Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is Quilting a Competitive Sport?

...or should it be? I've had several requests over the last few months to enter my work in shows, not exhibits, but judged shows where ribbons or prizes are awarded. I thought long and hard about these requests and in the end I said no.

I want to clarify that I love quilts to be exhibited, the more, the more often, the better. I believe that showing the general public and other quilters what we do, what we make, why we make our work and who we are can only support the growth and reputation of the art of quilting. I also don't have any problem with juried exhibits. Folks are welcome to look at work and choose what they want to show based on their venue, their clientele and their taste.

It's the judging and prize awarding that I'm not into. For me it's a little bit like sending a set of judges into the Museum of Modern Art and placing ribbons on the art with little feedback statements, such as, Mr. Monet, your brushstrokes are uneven, or what lovely colors you've chosen.

While I appreciate feedback on my craftsmanship, I'm not sure anyone would be any better pointing out the flaws in my work than I am. I know the mistakes I've made in a quilt intimately...the ones that show and the ones that are hidden. I seek out people I respect for feedback on my work. While praise feels good, it's not how I'll get better.

Competition and judging is a part of traditional quilting culture. It's something I'd like to see change. It's more interesting to me to hear from the quilter about the inspiration behind the quilt, the quilter's struggles and triumphs and what she/he might do differently if they could make the quilt again.

So why is it important to have prizes and determine winners of quilt shows? Is it what draws the public? Do quilters want and need recognition? Does it challenge and motivate non winners to do better work? Questions to ponder, I suppose.

What do you think?




58 comments:

Cathy said...

I agree with what you wrote. I am not and never have been interested in have a perfect quilt. I never want to try to have 12 stitches per inch. What I always have looked for is something original..even if it seems odd or a little ugly. I want to know the quilter behind the quilt. I want to know why they made the quilt, and where they live, and why they make quilts. A perfect quilt can be boring. It is the exceptional quilt that stands out to me...if it grabs my heart and imagination.

Lisa said...

I think we all quilt for different reasons, and there there is no harm in 'competitive quilting' if that is what you are into. Some people like to strive to perfect their stitches, their points and their quilting and that is fine if that is what you want to do. They enjoy the competition and 'buzz' of quilt shows. And the notes some judged shows provide you with can be really helpful if you are trying to improve but not sure what to do next, even if the judges just confirm what you already thought needed improvement. I love some of the prize winning quilts I've seen. Some prize winning quilts I don't love, because the design/colours/execution/'feel' of the quilt doesn't appeal to me. Some non-prize winning quilts appeal to me more, for design reasons or the story behind the quilt. Some quilts that are far from perfect appeal to me too, for these and other reasons. But I think quilting is a broad church, and there is room for the competitive quilters as well as those of us (including me!) who live by the rule 'it can be perfect or it can be finished'!

adnohr said...

I totally understand where you are coming from, but at the same time, I went to the 'Road to California' and the 'International Quilt Festival (Long Beach)' last year and didn't really see any quilts that inspired me. They were all either traditional or art quilts. I mean, how many Dear Jane quilts do I need to see? I'd like to see some 'modern' quilts in the shows. And I know that the perfection that the shows want doesn't really allow for the imperfection of modern quilts, so I don't know the answer.

I just know that I found the 30's repros and civil war stuff to be very boring. Why is there so much love for the past?

Blue Is Bleu said...

I absolutely agree... To each his own, but I personally wouldn't want to quilt just to win ribbons simply because I think quilts are art, and art is subjective.

For me quilting is being able to create. And the best part of quilting to me is giving my quilts to people who appreciate them and will love them forever. That's far more precious than a ribbon.

Melissa said...

What a great conversation!

I am in total agreement with your comparison of judging quilts and judging art. I don't understand how that works.

I love going to a quilt show and enjoying my response to a quilt. Sometimes it's the pattern, other times the fabric choices or techniques or subject matter. But what really draws me in are the little stories attached to the quilts about what inspired the quilter or where they worked on the quilt or the occasion for which it was made. I think those stories are part of the quilt and how on earth could you ever judge that?

I'm usually annoyed when I'm ready to walk out the door and realize I have this slip of paper in my hand that I'm supposed to vote on the quilts in each category. I hereby declare that I will walk out without voting from now on!

