I’d Like to Teach the World the Quilt in Perfect Harmony
Bert Garino, Florida
Before I get to the wonderful quilt above, made by a friend of mine, I’ve had some interesting responses on my posts about Road. I hope I made it clear I was not denigrating any of the quilters who made the snazzle-dazzle quilts. They’ve spent hours and hours on their creations and while I may moan about the proliferation of these types of quilts at this particular show, my observations should in no way imply that their quilts are deficient in any way.
Bert notes that: “Bling” was the keyword for winners at Houston this year too. I find it interesting that so many of the prizewinning quilts show up at so many different shows. It seems to be a business for the winners, and the rest of us lifelong quilters just go to see what they have come up with each year. I’ve been a “quilt angel” in Houston the last few years, and so I got to hear a lot of comments from quilt viewers. It seems that a lot of the quilts are more intimidating than inspirational to a lot of quilters.
Rachel says: I think your observations have really been spot on. Perhaps the reason we are more inspired by the vendors is because they are making/selling the kinds of quilts we want to make. I’ve noticed the trend toward show quilts.
Kris made the comment that: I agree that show quilting has gone to a whole different level, but I think that it is worth mentioning that the “bling” quilts you are showing were designed for the art or non-traditional innovative quilting categories. They were specifically not made as traditional quilts and as such really can’t be compared to them.
Now back to this quilt.
Bert Garino, who served as President of the Mt. Vernon chapter of the Quilters Unlimited Guild in Virigina (a HUGE guild of 11 chapters) shortly after I left DC, made this quilt for the guild’s quilt show in February 2009, where the challenge was “All the World’s a Stage.” She says that she “loved this little quilt so much, I thought more folks should see the message written on it,” and she enetered it into Houston where it was juried it as “Art – Whimisical.”
“The letters written across the earth were done with a permanent pen, and then I quilted around each of the letters. The legs, arms and quilts were done with fabric pens. Each of the little quilts was then quilted individually before being appliqued to their little person in the larger quilt. On the sun I trapunto-ed the Chinese symbols for harmony and the doves flying in the sky are carrying various thread bits. The quilt was made to bring a smile to people’s faces and to share in the joy of each quilt maker’s journey.”
Bert writes “It just smiled on the wall hanging amidst all these ‘thousands of work hour’ quilts, wondering how it got there. I think we all need to just enjoy the art and hard work of all the quilters, and know that we all have our favorites that we would like to emulate. For me, the favorite quilts that I’ve made have been given to soldiers returning from Iraq, families in shelters or given to new babies, family and loved ones.”
Thanks, Bert. Sometimes we get all wrapped up in the business of quilting, that we forget its origins as a necessity, as well as a way for early quilters to express some of their creativity. I love that Bert sent me these pictures and the last one with her radiant smile helps me to remember why I quilt.