Sunday, January 14, 2018

Quilt Show Rejection? Win Your Own Awards!

I love other people's quilts, but can be very hard on my own. I haven't made many quilts that I look back on and think,  "Dang, I like it!"

This one, finished last year, comes close. I call it "Eyeshadow," because the blocks look like eyes wide open, with rainbow mascara, an invention which, now that I think about it, could earn someone much more money than making quilts and submitting them to juried shows.
It's just been rejected by QuiltCon 2018, and I was sad until I perused the hashtag "#QuiltConreject" on Instagram, here.  OMG, I am in great company! People are sharing absolutely fantastic, brilliant works of art. You can't help but conclude that being a QuiltCon reject is as much of an honor as getting in, though the latter is emotionally much simpler. 

(Two more consoling articles about QuiltCon rejections are at the end of this blog post. I submitted four quilts, and one made it in, which I will show in a future post.) 

Let's face it, there is no way of predicting what judges will like. So give it a shot. But meanwhile, maybe the key to appreciating one's own quilts is creating one's own personal awards. I'm giving the quilt above my lifetime award for "Most Block Rotations to Arrive at a Satisfactory Resolution," and potentially even the "It's All Downhill From Here" award. Here are some more categories in which I have pinned invisible ribbons to my sweatshirt:

- Vastest Distance Between Where You Started, and Where You Wound Up - I was determined to make an ethereal, dignified quilt commemorating the August lunar eclipse - but it turned into this piece, remniscent of fruit cocktail:
- Most Psychotherapeutic -Sewing 100 tiny squares together - then sewing tiny toys into each square - was pure psychiatric massage. Which project(s) got you through a hard time?
-Most Unexpected - In which you dared to created something in a genre that was new to you. My passionate hotel room love affair with English Paper piecing  topped this category in 2017. (Since I am the judge and sole contestant, it didn't disqualify me that one could drive a small truck through some of those intersections. I later took it apart and started over.)
Best Stash Reduction - The largest quilt(s) that you didn't buy new fabric for. Expecting to make one quilt from my 30-year stash of Japanese fabrics, I made three, and there's another one pending. (I haven't taken any pictures yet.)

- Most Crazy-Making - There's a quilt on my design wall right now, involving aqua and yellow stars, that 's been sitting there for months, and I still can't figure out the colors or background. (I don't want to show you the pictures.) 

- Project Most Likely to Piss Off _______ [politicians, relatives, etc.]
- The Hue & Cry Award - Does the hue make you cry? Tears of joy or regret - those are separate ribbons.)

- Viewer's Choices - Did someone walk through your sewing area, see a quilt, and ask for it? Both my DD and DH did, and that always makes me abnormally happy. Here's one my daughter claimed:
What's your favorite quilt or other creation of the recent past? That YOU made? Pick some personal winners! I'd love to hear about your awards categories! 

And if a QuiltCon rejection still stings, I understand - I hope you find these articles as soothing as I did: 
- A candid article by Christa Watson, who explains that only 25% of submissions get in.
- An article by Jayne of the Twiggy and Opal blog, which showed off her quilts that made it into the show, and those that didn't - and the results are absolutely flummoxing to me!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Kay, I was thinking of commissioning your DH to make me a bunch more personal award ribbons!

  2. Cathy, thanks so much for helping me to stop beating my ideas up before they are more than a figment of my imagination! I love your eyeshadow quilt....and yes to variegated mascara!

  3. You are welcome, try to refrain from beating yourself up, and we should invent variegated mascara in order to get rich enough to continue entering quilt shows!

  4. I have a Viewer's Choice winner: I made a small pieced wool quilt to donate to my guild's auction, but my husband (who'd never commented on anything I'd made during 40 years of quilting) walked by and said "That's a pretty thing." Too bad, auction, I'm keeping this one! Hue and Cry, too. I offered to make my daughter a quilt, and asked her what colors. Maroon and green, she says. It's still a UFO after 20 years. Never ask them what colors they want! Dot

    1. Dot, that's hilarious! I would have done EXACTLY what you did - kept the quilt that hub liked, and worked the green and maroon into oblivion! You're so right, never ask!!!

  5. At least you entered. Most people are afraid to even do that and I think that's a big step. You got one in so be really proud. I love your awards. I think I would have one for each of those categories.

    1. Thank you, Barbara, for the excellent reminder that just submitting absolutely deserves an award! It took me years to work up the courage.

  6. Cathy, you are as prolific as you are talented. Your creative energy in cloth and words astounds me. And you know where to exhibit "Chaos President," right???!!!

    1. Elly, you just won a ribbon for "Kindest Blog Comment Ever". Thank you. I have been meaning to post Chaos President, thanks for the reminder!

  7. Thanks for a wonderful post. It made me smile and it's a good reminder that loving the quilts you make is reward enough! Congrats on the one that was accepted!