And I would certainly love to see more "modern" quilts exhibited. I'd like a special category for FIRST quilts and each one would be awarded a ribbon.

If competition is what people love then I suppose its fine to have that opportunity. But I see competition as a barrier to sharing in general and I'd love to see more sharing of ideas, techniques, and encouragement so that the quilting world can continue to grow. That's good for all of us in so many ways.

highwaycottage said...

I'm definitely with you on this one. Quilting is Art, is can be admired but not judged !!

MariQuilts said...

I think we all like a certain amount of recognition and enjoy having others see our work. I personally I have never had the desire to enter a quilt show. I totally agree with your take on this. In some ways I feel like I am showing my work almost on a daily basis through bloging, Flickr and online quilt groups.

Shea said...

I love that you not only bring up topics like these, but you give your honest opinions without trying to be super politically correct to the point that a reader doesn't know where you stand. Go, Jacquie!

I totally agree. My favorite thing about a quilt show is reading the sign (if there is one!) saying who is was made for or the story behind the creation of the quilt.

And, hats off to you for raising an Oskaloosa Science Fair Champion. ;)

Ethne said...

You get a round of applause from me here Jacquie.

For me, and probably many of us here, our quilting is a means of self expression - whether in the crafting itself (perfect or otherwise) and the design/s we do. All too often we hear of an enthusiastic quilter who even does something as basic as going to a workshop, and ends up coming way hurt and disappointed by the comments and attitude of maybe the workshop leader or a workshop member because something doesn't conform to 'Quilty Police' rules and regulations.

For me quilting and craft of any sort is freedom of expression and relaxation.

Not everybody will like what I do, and I don't like everything everybody else does - some things attract my interest and inspire more than others and I am so glad that is the case - because if we all liked the same thing we'd live in a very bland world.

Anna Circo said...

Well, I'll admit that after going to a show a few years ago, I felt as if I could never compete and why did I even bother with my own designs. People are so creative and instead of being inspired I was a bit sad. But I learned there is a place for me in this big circle. It's similar to running. I may never win a marathon but I can run in one. That was a lesson I learned. Needless to say, I look forward to the next show because I love all the shopping.

Contented Caroline said...

I am in definate agreement with you. I believe a quilt should be made from the heart, so what if it has a few flaws, enjoying the process and making it for someone to use everyday is my intention. Quilts taken to shows are considered are rarely used as quilts upon a bed but wrapped up neatly afterwards and I imagine, being put in a dust free cupboard somewhere - what a shame.

domoshar said...

I am with you - it is a personal experience and a long intimate way to make a quilt. Maybe it also depends on the personality - some people need comparison to see certain value /including for personal capabaility and own work quality/. Some peope do not really need it all the time, or value the emotion and the experience much more.

Theresa said...

I'll be the odd man out. I don't often read the info about the quilts at a show. I don't have the time since I usually have my small children with me. If I take a picture of a quilt I will take a picture of the info sign so I know who made it and can give credit.

I enjoy the process of making a quilt, and seeing it loved & used. I also enjoy making a quilt for a show, to see peoples' reaction to it, and to get feed back from the judges. And it's nice to sometimes win some money, too!

We wouldn't have all these great quilt shows to go to (and shop at!) if there weren't quilters willing to put their work out there to be seen and juried and judged. I find the shows to be motivating and inspiring, and come away eager to try new things.

Ginger said...

It seems to me that many shows offer non-judging entries (at least several that I am aware of). I like this option, because there are times I would like to know what a professional in the industry thinks, and other times when I just want to enter a quilt for the fun of seeing my quilt hanging.

Donna said...

I've not thought about this before. Being new to the quilting world I haven't considered submitting any of my work to anything. On one level I agree with you. Yet there is the part of me that remembers the state fairs of my childhood. I loved walking through the quilts and seeing the ribbons and beaming faces of the winners. The quilts were beautiful and I was in awe as quilting was not an art my family participated in.

Sue said...

