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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Breakfast with Pokey

I have to laugh. Saturdays, I try to get up early (and usually do ) do a little work around the house then sit down for breakfast. My husband is usually twittering around and is either getting ready to go to the gym or is returning. He takes one look at me and says "Oh, Breakfast with Pokey." Sometimes he just says "Aren't you having breakfast with Pokey? if I have gotten sidetracked and it's 8:32 am.

You see, Quilting Arts TV comes on every Saturday morning on one of my local PBS stations. It's Pokey Bolton's brainchild and is a companion to Quilting Arts Magazine. It has a lot of good information with great tips from professional art quilters. It's eye candy. Sometimes she highlights new products (often these are paid spots, which is OK...although some --not often--are more directly in line with traditional quilters or home dec sorts of things--SOMEONE has to pay for the show), but usually it is a technique or introduction to the work of an art quilter...and usually all of the above.

Videos of past seasons are available for sale and some of the segments have their own workshop DVDs. In addition, other bits are put on as free downloads or e-zines on Quilting Arts Website.
So, when the list server had someone bring a blog up which was critical of art quilters and Leah Day in particular I was a bit incensed. The blog entry was written by a Nina Paley and in it she criticizes quilters in general and art quilters in particular as to not sharing their information.

She was "interested" in art quilts, but wasn't a quilter. Supposedly, she searched on the internet and couldn't find much. Well, dang. I Googled "art quilt" and came up with 76 entries and I know if I had used Dog-pile or one of the other search engines, I would come up with even more. This doesn't even touch all the independent blogs and how-tos on You-tube which which are free and show how to do things because the topic may be buried. No mind you, that was just art quilt, not "quilt art" which picks up even more.

In addition, most libraries are filled with books on quilting in general, many touching on art quilts, some solely devoted to technique or gallery (such as Visions, or Quilt National catalogs, or Art Quilt Masterpieces which don't show technique, just quilts). The Quiltart list serve is filled with information and helpful people who share technique, advise and critique (which is not a dirty word but a way to improve our skills and design). The Studio Art Quilt Associates website has plenty of information for non-members and if you want to join, there's even more.
Oops. More on this later. It's 8:35 am...time for breakfast with Pokey. (Slightly crisped whole wheat waffle made two weeks ago then frozen...I toasted it too long on one side.)


LaughingLG said...

I'm self taught, but much of that teaching happened from searching the internet, reading books, etc. So really, I've been taught by the many generous art quilters out there. Stingy with info? I don't think so.

Vivien Zepf said...

Wish I could have breakfast with Pokey but she doesn't visit our neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

Did you actually read the blog entry Nina wrote? She's PRAISING Leah Day for the accessibility she provides to people looking to learn about art quilts and art quilt techniques. And although she criticizes the "cagey" way in which OTHER artists' techniques are not widely distributed over the web, she's doing so in order to compel them to share their knowledge! This is a good thing! As an art quilter myself, I happen to agree that techniques are not so easy to find on the internet--sure, there are plenty of images of art quilts, but images themselves so skew the textural quality of quilting that it's not easy to learn much about process from them. I say kudos to Nina Paley for inviting art quilters to share more and more often!

Michigoose said...

I actually DID read the blog entry, and I still hold that 1. there are plenty of techniques which are openly discussed and given on the web for art quilting and to say otherwise is a straw man. For example: Laura Wasillowski shares techniques on her blog.

As does Lynn Krawczyk:

As does Quilting Arts (free emagzines, daily tips etc.)

While these are merely three, Youtube and blogs I read are FILLED with tips on how to, and Jane Dunnewald and Elizabeth Barton offer wonderful blogs on design. Technique is only a portion of art is a major part.

2. If this is praise, then it certainly isn't clear. It sounds like Nina Paley is taking her to task.

And...considering cagey, why not sign your name?

Anonymous said...

Well, thank you for the links! They are instructive. Sorry, I didn't sign my name because I don't have a blog or other url. Didn't mean to be cagey! And I also didn't mean to be rude, but I really didn't find anything incensing about Nina's article, even if her perception of the availability of art quilting information was misplaced!

Jeff H.

Michigoose said...

Ok, Jeff, I stand corrected...she was praising Leah, and I'm afraid that how she started it out irritated me so much that I took it another way. I thought she was faulting her...I wasn't sure if she was being tongue in cheek or not. I have written another blog post about this.