Each year, I look forward to the October/November issue of Quilting Arts. Not only do the autumn colors of our New England landscape influence the palette of artwork in the magazine (my heart beats a bit faster every time I see burnt umber maple leaves against a pale blue sky); they also usher in the season of kindness and appreciation.
Golden fields of grain are harvested and baked into bread; pumpkins dappled with green and orange become a ripe symbol of plenty; the deep purple of an eggplant inspires a charity quilt. The sights, smells, tastes, and colors of autumn are ingrained in our collective consciousness, and, quite often, reflected in our quilts. And frequently, those quilts are used for good. Keeping this in mind, the editorial team chose “Making the World a Better Place through Art” as the theme for this issue.
As artists, we feel deeply—whether it is the beauty of a sunrise or the love of our country—and we can choose to use our gifts in many ways: to uplift, to enrich, to console, to examine, and to experience the world around us.
What’s in store
Luckily, we didn’t have to look far to find amazing art quilts, insightful projects, and thoughtful essays about using artwork for ‘good’ to fill these pages. So many of our contributors seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to sharing their work! We know our readers will enjoy browsing this collection. Most exciting to me is the gallery of exquisite art quilts. Within weeks of choosing the theme, we heard about “A Better World,” an exhibit that celebrates heroes, living and dead, who represent the very best of humanity.
We are thrilled to feature a small sampling of those quilts and encourage you to visit the exhibit which will be premiering at the International Quilt Festival, Houston if you have the opportunity.
But that’s not all. For those who enjoy the meditative practice of hand stitching, check out Julie B. Booth’s amazing running stitch tutorial.
It’s a simple stitch that can be manipulated in many ways, adding incredible variety to art quilts of all types. On the contrary, if you want to use art to wind down without a plan in mind, you may find Liz Kettle’s “Stitch Meditations” the perfect fit. We’ve also chosen this technique as our next Reader Challenge to be published in the April/May 2020 issue.
I believe art has the power to change our world for the better. Whether it is on the personal level of helping us examine our thoughts and express our creativity, or on a grand scale by influencing others to open their hearts and minds to new ideas.
I hope your life journey always includes a space for creativity.
Vivika DeNegre, Editor, Quilting Arts
Featured image: Artwork by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, Sara Kay Hartmann, and Liz Kettle