to Bloom” • O.V. Brantley • Atlanta, Georgia • 92″ x 92″

“Is that art?” my husband has been known to ask as we walk the aisles of a quilt show. Now that’s a loaded question! If you’ve ever had the opportunity to go to a national or international quilt show, you’ll know you are viewing outstanding work, whether it’s a traditional, modern, or art quilt. Some are spectacularly pieced and quilted bed-sized wonders with intricate patterns and amazing designs meant for warmth and comfort. Some are miniature masterpieces, stitched purely for visual pleasure. And between those two examples clearly defined in size and intent, there are hundreds of other quilts that defy a category.

“Ode to Non-Traditional Homes” • Thomas Knauer • Clinton, New York • 66″ x 75″

As someone who lives and breathes quilting, I suppose I should have an answer for him, but I find myself holding back on giving my opinion. And here’s why: when I consider a quilt, I think less about whether or not the quilt is traditional or modern, and more about the intention and artistry behind it. Quilting is, after all, a craft. But when executed well on every level, the craft of quilting is elevated to an art. And the clear answer is yes: all expressions of creativity are art.

Is it art? Is it craft? Is it traditional, contemporary, modern, or a mixture of genres? Maybe a better question would be, “Is this a quilt that moves me? Inspires me? Makes my heart sing with joy, or my soul weep with compassion? Will this quilt bring comfort, spur memories, or inspire action?”

“Work in Progress” • Sue Bleiweiss • Pepperell, Massachusetts • 40″ x 40″

If you are moved to quilt, you are lucky. You have an outlet for your creativity that you can share with your family and friends. You have a community of fellow quilters you can connect with online. And you have a tremendous resource of information, techniques, and patterns available at your fingertips.

So dive in and interpret one of the quilt patterns on our website in your own unique way. And when your partner asks, “Is it art?” I’m sure you’ll be able to answer “Yes. It is art. It is art from my heart.”


Find your next project when you explore patterns from our shop!

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