Wednesday, May 25, 2016

FNF 4 -- a prizewinner

One of the prizewinning quilts at Form, Not Function was this beautiful piece, printed from a digitally altered photo onto silk and then cut and collaged together.  It is one of only two pieces in the show using digitally printed imagery, a surprise because printing onto fabric is so commonplace these days in art/quilt circles.

Charlotte Ziebarth, Wave Equations

It definitely deserved a prize, but I'm puzzled at the prize it won: the Award for Creative Use of Stitching.

If you're intrigued by this quilt,  visit Charlotte's blog (here) to read about how she made it.  (And to see it with better color saturation.)  After fusing the wavy diagonal strips to the base fabric, she mainly machine quilted along the lines of the printed image.

The stitching is lovely and well done, but is it creative?  Or more to the point, is this a creative use of stitching?  I thought quilters had been using stitching to accentuate design lines in a patterned fabric for centuries.

Maybe I'm missing something.  Or perhaps it's just that creative stitching was in short supply at FNF; very little hand-stitching, and the machine work was technically superb but not revolutionary.  So what's a judge to do with an award for "creative use of stitching" except punt.


  1. I tend to agree with you. For me the stitching would be creative if it was outside the boundaries of the printed fabric. As it is, it looks to follow the printing on the fabric. I'm not sure how that is creative but perhaps I too, am missing something.

  2. I thought the same thing, Kathy. It is a beautiful piece, but I would have expected the "creative use of stitching" to go to something with more expressive use of stitch.

  3. Interesting quilt, interesting development from the original photo, good color balance and movement, but yeah, I'm not getting the 'creative' element of the stitching. In this case, it almost seems like you WOULDN'T want to go crazy with the stitching because of the pattern and movement in the piecing/design. You'd want to minimize the stitching to avoid being busy, which to me is what was done. But hey, who am I to say? I didn't get into the art history grad program. I got an MBA. LOL

  4. I've seen a lot of digital printing on fashion fabric recently, and I'd love a couple of panels printed with her original photo. :)

  5. I love this quilt. of course I love water. Are you going to be in Indy for the Marie Webster opening?

  6. I think there is a problem in the quilt world when awards are given for nominated techniques, eg creative use of stitching, best applique...... if this is strictly adhered to we could have quilts that lack design impact winning: as the award specifies a technique and thus does not reference anything further.

    1. Decades ago before art quilts began showing up in traditional quilt shows, several articles were published in the major quilt magazines of the time with the intent to educate the public on the judging process whose outcome so often puzzled. One thing covered was these specific awards like best quilting or use of color. According to the authors these awards were chosen last from the quilts that had made the cut on every other level. In other words, it wouldn't matter how perfect and well-designed the quilting might be if it was done on a poorly constructed top - that quilt would never have made it into the final judging round. Whether these judging standards still hold true or are universally followed I don't know, but I suspect in most cases they are. I also recall reading about arguments among judges about whether or not to give out every award available, some insisting that if no quilt in a category is worthy, the award should not be assigned while fellow judges insisted it must. I lean in favor of the former rather than the latter to keep meaning & value of each award intact. Then again, the winner of any type of competition is merely the best of who is competing on a given day. Change up who is going up against who and the results may be quite different.

    2. Idaho Beauty says
      Change up who is going up against who and the results may be quite different.
      I agree with you but also think the judges/selectors should be changed from year to year as different judges might have made slightly different judgements. I agree if judges do not think an award should be given just for the sake of awarding it
      Irene from a dull day in Northern Ireland