Quilts and Creative Community

My friend Carol kept mentioning a quilt exhibit that she wanted me to see at the community arts center near which she lives. We made a field trip there last Thursday, and I loved what I saw.

Each participating artist in the exhibit was asked to use a different vintage quilt as inspiration and reinterpret it in any way the artist chose -- color, shape, texture, theme, etc. The results are both interesting and beautiful. I've included photos of a few of the quilts here.

Quilting and textile crafts have a rich tradition in Western North Carolina (For example, Penland School of Crafts, which is now a national center for craft education, was founded in 1923 by teacher Lucy Morgan, who organized the Penland Weavers to provide looms and
materials to local women and to market their handwoven goods. She invited guest instructors to teach weaving, and when requests for instruction began to come from other parts of the country, Penland School was born.)

One of the exhibiting artists is Caroline Mannheimer, whom I met at BookWorks last year. Both of us are now students in a follow-up to a creative journaling class that each us of has taken there.
That's Caroline's lovely piece, Kiss Kiss, top right and directly below). One of my life's joys is regularly crossing paths with other members of this vital creative community, and the support and encouragement that's exchanged along the way.

Detail from Kiss Kiss. I love text in textiles!

Murray Johnston, Torn Loose and Wheeling Free

Detail, Torn Loose and Wheeling Free

Bets Ramsey, Star of Hope in a Time of War

Detail, Star of Hope in a Time of War

Jimmie Benedict, Scarlett O'Hara's Coat

Detail, Scarlett O'Hara's Coat

Susan Webb Lee, Log Cabin Remodel

Detail, Log Cabin Remodel

Friendship Quilt, 1851 (owned by Mary Sauerteig) This is one of the quilts used for inspiration. It was given to Mary Sauerteig's great-grandfather, Daniel Dobler, by students, relatives and friends upon his retirement from teaching in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Mary's grandfather, along with another of Daniel Dobler's sons, each provided one of the squares (see below)

Detail, Friendship Quilt, 1851


Riverlark said...

Hmmm...seems we're both being inspired by textiles these days. Is it fall? or is it just that there is so much crossover between the two crafts? Thanks for sharing your pictures. They're stunning!

Bridgette Guerzon Mills said...

Looks like a great exhibit. I love artsy quilts. I want to learn how to sew just to make one myself. But I am reluctant to start another obsession.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. :)

Unknown said...

Dear BookGirl-
Imagine my surprise when I came across your blog, which I found after Googling our mutual friend Carol.
Thanks for all the good things you said about the exhibit and including our website.
Karen Swing, Gallery Director, TC Arts

Clara said...

RL, I particularly like the idea of combining paper and fabric, and,lately, keep wanting to introduce at least a few snippets of cloth into whatever I'm making.

Bridgette, I know what you mean about not wanting to start new obsessions. Everytime I look at some of the beautiful yarns out there, I get an urge to learn to knit. So far, I've resisted.

Karen, the exhibit was absolutely lovely. And the space it wonderful too! I'd never been to the arts center before and will certainly come back.

MadSilence said...

I was recently reminded of the artistry of quilting. Check out this post: http://madsilence.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/a-crazy-patchwork-quilt-of-craft-and-art/

Clara said...

MadSilence, thanks for the link. When I lived in Washington, D.C., I was fortunate to live not far from the Quilt Museum there. It's where I first developed an appreciation for the artistry to be found in older, more traditional quilts, and the beautiful work that's being done by modern-day artists.