So the good news is that my quilt has been accepted into the Marie Webster show at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, June 24 to September 4, sponsored by SAQA. The juror was Niloo Paydar, the museum's curator of textile arts and fashion design.
You may remember when I talked about this show earlier that Marie Webster was an Indiana designer who built a nice business selling patterns and kits for appliqued quilts in the early part of the last century. Although that style and genre of quilts has never particularly appealed to me, I was challenged to find something in her work that I could translate into this century and explore on my own agenda of interesting concepts.
The quilt I chose as inspiration was this white-and-pale-blue number with a design of little kids looking at the moon and stars.
I simplified the design to fit the much smaller size requirements of the show (my quilt is just 27 x 21") but pretty much replicated the two figures from the original.
I made this piece by heavily machine stitching the blue areas onto off-white canvas, leaving the unstitched fabric to bulge and ruffle. Then to make it fit the official SAQA definition of a quilt, which wants layers, I added a back and quilted that down with additional blue stitches.
Here's what mine looks like:
And here's my artist statement:
In Webster's time a proper quilt was neat, attractive, symmetrical, perfectly executed to show off the maker's needle skills. Not her design skills, because the quilter would purchase the pattern, or perhaps a kit, from somebody like Webster, and follow the directions. In the intervening century, many quiltmakers have chosen to become their own designers. Quilts have come off the bed and onto the wall as works of art, not just functional decor. A proper quilt can have non-straight edges, non-right-angled corners, non-flat topography and raggedy edges.
So much has changed, but there's still room in contemporary quilting to depict the wonder of children contemplating the moon and stars. My riff on Marie Webster's "Bedtime" changes all the techniques but keeps the images.