In some Latin American countries, the Quinceañera is a coming of age ritual celebrated when a young lady reaches the age of 15. Similar to a "Sweet Sixteen" in many communities or a Bat Mitzvah in the Jewish religion, this rite of passage marks the time when a young lady puts away her childhood toys and becomes a young woman.
In the summer of 1995, Quiltart was started with a handful of followers as an internet listserv for art quilters. At that time there were almost no places online where art quilters could communicate with each other. Quiltart was started to give these artists a place to discuss their craft without moderation. Since that time, our numbers have grown to almost 3500. We have seen people come and go and return. Our subscribers have included beginning quilters and some of the most revered names in the quilting world. We have shown our work at a 10th Anniversary Exhibit in Houston at the International Quilt Festival and individually at almost every major quilt show in this country and abroad. Our quilts have been published in countless books and magazine articles, many of which have been written by Quiltart subscribers. We have shared ideas, techniques and thoughts, while honing our craft and producing some of the most outstanding quilts that have ever been made. As an added bonus, we have made friendships that will last a lifetime.
When Quiltart started, the contemporary art quilt was still on the fringes of being accepted at many shows around the country. As Quiltart celebrates our own Quinceañera, we recognize that we have matured together over these past 15 years and are no longer considered the newcomer in the world of quilting, but an established and vital part of it. For this fact, we celebrate! We've come a long way together and hope to be at it for many years to come.
A challenge was made to Quiltart subscribers to celebrate our Quinceañera. The only guidelines were that the quilt had to 15" square and had to incorporate some technique that had been learned since joining Quiltart. The resulting 80 quilts are a wonderful representation of how far we have come since 1995.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us all these years --our subscribers and our sponsors. I hope we're around for another 15 with results just as amazing! Judy Smith