The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Quilts: Art or Craft?

The conflict about what is art and what is craft is part of an ongoing struggle to define, differentiate and understand. Is quilting then an art form or a craft?

Quilting techniques date as far back as the first century, according to Grove's Dictionary of Art. These techniques are most often applied to practical items such as clothing and household furnishings. Many people categorize quilting as a craft because it is useful.

Those who are sentimental about quilts might not like some of today's designs. Transfer-printed photographs, hand-dyed fabrics, origami techniques and modern color combinations challenge the eye. Members of Uncommon Threads, an area art quilt group, have created works with a message and works that are better discribed as fabric paintings.

The answer to the debate? Visit the National Quilt Museum or the Quilt Visions Gallery online and judge for yourself. Visit the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild Show running from September 23-25 at the Springfield Expo Center for a closer view of how today's quilts are made. Below are listed just a few Library materials and Web sites on the subject of quilts and quilting.


The Art of Quilting

Quilt City USA


The Art of Landscape Quilting

Contemporary Quilting

Fabric Art Gallery

The Quilts of Gee's Bend

Web sites

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

 The Quilt Museum and Gallery, UK 

 The Victoria & Albert Museum

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