I had some time to kill at the dealership while my car was being serviced, so I looked over the 430 small art quilts on offer at SAQA’s annual auction. The dealership seemed proud of its free wifi service so I put it to use.
The online auction runs from September 16 to October 9, with quilts divided into three sections. Each artist donated quilt is 12 inches square, per the rules. Bidding on each section runs for a week, and the prices go down each day from the starting price of $750. I think any quilts left are offered for sale in the SAQA store. Proceeds go to SAQA programs.
No, I didn’t make an auction quilt. For one, I have trouble working at that size to make anything worthwhile. For two, I don’t think I’d handle the ignominy if no one bought my quilt. Pity purchases by close relatives don’t count.
As I examined the pages of quilts I began to see some patterns in the subject matter. I decided to note the number of quilts with three subjects: birds, flowers/foliage, and trees. By my back of an envelope calculations 23 quilts featured birds, 29 featured trees, and 39 featured flowers or foliage. That came to 91 quilts or 21% of the 430 auction quilts. Birch trees, poppies and crows were especially popular.
I suspect that abstract quilts were also well represented, but I zeroed in on the big three because they are used so often in art quilts. I’ve noticed the same subject choices in my master class. And yes, I’m also guilty of using foliage and trees. I draw the line at birds and flowers, however.
My lesson learned was to think twice before choosing overused subjects, unless I present them in a fresh way.