Not All Art Quilts Are Flat!

As I write this post,
I looked  down at the calendar I almost missed the fact that this is the first day of March!

Another year sailing by too quickly.

My life since retirement has increasingly been focused on creating work for entry into art quilt exhibitions. The first three months of this year contain more opportunities than I have experienced in the past.

I have already entered over a dozen quilts into local, regional, national and international quilt exhibitions. I still have more exhibitions to enter. I was glad today when I got a rejection. The rejection allowed me to save this piece for entry into another show.

Building an inventory of quality work has been key to getting more quilts accepted to more exhibitions. It has also been key to expanding my subject matter and my techniques.

When I first submitted a portfolio to become Juried Art Member of SAQA in 2015; every quilt was a portrait using a consistent process and was similar in size. Since then I have been adding new materials , techniques and exploring different genres including landscapes.

Umbrella Book

My most unusual quilt this year is an exploration of three dimensional forms using layered and stitched fabric. These sculptural books were inspired by SAQA’s recent exhibitions encouraging artists to submit both two and three dimensional quilts and an exhibition called "3D Expression".

Some of you reading this post will think, quilts have to be hung on the wall: Quilts are flat!  

The definition of an art quilt is a creative work that is layered and stitched. The stitches can be real or implied. So what can an artist make within those parameters? I stumbled onto an idea for a 3D quilt when I entered an exhibition called “Forced to Flee” .


The call for entry asked artists to respond to the issues of people forced to move from their chosen homes. What would that be like for a family leaving on foot, being desperate, possibly scared, with limited resources and no clear roadmap leading to their desired destination?

Since I have never been forced to flee the safety of my home, I thought about what  it was like for me as child to travel. 

My family went a several long road trips. No matter how well planned, family vacations often involved leaving something important at home, impatience, hunger and getting lost.  Everyday of the trip Dad would carefully fold a map that we used to  guide us on our journey.This memory was my inspiration.

I created an accordion folded quilt in  a shape that reminded me of those folded road trip maps. Each section included a Central America country with pictures of a refugee. I was pleased that jurors included this dimensional work into the exhibition. 

Who knows where this new idea of an art quilt will lead?

Until next time......