What I’d really like to do…

So, here is the new plan: I really want to start doing more workshops and talks for guilds and shops (assuming anyone would have me). But that is just a start. One of the things I would really love to start doing is museum tours for quilters…


One of the favorite things to do back when I was teaching design was to do a walking design tour of the local mall in Des Moines, to really pick apart design in practice, to get behind what stores were doing and saying with their messaging. Sometimes I think more got covered and uncovered in those few hours than the rest of the semester.

If I were to come and visit a guild or a shop in a city that has a modern/contemporary art museum I could then add on a guided tour aimed towards quilters, one that would look at Modern Art with an eye out for what modern quilting can take away from it. I would love to spend a few hours with quilters getting into the ideas and context behind modern art, to really dig deep into whatever pieces are in that museum, to consider how we look at and think about modern art. Kinda like doing a shop hop, but without so much hopping and adding in some really amazing art.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

Yay art and stuff!!!


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11 Responses to What I’d really like to do…

  1. 1
    Dan says:

    I love this idea.

    • 1.1
      thomas says:

      Thanks Dan. I do love talking about the intersections of Modern Art and Modern Quilting. I think it would really let a group talk about and get behind what inspires them…

  2. 2
    Jeannine Henck says:

    Hi Thomas,
    I met you at UPS. Thanks for sharing your info. Congratulations on your terrific fabrics! I was delightfully surprised! I love your pear tree collection. It’s something dear to me. I have a thing for trees and draw them frequently. Looking forward to seeing your next project.

  3. 3
    Peggy says:

    I would love to see just one example of this in your blog or on Facebook. I feel like you have a stellar idea, but to sell it you will need to give a bit away. I know there are many self named “Modern Quilters” out there, but as a quilter who began quilting in 1976 I find many of the “Modern Quilts” are really nothing new. Large blocks, bright colors, lots of background with a few stripes, rectangles, squares and/or circles. Is there a true definition of “Modern Quilting”?

    It would be interesting to look at several pieces of art and discuss how they could be used when making quilts. The thing that I would have a problem with personally is to not get too many ideas to absorb and make something that is not like the art, but uniquely mine.

    I taught a color class at a quilting retreat that included a walk through the grounds surrounding the retreat center. It was amazing how many of the students never looked at nature for inspiration. The same is most likely true with museums. I know many quilters share pictures of buildings, tile and carvings for future quilts ideas. So your museum tour idea could be a winning idea.

    You might try proposing a class to each major show just to get your foot in the door.

  4. 4
    Lynn says:

    I LOVE this idea. This is just the sort of class I want to take.

  5. 5

    Hello Thomas,
    This is a terrific idea! Your talks/lectures bring a wonderful passion and rigor to quilting today. I think the modern quilt movement,in all of its variations and pockets of community, would be interested and benefit from a deeper look at the cross overs of the modern art movement and modern quilting. It would also be a terrific component to city and museum guides.

    • 5.1
      thomas says:

      Thank you so much Nancy. I would really love to organize doing this all over the place, but I am just terrible at organizing things/events. One of these days I’ll find a way to set aside a couple of weeks to try to put a little tour together, but between fabric, books, magazines, and new babies, oi… Someday.

      I would really love, love, love to kick things off at the Des Moines Art Center, perhaps in conjunction with APQ… Time to start keeping notes for when I find the time to try to organize yet another thing. Oh, but that second book is calling to me already. Aaargh!!! I need a thrid arm!!! (http://stelarc.org/?catID=20265)

  6. 6
    Tracy says:

    What a great idea! I would totally go to that talk.

  7. 7
    Kristin L says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea with lots of potential. Even more than the Modern Quilt movement, I’d like to something like this for the Art Quilters out in the world. Despite Art in the name, there are many practitioners who would benefit from a greater understanding of color, composition, and depth of concept. Sign me up!

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