Quilters…Where Are We Today?

Bennington Museum and the Vermont Quilt Festival

In my time away from blogging I have thought…and thought…and thought…about a lot of things. Some thoughts are introspective and personal, some artistic and design related…all are pertaining to life. One thought path I have revisited over and again is where are we today? in respect to fiber creations––specifically quilts.
The Quilters of today have a plethora of tools, notions, gadgets and an abundance of fabric choices. Is that a good thing? I ask myself this question too as I have more than I need to bring my design dreams to creation. Several machines. Helpful tools. BIG items too. Enough fabric to clothe a village or possibly get me on an episode of Hoarders.
Please…hear my heart…I am not bashing or criticizing the quilt world nor fabric designers…I am just questioning.
Our fabric choices have led to fiber gluttony. Our final projects smack of the latest trends in color, style and technique. I love the newest fabrics. I love the designers and bloggers that are popular as well as the hidden jewels. I do know it must be hard to stay on top of the trends because they seem to be whirling past us like a category 5 hurricane. But I must ask, are we in danger of losing the unique in our art?
Previous quilting generations made do with what they scrounged and saved and turned those pieces of fiber into beautiful works. Items that made most of our hearts leap the first time we saw what their hands had crafted. Pieces that were laden with patience and time…that spoke history and told stories of joy and heartache. THOSE pieces are what captured us and made us want to know the stories behind the cloth and thread.
I know, they had to use what was available. Leftovers from clothing that was handmade. Pieces of clothing from a loved one no longer in their life. Fabric that once held food. Tattered wool from blankets. Today we don’t have to do it that way.

Gee's Bend Quilting Bee

Quilters also used their needles to give voice to the tension of their day… Women’s Suffrage, Slavery, Politics, etc.


Yes, they had patterns that were popular but still so much of the quilter shined.
I ask you and I ask myself…. Do we, today, put meaning behind and put ourselves into, what our hands create? Do we tell a story? Do we give voice? DO. WE. SHINE??