I've been a quilter since 1988 & recently made two new quilted jackets (to replace the ragged one from 15 years ago). A fellow quilter encouraged me to enter it in a local quilt show, and I told her I wasn't interested--I'd just made the jackets to keep warm--and I had NEVER entered anything in a quilt show. She persisted, saying I needed to enter them to encourage others. So I did--I entered them in two shows, both of which were judged shows. Jacket #1 took first place in both; Jacket #2 took second place in both shows. Now, the GOOD part is that at the second show, Jacket #1 sported, in addition to the blue ribbon, a BIG sea-green ribbon labeled "The Ann Barker Aware." My daughter ran off to ask a guild member what that was. Well, Ann had been a guild member who LOVED embellishment; following her death, her husband set up the award and I won $100 cash!!! I had no IDEA! And on vacation that summer, I spent my cash prize with wild abandon, all over the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. (I even bought my husband some fabric for his birthday when we ran across a quilt shop in the middle of NOWHERE in northern Wyoming ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON!)

But--like you--I have no need to have my quilts (or jackets) judged.

patty a. said...

I also hear it all the time that I "need" to enter my quilts in judged shows. I have my own personal sruggles with entering a quilt in a judged show and they may seem a bit weird, but here they are - I would not anyone to think I was "from" Akron, I just live here for now, but I am not "from" here. I don't want to be associated with a place with so much violence (two people were murdered last night in two seperate incidences) and corrupt political environment. Number 2 - I don't like to have my picture taken. I make quilts because I like to make quilts - that's it. I don't need approval from judges. Besides that I get lovely comments on my blog from readers from all over and that is the best feedback in the whole world!

The Tulip Patch said...

I don't aspire to become a show quilter. I think it would steal a lot of joy wondering what other people would prefer over what I like. I have really tossed around the idea of entering in the Houston Livestock Show quilt show, though. All of the quilts are traditional and I'd like to put a "younger" quilt out there and see how it would do. Last year someone who won just bedazzled a horse print and they beat out a beautiful hand quilted redwork embroidery quilt. It was INSANE. Then I think that the judges got it wrong several times IMO so would it really mean anything to win?

Thimbleanna said...

What an interesting post! I pretty much agree with you -- I Love quilt shows and their value in providing inspiration, but really don't see much point in having them judged. (Although some people seem to enjoy the chance of winning big money!) The problem is the age-old "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". I very rarely agree with the quilts that win -- but at least they're all hung for our viewing pleasure!

Cindy said...

I totally agree. I've always loved going to quilt shows, but really dislike the judging. Why can't we just look and appreciate each piece as a unique work of art? I really think the judging discourages and intimidates quilters.

The Calico Cat said...

I agree 100%. I may be an odd duck, but once upon a time ago, I decided not to enter shows (judged or not, local, small, etc.) because I don't like all of the rigamarole. Complete this label THIS way, choose 1 category, you may only enter 1 per category, add a sleeve THIS way, bag the quilt THIS way, drop it off at THIS location at THIS time, etc.

Meanwhile, I am a visual person & I love to go to shows - but I don't read the placcards - when I did, they did not tell me what I wanted to know...

I don't take the brochures & I don't vote for Viewer"s Choice either. I just like to look thank you very much. (Oh & I see the shows with a toddler...)

Now other quilters use quilting as a job & their CV needs to be full of exhibited in X, Y, & Z shows, won A, B, & C prizes...

Quilting form me is a hobby...

Esch House Quilts said...

I decided to enter one of my quilts in a show this Spring and am currently waiting to hear if it was selected by the jury. If it gets in, I am sure it won't win, but that isn't why I entered it. I entered it in a pretty traditional show where I'm sure many of the visitors won't like it. But, maybe a few will say "Hmmm..." and their wheels might turn in a slightly different direction. I guess you could sum it up as a non-internet way of sharing.

Andie said...

Just yesterday I took a "modern" quilt to a shop that does long-arm to get an estimate on a custom quilting design. And for 15 minutes - she did nothing but point out the flaws of the quilt - not all of my corners are matching, my fabric choices didn't please her, I didn't have a *gasp* border, told me using a vintage sheet to back it was "ludacris". And for some reason I endured it! I politely left and was totally shaken for the rest of the day.
I think traditional quilters put a huge emphasis on technical sewing and, therefore, a beautiful quilt that is technically perfect is the goal. While I am adamant that I push myself to be a technically saavy sewist and continue to learn technique, I, more importantly, see my quilts as art and an expression of myself and my aesthetic. You are absolutely right - how do you judge self-expression? How do you subjectify an artist's vision for the local county fair or quilt show? And this again goes back to your question a few months ago - how do you define "modern quilter"? Is it that, in addition to the fabric and construction choices we make, we also have to reject the traditional "standard" by which quilts are judged? I think yes. Is that dumbing down quilting? Absolutely not- rather it opens up a whole new style that is rooted in the centuries old hobby of sewing fabric together to make a quilt that is useful and pretty.

girlforallseasons said...

