|Self-portrait quilt by Luke Haynes|
Although I love to quilt and I love to work with thread and fibers, my initial love for traditional quilts quickly faded away. I am not a perfect quilter and could never compete with the best-of-the-best quilters out there. I could never be judged for my sewing ability or how well I follow the rules of the quilting police. My creativity with quilting comes out of the joy of working with my hands, the joy of seeing how colors and patterns work together, and for the moment, my obsession with hand quilting the negative spaces. As I explore the many techniques for machine and hand sewing, I try to master these techniques as best as possible, then just enjoy what I can bring out of it as an art form. I am first and foremost an artist. It is what I do, it is who I am.
I pay homage to generations of women who have spent their lives stitching to perfection and may not have ever made a name for themselves in the process. But as a response to Abby's interview with Luke Haynes, there were many listeners who criticized him for getting his fame just by being a male in the mostly female world of quilts. And as one rebuttal put it, Mr. Haynes wants to be known for his quilts, not for being a male quilter, yet he signs his name so boldly on the front... a very male thing to do.
As well, I never go on about Georgia O'Keeffe being a female because of her soft color palette. Her work becomes the focus in my classroom when we learn how to blend colors of paint on the canvas. And that is obviously not just a female thing to do! I suppose gender matters less these days and that is a good thing. We can all be inspired by anyone.
|My 2 year old quilt with a revised border design|
|For the border, I added rows of hand stitched Perle cotton. Then I improvised with free form swirls in red.|
|I love the detail that the quilting stitches adds to the wide border.|
|Not as bold as Luke Haynes,|
but there it is.