I've been non-stop this week. It started with the opening talk of our library's writers' festival on Tuesday night (Di Morrissey - she was extremely engaging and generous with her stories) and finished with the quilt exhibition at the Quilt Indulgence Festival today, with four days at work in between!
The quilts were interesting and there were a variety of styles on display. I found many to admire for the skill shown with various techniques and some designs just blew me away. It's always interesting to attend a show with a friend, so to hear Lois's take on the quilts added value for me.
Part of the exhibition showed quilts from the Gee's Bend collective. Now, I've known about the Gee's Bend quilts for a long time now, and have followed the effusive praise that has been heaped upon them as they have toured from gallery to gallery. So it was an excellent opportunity to see them in real life on their first visit to Australia.
I also know that a lot of quilters simply don't 'get' the Gee's Bend quilts. They are often poorly stitched, with pieces that don't line up nicely. They are often made from fabrics that aren't purpose-made for quilt making; fabrics such as corduroy. They are rarely squared up and usually have wonky edges. They are what they are. Amongst the quilt making fraternity, Gee's Bend quilts are adored by some, while being totally unappealing to others.
I swear that if I was arranged to my best advantage, and well-lit from the right angles, I would look terrific too. Just shows what a bit of strategic, cosmetic arrangement can do. But I'd still be me.
To hear some people complain that these quilts should have been shown under gallery conditions, in an artificially 'arty' environment, belies the real nature of these quilts. They are what they are - real quilts made by real women with the resources available to hand.
The quilts weren't bought to Australia by a gallery - they were bought here, at enormous cost (you should have seen the price of the insurance) by a quilter, a woman who wanted to share them with other quilters. Yes, I used to work for her company, so you may think I have a vested interest in saying that. You'd be wrong.
It was her idea to ask for the quilts for display in Australia. She bore the risk of bringing the quilts here. She took the step of making something happen. Would you have done that?
Of course, these are all my opinions. If you disagree with me, I really don't want to hear it, so don't bother leaving a comment. I think we need to congratulate, support and applaud people who are willing to put their money and their time out there for the pleasure of others. What we don't need are petty whiners.
I am now ending the weekend with a sore throat and constant sneezing, so I'm going to retire to my bed for a snooze. Somewhere during the past busy week, I've picked up a cold so rest is in order. I have a lovely pieced block I finished on Thursday to show you - maybe tomorrow...