Another quilt from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild community that was rejected from QuiltCon West 2016 was Red, by Teresa Coates (quilting by Jolene Knight):
According to Bill Volckening:
“Red is love, war, passion, and blood. This quilt explores the color red with elements of Pop Art, Matisse, Rorschach, red and white quilts and Traditional Hawaiian quiltmaking. It is made with hand needleturn appliqué, computer guided and free-motion machine quilting, and a few randomly placed rows of big-stitch hand quilting.”
And why am I quoting Bill Volckening? Because he is the producer on this one. Bill is a respected collector, appraiser, historian, and all around champion of quilting. He conceptualized this quilt, a rather clever mash-up of artistically notable inspirations, then commissioned Teresa Coates to bring it to life, and hired Jolene Knight to complete his vision.
Why is this important? Because the makers are named, acknowledged, and compensated. While the fine art world seldom names the studio slaves who create the master’s work, over the history of quilting we have fought hard to be recognized by our own names. When we create something, we are no longer anonymous, or only known by our husbands’ names (like the all too common “Mrs. George Jones” of early 1900s quilts).
We are experiencing a boom in quilting, the kind of boom that requires us to delegate some of the work. In my case, I’m just not interested in growing my machine quilting skills to the level of the deeply talented artists I hire to help me. By acknowledging our helpers we maintain one of the best things that quilting produces (and has always produced) which is community.
The fine art world has always done its business with a lot less soul, and these days, I can see some of that creeping into the places where fine art and the quilting world intersect. I hope that, instead of fine art assimilating quilting into its model, quilting instead pushes back and resists, holding onto what makes it great, and changes fine art in the process. This quilt is certainly a fantastic example of that idea in action.
Here’s a great shot of Red, and yesterday’s #lovewinsquilt and Green Cross Quilt hanging at Modern Domestic in their “QuiltCon Rejects” selection this month:
If these are the rejects, I hope to see some very important and great work at QuiltCon.
I’m curious to know, whose name the quilt was entered into the show as?
The quilt is called “Red” by Teresa Coates (quilting by Jolene Knight)
I would have to assume it was entered into the show that way, as it’s the only way I’ve seen it listed.
I think the entry asked for the designer it if was someone other than the maker, and I was listed as that, but didn’t really need to be.
They always ask that, in case it was created from a commercial pattern. I hope that isn’t why it was rejected. It’s really very striking.
the craftsmanship is stellar too!
Thank you, Sam! The funny thing is I did not ask for acknowledgement or expect it. The quilt was a commission, and the idea came from brainstorming with Teresa about what Modern quiltmaking was missing: elegant, curvilinear design is one of those things.
At first I thought it would be raw-edge fusible applique with a machine zig zag stitch finishing the edges of the appliqué, but Teresa had a better idea– hand needleturn appliqué. The quality is excellent. Fusible raw-edge can look very unfinished, and increasingly so as the piece ages.
Jolene and I brainstormed on the quilting. We wanted something organic, like the rippling lines of Hawaiian echo quilting. Teresa and Jolene both did a phenomenal job. The applique was all done by hand, and quilting with mostly hand guided machine work. Teresa added some big stitch hand quilting in a few rows for a little extra visual interest up close, and to emphasize the handwork in the piece.
The title and statement were also important because the quilt was not meant to present an obvious agenda or a knee-jerk response to current events. Viewers can bring their own ideas to it based on their experience. It hits more than just one note.
I like quilts that do not have an obvious agenda.
I have been reading about MQG / QUILT CON on various blogs …. They have stated they have 400 quilt hanging spots but had over 1800 quilts submitted. They said they had to make some really tough decisions and tried to provide variety in their selection. As the MQG shows grow and expand I think you will find that if they keep to the limited number of quilts hung there will be more disappointed entries and the criteria for getting your quilt accepted will be more stringent.
This is what happen in Houston, and Puducha and all the AQS shows … that is why they developed more shows and now have Regional shows
All competitive fields in quilting are tough, and we may never understand why one quilt is chosen and another isn’t without being in the room while the choices are made. Regardless of such competition, I advocate for the importance of this quilt because the of the acknowledgement of its makers. The fact that it was rejected from QuiltCon isn’t the story (although it might be if there are others like it with inferior craftsmanship at the show!)
I am sorry but I have looked at the pictures / details of FMQing and do not see anything special …. it is nice but not really outstanding above and beyond. It is hard to tell from pictures in person is better.
What I have noticed with MODERN QUILTING is that in the last couple of years the FMQing has been elevated in quality, style and introduction of innovative motifs. The spiral in the red area and echoing is may be done well but it is not innovative. I have looked at past Quilt Con winners and each year the level of techniques and specifically FMQing has improved in style, interest and techniques. I think that is what MQG is looking for …. elevating their quilts to the next level in skills and techniques. I think they are trying to elevate MQG project to the level of winners in HUSTON and Puducha but within the criteria of MODERN QUILTING.
I am sorry this might hurt someone’s feeling that is what I see when I see the quilt.
And again… you are writing like its rejection from QuiltCon is the IMPORTANT point I’m trying to make. It isn’t. The point is that the hands that made it are acknowledged.
I reminds me of Jackie Ghering’s 2013 “Aftermath”, which was made in response to the Boston Marathon bombing. It makes me wonder if the rejection was based on the fact that they may have felt like they had seen something similar. No, I’m not judging “Red” or it’s beauty, concept or execution.