Quilt artists take traditional craft to another level
Published 4:41 pm Saturday, October 1, 2016
Quilts — they aren’t just for cold wintry evenings anymore.
While there certainly is still a place for the more traditional quilts, crafted with love and pride using generations-old patterns, some fabric artists are pushing the envelope and thinking outside of the box.
Examples of that art form were among the pieces included in last weekend’s “Branching Out with Quilts” show hosted by the Pamlico River Quilters’ Guild in Washington.
“I was inspired by an Amish quilt,” recalled Wendy Bissinger, a guild member and accomplished art quilter. “I looked at what appeared to be a complex pattern and realized it wasn’t.”
Bissinger and her sister Deborah McCullough share a love of creating beauty from fabrics. McCullough taught her sister to sew at age 12, and Bissinger returned the favor later on by teaching McCullough to quilt.
Quilters find their craft therapeutic, a way to escape from the day-to-day doldrums of the world.
“For me, it’s playing and experimenting, and it’s OK to make a mistake,” Bissinger, a trained musician and teacher, said. “I love the visual aspect of quilting; it’s like a symphony for the eyes.”
Art quilts are generally smaller, making them the perfect decorative piece for homeowners who crave handcrafted, often one-of-a-kind works of art. Like bed quilts, art quilts feature a variety of colors and patterns. Embellishments such as beading, ribbons, embroidered accents and even feathers are added.
Guild members still honor the more classic forms of quilting, however.
“Some members like to do both,” Bissinger said. “We don’t want to see the older, classic things die out and be replaced by something new. There is still a place for more traditional quilts.”