I was able 2 weeks ago to attend the Long Beach Quilt Show. It was my first time ever attending anything of the like. I really enjoyed running into a couple of my guild members - and I especially liked seeing the demonstration of new tools - that's always what I like!
I have to say that there wasn't much represented in the way of the modern quilter a la "Modern Quilt Guild" - just a few little snippets. For the most part there seemed to be a huge divide between two well represented groups - the traditional quilters and the art quilters.
(I'll post some fun things I saw, I tried not to take any pics of ones I wasn't supposed to, so if you see any ones that I shouldn't have, please let me know and I will remove them)
Now of course, you know I loved loved loved touring the art quilts. The way that those artists manipulate fabric was mind boggling to me. And I for sure could see how I could fit into their camp with what I love to do on my art/collage side. The traditional quilts didn't do much to inspire me, though there was CERTAINLY talent on the side of the quilters themselves. I just am an artist at heart and only snatched a few pics...
But I also really love the idea of a usable, washable, stainable, lovable quilt that doesn't just hang on the wall. I love the humility of a work of art that you end up sleeping with or using to cover your kids or have a picnic on. There's just something about that to me.
(Look at how tiny these yoyos are!
The owner of it said that his mother made it - It covered his entire 6 foot table, top and sides... it's amazing)
So I left, a little confused for sure - confused about where I belong. But I think that was good. Because I love the idea that there is a place somewhere in the middle for me. I haven't quite exactly found my voice and I don't think I fit particularly into any one box - but I love the dialogue I had with myself (you already knew I was crazy) on my way home in the car.
It's continued for a couple of weeks. And I know that I still have years and years to figure out my style. I loved my art professor in college who told me that my 20s and 30s were just about figuring out my artistic language and that my 40s were when I should expect to really be flying. That gives me 5 more years of experimenting!