Monday, May 29, 2006
The semi-annual question of whether the quilt artist should necessarily credit the "hired hand" quilter who quilts his/her artwork has arisen again on the QuiltArt list. Being a professional quilter who prides herself on adding value to her customer's quilts, my opinion naturally falls on the side of acknowledging credit where credit is due.
If the quilt-top maker (or fiber artist) specifically instructs the quilter as to where to place each line of stitching, then the quilter is only following directions and is, indeed, simply a "hired hand". If, however, the quilter adds artistry through his or her own imagination, skill, and talent, then there is no question that the quilter has collaborated with the fiber artist in the creation of the work of art ... regardless of whether the quilter was paid or not.
If there is any doubt as to whether the quilting can "make" the quilt, compare these two detail images of a small section of an art quilt ... one with quilting and one without ... and make up your own mind.