I'm with you in not being all that interested in my quilts being judged. Thus far I've really only made quilts to be given as gifts and to be used and loved. However, you photo of 4-H award ribbons took me back about 23 years. I was just writing on my blog this week about how it was in 4-H that I learned how to sew from women who weren't my mother (key for a 12 year old) and how grateful I am for that experience. I had forgotten about the ribbons.

Mary P said...

My other hobby is lindy hop (swing dancing) and there is a constant battle similar to this one--if dancing is an expression of oneself, how can we judge it? In the case of dancing, competition encourages people to practice and get better. The people who win are not only technically amazing but really push the creative boundaries of the medium. They come up with new moves that make everyone stop in their tracks, they come up with super creative reactions to the music, and you can see the JOY of what they are doing. I wish the field of quilting was more like this. I think it is important to encourage people to get better at what they do. But I agree that the current quilting world doesn't reward risk-taking and originality as much as I would like. I think the sort of model seen in lindy hop competitions would really encourage people to push their boundaries and increase their technical skills. For example, when I entered the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge #1, I didn't do it to win, but to push me outside my comfort zone, and increase my skills at the same time (my quilt had a LOT of circles in it). I would say that I succeeded there.
I think there is a place for competitions, but with a different focus than currently exists.

Kelly Rachel said...

I agree wholeheartedly. In fact I think judging art in any form is really a fruitless exercise. Art is so very subjective. I have noted this time and time again in photography shows, craft shows and even colouring in competitions for kids!
I also would love to see more quilt shows, and less quilt show judging.

Excellent post.

Marjorie said...

Amen sister! Last year I made an extremely detailed, one of a kind pieced quilt for my brother that looks like a Persian rug. The outcome was spectacular. I rented time on a long arm and when it was done, realized that I had a bobbin worth of tension problems, and I omitted a design element in the quilting of 1 of the 4 corners. My thought: "well, it'll never be in a quilt show now". I know that others would have enjoyed seeing it, but I just couldn't bring myself to enter it, knowing what the feedback would be. On a bright note, my brother was delighted with the errors. It turns out that rug makers intentionally make errors since "only Allah is perfect".

MelanieO said...

Jacquie, I've often wondered about this myself. However, when I think about any sewing projects that I ever proudly showed my grandmother, after the initial compliment she always looked at my stitches and seams, checking for unclipped threads. Quilting grew up as a craft in the US, therefore shows that award prizes look for craftmanship over artistry (or a formula of the two but favoring the craftmanship). Should that tradition die? I'm not sure. There still are many quilters today who use kits and patterns and are very proud of their craftmanship and depend on designers for the artistry. So I guess I would say there is room for both. But, I would also say (not commenting on your craftmenship, because I don't know much about it) that you definitely belong on the art spectrum of quiters.

Margaret said...

Great post and great comments. I am a fairly new quilter with limited time to quilt (which should change soon :)). I love going to shows to look, not to judge. Someone did bring up a great point that for some quilters, they need the accolades for their CVs, good for them and go for it. When I go to look at quilts, the ones I love are the ones that evoke an emotional response. I don't look at the 'technical' aspects but may look to see 'how did they do that? and tend to admire creativity and 'cleverness' in the way they use the materials or construct.
Perhaps if there were more shows without judging, more quilters would feel braver to show their stuff. I think thats the beauty and appeal of the internet and the blog world; people get to strut their virtual stuff and my guess is, people only comment when they like something. What a wonderful, supportive way to go.

Heather said...

Personally, I like going to judged shows. I don't always agree with the judges, but I enjoy it.

I do think the judged show in the age of the internet isn't as necessary as it once was. Historically, quilt shows were how most quilters made their money, either through winnings, getting "discovered" by magazines/publishers to have their patterns and work published and making a name by through the general quilting public. Prior to the internet, the fastest way to get your name out there in the quilting world was to win or place in a BIG show.

