Thirty-two quilt artists have answered the challenge to make a work that satisfies the strict definition of ''quilt'' despite first appearances. The only restriction imposed was the size (minimum of 12" x 12", maximum of 24" x 24"). These quilts can be seen in a traveling exhibit titled "That's Not A Real Quilt?"
These talented and published artists from four continents are all members of the Internet group NOTRAD-L (nontraditional quilter). The Internet, the postal service of the computer world, allows the group to share knowledge and discuss ideas in a fast and inexpensive way. This computer connection made it possible for the coordinator of the TNARQ? exhibit to live in Israel and still have daily contact with the entire group.
So what IS a real quilt? The most common answer to this question would be "a bed coverlet of two layers of cloth filled with wool, cotton, or down and held in place by stitched designs." Within the NOTRAD group, definitions ranged from "at least three layers held together with stitching" through "two layers held together somehow" to "it's a quilt because I say so!"
Random House College Dictionary, Merrian Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary , and Webster's Dictionary were checked to find out whether these 3 elements (fabric, batting, stitching) are definitely required in order to make a real quilt.
TNARQ? includes work made from material such as window screen, transparent fabrics, plastic, bubbled air and paper as well as the more commonly used cotton and silk. Works are quilted with paper fastners, electric resistors and other unusual materials besides the more traditional thread. Some quilts in this exhibit are 3-dimensional and there is one quilt which never ends.
Maybe you'd like to go and see if you think they are quilts.