Am I a artist, a quilter or a Hobbyist?

Post from my Wix website which I could never really get going. Decided to transfer back to this website. Posted on May 20th 2020.

I will admit I have been avoiding working on this new site as it scares me as it seems more professional than WordPress. With this lockdown, I have no excuse not to learn how to use it! As the numbers in Texas are still rising, I will not be socialising for while yet.
Today I listened to a podcast for quilters which was on the subject of whether you are an artist or a quilter? Podcast is “Quilt and Tell”. In most cases, that would be considered a simple answer as most quilters,I know, follow a pattern to make the quilt top and then pass it on to a person to quilt the top on a specialty quilting machine called a long arm quilting machine which can do free motion stitching or computer created stitching .
However, there are is whole army of people who quilt who I would call artists. They tend to make wall hangings and are just as varied in their subject matter as any other art form. I went to the Modern Quilt convention held in Austin Feb 2020 and was blown away by the amount of art I saw there. It was inspiring and to be honest, quite daunting.

Where to now by Rima Trew.About the Zimbabwe elections in 2018 where 6 people were shot dead by government troops. The 7th dot represents the death of democracy.

Our House is on Fire by the Field Trip Quilters This about climate change and inspired by Greta Thunberg.

No-one is Free by the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.This was in response to the Trump era of locking up and deporting children seeking asylum in the USA. The words are by MLK.

Gateway by Debbie Grifken, Ann Arbor MI.This was inspired by a photograph of some rustic fencing at the Palace of Versailles. I love the fact that with all the gaudy beauty of this enormous palace, the artist was inspired by some old fencing that surrounded the ‘outdoor’ rooms in the garden. A gateway to mystery and intrigue.


I started quilting a brief year ago after going to quilts shows since I first moved to Texas in 2000 and I have a long way to go before I am at that level of professional work. At the moment I am working on a quilt top I made in a class last year. It sort of follows a pattern in that you take 2 x 12″ squares, cut them up , make them into 2 different blocks. Repeat for however many blocks you want to make. Mine is 4 blocks a row x 6 and is called Happy Blocks.

And that is the beauty of quilting, you may be working on the same design concept as the person next to you but it will never be the same as the fabric and size of block choice comes into play. Below is a quilt made in the same way as mine above. Chalk and cheese!

Do I consider it art though, no, its definitely a craft unlike the art quilts I saw at Quiltcon.
Definition of craft: skill in making things especially with the hands. 2 : an occupation or trade requiring skill with the hands or as an artist. So a painter could technically be called a craft person but I suspect most would reject that definition.
I have made a few small wall hanging over the year as I progressed with learning to quilt. This is the reason I got into quilts as I saw it as way of displaying some work I had made a few years back. These I would consider art, not craft, as they are all individual and unique but then each quilt I have made has also been individual and unique to me, so where is the divide? In my mind, basically!
Definition of an artist:

1a: one who professes and practices an imaginative art

b: a person skilled in one of the fine arts

So what am I? An artist or a quilter? Apparently one of the presenters was told if they hadn’t sold anything, then they weren’t an artist. That seems like a pretty narrow definition and would mean that Van Gogh wasn’t an artist. I liked the end of the discussion where one of the guests said they were neither a quilter or artist but a creative!
I would add the word Hobbyist as well. Definition: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation: I might well come into that category as I swing from painting, embroidery, bead embroidery and now quilting, next year I might try my hand at sculpting again! Anything that will convey what I want to express artistically, but it has never been my main occupation. That has been Mother, trailing spouse, Grandmother and wife. However, I strive to be recognised for my work without success as I have regularly posted images of my work on various social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. I have my own domain name and write infrequent blogs on my art work
So I am a CREATIVE!

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