I think the internet will enable this culture of competition to change. The rise of the long tail and a wider view of what makes a quilt great are two driving forces to facilitate this change. However, the show will always exist, since we social animals still like to get together and see things IRL. And well, let's face it, the shopping at a quilt show rocks.

carol said...

I feel exactly the same was as you, Jacquie. I think quilts should be for enjoyment and inspiration and nothing else! Great post!

Rossie said...

i think there is a place for judged quilt shows, but the problem is that they seem to have rigid definitions of "good craftmanship" i for one, have never cared about the perfection of my points, but i do care that my quilts hold up over the decades.

also, my great aunt was a painter and always entered her paintings in juried shows...art has always been subjected to criticism.

i would be willing to show my quilts if i felt the weren't going to be subjected to rigid/arcane criteria.

diane said...

I love quilt shows and competitions for the inspirational ideas, but agree that a prize or ribbon is only secondary. I quilt for the sheer joy of it and a few compliments along the way only fuel my fire to create more.

Tacey said...

I completely agree with you. How can you possibly judge another person's vision? Who decides what is perfect quilting?? Besides, in the end, those artists who are the most "ground-breaking" and original are those who bend or break the rules.
I believe in quilting exhibits and shows only as inspiration and creative fuel. Leave the competition on the athletic fields.

Karin said...

I think quilt shows is an avenue for quilters to 'show off' their quilts that they are proud of - similar to us showing pics of them on our blogs :)

Poppyprint said...

This topic comes up every 2 years when our guild has a show. We have decided on two ribbon categories: viewers choice and members choice. We award 3 ribbons in each (just 3 equal ribbons, no 1st,2nd or 3rd). It is always interesting to compare the prize winners in these two categories. The public often choose the brightest colours, sweetest sentiment, or biggest quilt. The guild members chose the ones that rise above all others for technical challenge or interesting use of technique. I think most guild members would agree that the members choice is a more meaningful ribbon!

It is tough to escape from competition. Even little girls cannot take a dance class without being expected to compete against other dance schools in contests!!

June MD said...

Jacquie--

You might be interested in the Sacred Threads exhibit this summer. I don't have the link with me at the moment but I know you can google it. For Sacred Threads, the story of the quilt is almost as important as the quilt itself (in my opinion).

It is a very powerful and moving quilt show and worth the time to attend. My understandings of quilts and my quilting Self was completely changed the first time I attended in 2003.

Love your blog! Long time reader, first time commenter!

Meg said...

For my local show, which is bi-annual, I'm considering entering. Not because I want to win, or care about the competition. More because I saw a huge room of the same traditional quilts last year, and I thought perhaps a broader horizon (a more modern one, anyway!) might not be a bad thing next year. Just my 2c.

jovaliquilts said...

Such a thought-provoking post and such interesting comments. I think people whose quilts win big prizes are more likely to be asked to write books, endorse products, teach classes, be on TV shows, etc. Winning gives you a name. It's not the only way to become known, but it does work.

I liked your paragraph about hanging a ribbon on something in an art museum. For quilts that are truly pieces of art, being judged by the usual quilt-judging criteria is ridiculous. But many quilts are judged at the local level (think county fairs) -- usually right next to the homemade pies and jams! Most of these quilts are more folk crafts, and when those quilts are rated on how well they show mastery of the craft (perhaps with points for originality, like they do in ice skating), submitting a quilt can be a goal for some quilters, and winning gives them a little celebrity in their own communities. I don't think quilt prizes will stop, because we're a competitive society. If we think we're better than another school or town when our football team wins, we're going to want to prove we're better by winning quilt prizes, too.

Dianne said...

I think that winning a prize at a juried show is something akin to an artist selling a piece of art at his/her first gallery show. Not only does it further the artists career by putting their name out there it is a boost to their self esteem. I think it is a personal choice. I remember being very intimidated by the first show I went to, the quality of work was so far above my abilities, then I realized that if I compared my work to that of seasoned quilters I might just give up before I really got started. So I try not to judge what other folks do, much better I think to do what pleases me.

Elena said...

