Read what people are saying about ...

Woman's Work: Making Quilts - Creating Art

Sidney Jostes, Chicago, IL

I cannot possibly tell you how much your video has meant to me. I've watched it 4 times. Each time I get something new out of it. It's wonderful to see a group of artists so dedicated to producing fiber art. As a result, I'm taking over an unused portion of the dining room for a work area, went out and bought flannel for a movable design wall and finally quit a job I've hated since the first week I joined the company.
I bought the DVD version of your film at my PAQA meeting from Caryl Bryer Fallert. PAQA is an acronym for the Professional Art Quilters Alliance; an art quilt group that meets each month in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Every month we share work, laughter, inspiration, supplies, plans for upcoming group exhibits and other information helpful to us as serious or want to be serious quilt artists. Our PAQA Post exhibit was at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (2002 I think) and one of our Small Works exhibits was at International Quilt Festival in Houston in the fall of 2003 and will be at IQF in Chicago at the end of March, 2004. I never publically exhibited any of my work before joining PAQA. My group, like yours, has meant the world to me.
For 9 months, I was the curator at the Bloomingdale Park District Museum. The first exhibit I hung was a section of Quilt National 2001. Marcia Stein's "All Dressed Up With No Place to Go" was one of our favorite pieces. We hung it in a place of honor. It was the first quilt you saw as you walked into the gallery. In the 2nd gallery we had an exhibit of  work by Caryl Bryer Fallert, Pat Kroth and Jane Sassaman. How small the quilt world is sometimes. All these connections.
I love your video because it highlights how different each artist is both in their approach to fiber art and in the end results. That is also true of PAQA. Our uniqueness is encouraged. I truly hope you will do other videos of other groups of fiber artists. I haven't felt so moved since I bought the book Oxymorons, Absurdly Logical Quilts from Laura Wasilowski. It also focused on the process each artist goes through in creating their work.
Please know that your film has touched others in the Midwest and will continue to reach out to other artists wherever it is made available. I lent it to my best friend; a Chicago mixed media artist. She loved it. Thank you so much for a beautiful and unique piece of work.

David Walker, Cincinnati, OH

Women's Work was wonderful; a very professional and powerful presentation, and not just for quilt enthusiasts, but for anyone interested in learning more about the creative experience. Your talent shines through. I do not have a DVD television, but it looked and sounded great on my computer. If I had to make one observation on the negative side, it would be that quality
of the slide show images was not as good as the video portion, but I am well aware at how hard this can be to achieve. I have just published a brand new website for myself. I want the best images possible at the smallest size possible so that visitors aren't waiting too long for them to download. However, other than that one exception, I loved the video. I was stirred by the passion of the women who took part; I loved seeing their work and visiting their creative spaces.

Connie Peretz Herr, Queens, New York

Charlotte Grossman provides an up close and personal look at the art of quilting as an art form equal to any other and manages to remove it from the oddly lesser category of craft. In fact, the distinction between art and craft is made to seem quite irrelevant. This glimpse into the lives, works, and creative process of these ten women quilt artists contains a seriousness of purpose and genuineness that is consistently fascinating. In the documentary the artists are captured through interviews and direct observation and the process and excitement of making art is compellingly revealed. "Woman's Work: Making Quilts ~ Creating Art" is an original and important work. Not to be missed by anyone interested in people, process and art.

Carolyn J. Hill from Rodeo, CA

Of the twenty million Americans who quilt, six hundred thousand make art quilts--quilts meant to hang on the wall instead of to cover a bed. In the documentary "Woman's Work: Making Quilts-Creating Art," award-winning filmmaker Charlotte Grossman explores the process and effect of creating art quilts, focusing on ten Northern California women who speak of the personal nature of their art: how it intersects, enriches, complicates, and extends their lives as mothers, scientists, architects, musicians, filmmakers, paralegals, careerwomen, and academy-trained artists. Some work full-time at their art; others tuck it into the spaces between jobs and family. All are conscious of their connections to and differences from previous generations of traditional quilters, women who had to "Make it new, make it over, make it do, or do without."

Like a quilt itself, the documentary is multilayered. There are poignant moments in the film, as when one participant reveals that after her mother's death she began quilting because she had heard other women talk about embracing creativity after loss, and she thought, "Oh my god, I'm not even grieving my mother properly!" There's humor, as when another participant waxes poetic over her industrial iron. Above all, there's thoughtful, articulate, down-to-earth reflection on a wide range of variously intriguing and inspiring topics. As the women critique each others' quilts, work alone on their art, or speak directly to the camera, they reflect on the tools they use, where their ideas come from, how lifestyle affects their art, how they sell (or don't sell) their quilts, how they deal with failure and creative blocks, how making art is vital to their sense of self, what it means to them that quilting is viewed as women's work, and how they find great joy and pleasure in the creative process of making a quilt. For many of these women, it is the process, not the final product, that is fulfilling--even therapeutic. Because the process matters most to them, they discuss but ultimately set aside theoretical issues such as the exact definition of the word "quilt", whether quilting is an art or a craft, and whether perfect, tiny stitches matter more than the work's overall impact.

As I watched the film, I was struck by the variety of life experiences, working conditions, and chosen methods these women bring to their art. Some of their work spaces are tiny 7x10-foot rooms, some are large well-lit studios, some are cold and drafty warehouses. Some women work with commercial fabrics, some work with textiles that they've hand-dyed or painted or printed, some add paper or other objects to their quilts. Some plan their quilts meticulously, while others let intuition guide them as they work. But despite this variety, each of these women feels the attraction to fabric that any quilter and many other women know so well: the tactile, personal, sensuous nature of its color, texture, and form.

Quiltmakers, friends and family of quilters, creative women, and artists in general will be intrigued and enlightened by "Woman's Work: Making Quilts-Creating Art."

Tatjana Loh
I was sooooo moved and inspired by your video and the artists. To hear ALL of those different voices and points of view. To hear (again) that there's no RIGHT way to make art, just "make". To hear from women.
I'm a photographer and have my work place in the corner of our dining room and have become interested in quilts and using photography, etc. etc.
My husband also watched your video and looked at me and said that by hearing these women talk it affirmed for him how special my work was. He said that though he couldn't clearly articulate why he felt so moved, that it had something to do with seeing me and my process/work more clearly after seeing these women talk about their work.
Your quiet yet powerful video-making revealed the creative force and energy of the artists and inspired this viewer to continue on her quest and inspired her husband to say something that I will forever hold precious.)
Thank you.
 Susie Ernst, Owner of The Quilted Angel, Petaluma, Ca. 

"I was moved to inspiration by this film and believe firmly that all quilters should see these wonderful stories of women who create beauty.  For these reasons and more, I am carrying Charlotte's wonderful film in my store."
Copyright 2011, CGPP