Monday, May 29, 2006

Credit the Quilter?

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.


  1. I agree...on another note, if your "Hired Hand" enters a national quilt show, and because she works for you, do you think she is considered an amature even if she is indirectly paid to quilt?

  2. I am still a fairly new quilter but I have found a huge change between a "top" and the finished piece.
    I have made it a practice to finish all of my pieces because of this huge change.
    When I hire someone to do the quilting, they desire credit for that change.

  3. i agree that if someone quilts your piece and the quilting adds significantly to the piece then the quilter should be credited. When you give the quilter free rein with minimal imput from you (i.e. it is "freehand" free motion, etc.) then the quilter is adding her artistic impression to your piece and should be credited for the work.

    However, if you are picking the thread and the design such as a computer generated design or pattern that the quilter is following, then i don't believe credit is necessary

  4. I have noticed that quilting enhances a quilt ten fold, so to speak. So I believe the quilter deserves credit no matter who decides where the stitching goes.

  5. OK, now I've got to put in my 2-cents...! I'm a firm believer in credit where credit is due. Not only if the quilter adds to the artistry of the quilt through her own artistic perceptions of what the quilt would need, but also if the quilter follows the direction and pattern picked up by the quilter, the quilter can, foreseeably, 'make or break' the quilt with experience, talent, or ability to read the mind of the designer. Therefore, long-windedly (sorry!), I believe the quilter is equally as important as the designer in either scenario and thus should be given credit in her/his field as well as the designer in his/her field.


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