Sunday, October 09, 2005

how old are you now?

When is a piece finished? During the current Quilt National exhibit, the best-of-show winner was removed from the show and the award given to another piece. This was because the winning quilt had apparently been made prior to the 'must be made AFTER..." date. The artist countered that while the quilt appeared to have been finished before that date, it was not actually finished because she added some new touches to the piece after the date. Hmmm... When do you consider a piece finished? If you add a few stitches and beads or thingies 2 years after you first complete a piece, does that make the quilt finished as of that date? If, a year later, you make major changes to a piece that substanatially change what it says, does that it finished as of THAT date? Food for thought - and for discussion. Is the quilt above a new quilt or an old quilt?

I believe that despite the fact that I made the first version (below and badly photographed) about 6 years ago and never exhibited it anywhere because I hated the shiny background; despite the fact that I totally took it apart, removed the quilting (and lost those wavy blue lines along the way) and despite the fact that I replaced the background with a newly batik'd piece of fabric in Sept '05- it remains a six-year old quilt.

What do you think?


Valeri said...

No, it is a new quilt because you are looking at it with new eyes and the result of your working on it reflects that! We constantly move on though we don't always realise it!

mary m. said...


It looks like a NEW quilt to me. totally different, due to the new background. My friend Marlene and I will be taking your Jump Starting class on Oct. 18th at the Quilt Connection. I can't wait!

Deb R said...

I think if a person just adds or removes a few stitches or a handful of beads and says that makes an older quilt "newly finished", they're just being specious.

But I think if you actually deconstruct a quilt and use some of the components to make something different, then that's a new quilt.

By that, (admittedly only my own personal definition!), I would consider your piece posted as new...albeit only just. It's as much different from the first version of itself as some series quilts are from each other, IMO.

Liz said...

I agree with the others... wow... what a difference the new background makes. It changes the way the foreground looks completely.

Lisa, Procrastinator Extraordinaire said...

It has to be a rather drastic change to be a new quilt in my book. Yours would definitely qualify as new. I run into the same thing with wearable art. Some people add a hat or purse and call the ensemble new. Doesn't seem right to me.

Debra Spincic said...

If an artist is really working diligently at her craft, a quilt made 5 years ago will have a different look than a quilt made today. The style will have evolved naturally forward (I would hope). Adding a few beads or baubles doesn't really change the essence of the quilt, which was conceived 5 years ago.

If, in your case, the piece has never been shown, I think you would have to let your conscience dictate whether your piece was old or new (in the context of the rules) and new enough to be shown honestly.

Do you know how QN found out the piece was an older work?

Frances said...

hmmm....I think the key is in the words, if the rules say a quilt 'must be made after' then to me that indicates 'started after the said date' but if the rules say finished within 'given dates' or finished after 'a certain date' then there is no rule for the start date,
in the first if the first version of the quilt was started before the 'made after date' then it does not fit the rules,
with the other two if the quilt was finished after the 'date/dates' given then it's ok,
just my thoughts,

Debra Spincic said...

Following your response, I looked on Quilt National's website. They have posted a statement there about the winner. I then did a google search for her work. If it is the same person (and I think it would be), she is all over the web.

I didn't find anything specifically for the dates but all of her work looks very similiar.

I also found it interesting that she was in a show with Michael James, who I thought "used" to have a distinct syle. I practically missed his piece from his "new" style. It seems rather run of the mill now, although I have not tried to do what he is doing yet! It may be harder than I think.

Anyway, interesting discussion. Does Quilt National have to become the Quilt Show police?

gabrielle said...

My standard rule is to use the date the quilt is first shown regardless of when I completed it. Quilt National is trying to force quilts made only for that show or keep out quilts that have made the circuit....both seem ridiculous to me...if it is a good piece what does it matter if it has been seen before...but then I don't make the rules and they didn't ask my opinion...sigh!

Rayna said...

Ditto on that one, Gabrielle. I can understand wanting work to be fresh, but for heaven's sake - if a work is really outstanding as a piece of art, it is outstanding. Even if it is 3 years old.

shall we have our own juried show and make our own rules????

gabrielle said...

Rayna if you can find a venue, I'll type the prospectus...and we can make our own rules, for sure. Ready, willing and able, I await your next move.

Rayna said... could be a juried exhibit with no rules.

Carol Logan Newbill said...

How did QN find out it was an "old" piece?

There is a short article in the current Fiberarts that says that the original winner actually brought a book to show Hilary Fletcher, in which the un-reworked quilt was dated as 2001. She had made some apparently very minor changes (on the order of adding a few beads) and called it newly completed.

PaMdora said...

Hi Rayna,
The top quilt looks like a totally new quilt to me and better indeed than the older one. Good job at finding new ways to work a theme.

As far as QN, Hilary told me that not only did the winner bring a 2001 publication to the QN opening that had published the quilt, but she had blacked out the date under the photo. Seems like Hilary would have to do something, I would have.

Marlene said...


Looking forward to your workshop next week with my friend Mary M.

Old quilt, New quilt, hopefully it won't come to "SEll BY DATE" or "BORN ON DATE", when is quilt born anyway?

Rayna said...

Well, Marlene, you and Mary and I can talk about it next week. Bring plenty of random fabric and other random things - and don't forget the steam-a-seam.

I've moved my blog

Follow me over to  , subscribe to get the updated posts, and please leave me a comment (a...