Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quilties, inchies

Recently learned terms: Quilties. Inchies. I don't like them. Cute-ifying things isn't my style. Making miniature quilts, yes. That I understand and have seen some very amazing ones both new and antique. The journal quilts and the postcard quilts, these also I understand and have made many. But why this apparent need to infantilize a craft or art work? Do people think it makes quilting less serious? Less frightening? Does it sound like fun as opposed to a bit of work? Maybe other people have other feelings. It's words and what words imply that bother me. I believe profoundly in the importance and power of words and definitions for what we do. I prickle remembering how the women's movement of the '60s and '70s struggled that women and their work should not be marginalized as unimportant. These words seem a regression that we are sheltering under like wet cats in the rain.

BUT I have made what is called a "quiltie" with appliqued raw-edge "inchies". And I love it. I enjoyed arranging the colors, enjoyed using the smallest buttons at the bottom of my button collection as embellishment. And I'm going to go cut out another set of inchies for a second one on the same background fabric and I have plans for a third that will not be inchies but different and larger and I won't call it by any diminutive, I'll call it a little art quilt. These names as I'm using them here are for swaps in which those are the operative words and most of the above is my not at all subtle protest.

Confucius said that understanding begins when we have 'rectified names".


Harvest Moon by Hand said...

That's a pretty quilt, June. It immediately caught my eye in my blog listings on my web page. What an interesting idea...and a great way to use little pieces of fabric. I could see doing one with pieces of clothing - like a memory quilt, in essence.

Ann (freespirit66)

Anonymous said...

i want a postcard quilt!

we have a sewing machine but my wife
doesn't know how to use it, neither do i.
perhaps i'll have to give it a shot and
hope it doesn't break. :-/

Nellie's Needles said...

Striking! I like the raveled edges. I like that you called this an "ART quilt". I very much appreciate your take on "too cute" terms ... especially since we've worked hard to be taken seriously.

June Calender said...

Nellie, thanks for the agreement. I'm afraid too many people don't even know art quilts exist.


June -- we continue to be marginalized. I recently read a book by a scholar in his field who described all the work that was done by small farmers of the past. No mention of what women did except to say they made quilts. All she did was make quilts? Unfortunately all other work was not important.

Really like the idea of your art quilt. I also like the idea that Harvest Moon By Hand mentions of doing it as a memory quilt.

-- barbara

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

For some reason I prefer to make smaller things just like art quilts, and inchies are a lot of fun to make. I first noticed inchies when done as a swap and mostly out of cardstock and embellishments.I did about 70 of those and got back 70 from other swappers. They are now all together in an art form hanging on my wall. This is the first time I noticed inchies for fabric art.
Giving me thought now June, again.