Textile Curator Selector – The Brilliant and Sometimes Quirky Diversity of Quilting

The beauty of textiles is the huge variation you see within the umbrella of all its different genres. Over the next few months I’ll be sharing some of my favourite artists from different mediums. First up is quilting. 

After embroidery, and indeed cross stitch, quilting diversity is often the entry point into textiles for many. Combining colour, pattern, technique and ideas creates an infinite amount of options with a tactile result that can be thrown over a bed or sofa or hung on the wall. Here are four of my current favourite quilters.

Quilting diversityLuke Haynes, Japanese Series

Luke Haynes’ quilts are constantly evolving but it’s his juxtaposition of more traditional style pattern with contemporary portraits that makes his work stand out from the crowd. He manages to capture the vulnerability within his subjects while offering a snapshot of the sensibilities and fashions of today.

Luke Haynes, Amy Winehouse

Sara Impey is one of the reasons I started Textile Curator. Seeing one of her quilts in the Shipley Gallery in Gateshead with her combination of subtle colours and neat poetic text left me wondering why more people don’t know about and appreciate textiles.

Sara Impey, Fighting Talk

Each of Sara’s quilts tend to depict one theme and portray it in a clever, yet quiet way so the more time you spend with the quilts, the more they reveal.

Sara Impey, Project Fear: Black Hole

Heavy metal and street inspired quilter Ben Venom must be one of the hardest working artists around. He creates a huge amount of quilts that have dramatically shaken textiles out of people’s traditional old fashioned preconceptions.

Ben Venom, War Machine

When I interviewed him he described his work as a collision, combining disparate elements of culture.  Be sure to check out Jamie’s recent interview with Ben Venom here.

See Also

Ben Venom, Double Tiger

For anyone who either quilts or has attempted quilting, the complexity and stunning use of pattern and colour of Tara Faughuan is breathtaking.

Whether they are more simple patterns such as Untitled (above) or more complex designs like Railroad Crossing (below), her impeccable attention to detail shows what can be achieved by variations on pattern. 

Helen Adams founded www.textilecurator.com to help wake up the world to contemporary textile art. She posts every Monday for an inspirational start to your week. She is also a freelance stylist and journalist and is currently living in Malaysia. 

View Comments (2)
  • The gender balance here annoys me. We live in a male-dominated world. Crafts, including quilting, are heavily female oriented. It’s great that men are getting into crafts and something i welcome as i don’t think there should be a divide on hobbies. However, there is a divide and crafts are seen as women’s work. Whenever a male crafter comes along, everyone rushes to worship at their feet. I don’t see that happening in traditional male dominated areas. I would guess the split of quilters is more like 95% women and 5% men, so I’m a bit pissed off you chose to go with a 50/50 split here. This is the sewlebrity version of “well done husband, you babysat your own children, let’s give you recognition”…

    • Thanks for your comment Wendy. As a guy who likes craft I know that the gender bias can work in favour of the novelty, and I know that female builders (for example) can benefit from similar biases, however I don’t think that Helen would have been making a particular statement about gender here, merely choosing four quilters with different approaches. If you consider all the posts here on Mr X Stitch (over 2500) that we’ve had over ten years, I think the gender proportions would reflect the figures you mention.
      We try to be non-gender specific about the content on here, focusing on craft creativity first and foremost, so I would imagine things will balance out over time.

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