I like to go and see the beautiful quilts to be inspired and have something to aspire to. I don't, however, like paying admission, so I don't attend very many.

Amelia Quilter said...

Our local quilt show was last weekend and one of the quilts that should have won a ribbon was disqualified because the judge "found" a small attached thread.......
I enter because I want people to see my work. The ribbons I have won are in a drawer, not displayed in my sewing room.
I just love to make quilts and giving them away.

johnsoncircus said...

When I first started quilting I had a friend that was an award winning quilter. She has fabulous work. I wanted to be an award wiining quilter too. When ever I try to get to that level of perfection the fun and enjoyment of quilting go out the window. I quilt because I love to create beautiful things. I gain a huge amount of enjoyment from it. I've discovered for me that the freedom of imperfection helps me to enjoy my craft and if my points arn't absolutly perfect, well I'm ok with that.
I do believe juried shows have their place. I'm just not that quilter.

brown robin said...

Seems you've struck a chord. Here's what I have to say... "AMEN SISTER!"

Leslie said...

I agree with what you're saying. I think competitive quilting as a whole often reinforces the strive for technical 'perfection' which doesn't necessarily foster creativity.

Jenny said...

Last year, my goal was to show quilts. Usually I work fast and give my quilts away so quickly I'd fail to take any photographs or even show other quilters my work.

So this was a personal goal. Be secure enough about myself and my work to show in public. One was at a museum for public viewing. Then two were shown at a traditional guild. One I allowed for judging. I knew I would not win, but wanted to get feedback from there stand point.

Showing the quilt, opens the world up to modern quilts especially for a traditional show. I had many people from my church who did not quilt and did not know I quilted who saw my quilts and KNEW it was mine. Loved the experience of something different.

Judging, is strange. I really don't care to make a quilt for the judges. I make it for me. Judging just pointed out what they felt was missing on my quilt. They wanted it more square. I squared it four times but whatever, it was over 100x100" with 1000s of pieces cut on all sorts off the bias. Feedback is free. And showing allows the world to experience all sorts of quilts.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/canaryjen/5494266402/

Trisha said...

I love quilt shows. I love walking around and seeing what others have created. I have put one of my quilts in a show, excited that people were going to see my work. I like shows that are not going to be judged. I think the judging is a little funny just because it is all about that specific judges opinion. My guild has a show coming up and I hope to put in one of my "modern" quilts. It is not a judged show and I am happy about that.

audreypawdrey said...

I love going to quilt shows, but I have never entered one. I have always felt that mine were not up to the craftsmanship standard to do well in one, but I know that I am getting better with each quilt both in design and execution. I was an art major in college, and every piece we made was critiqued and either praised or ripped apart, so I think I could handle that part. One professor really did tear apart the pieces that were not up to his standard; I still do not know how I feel about that, but I almost cried at the time. I might enter one in the future for feedback, but the process is what is important to me, as it always was with art; I always valued what I thought of the work more than anyone else because that was what was truly important.

sarah, rsm said...

i'm with you ... i like the "creating" process, the feeling of accomplishment when i finish, and the smile of the recipient when s/he accepts a gift from my soul ~ that's my prize and i receive one with every creation!

Sooz said...

here. here.

quilting is a labor of comfort and joy. no need to judge.

besides, what is joyful to me may not be to someone else.

more freedom. less constraints.

keep up the joyful, comfy work.

best,
susan

quiltilicious said...

What an interesting post and comments.
Entering a quilt show can put you off quilting. I entered a quilt years ago; stressed about points matching, size of my quilting stitches and spacing between them. To the point where the joy had gone out of making it.
I didn't win anything but neither did I agree who the judges had chosen as winners. I realise that making a quilt to be entered into a show, takes away my feeling of 'I can do anything I like' and I get sucked into 'I have to do this this way because that is what the judges will expect.' I lose the feeling of fun and freedom of self-expression which is why I am doing it in the first place.
Quilting is an art and how can you judge art? As others have said, it should be something that speaks to each person individually.
There is room for everyone without 'judging.' That said, I am not adverse to seeing a 'peoples choice' award because it is always interesting to see what quilts are of the moment in their appeal to people.

Quiltycats said...

Amen..Not for me the hypercritical judging that does more to lower more folks self esteem than it ever could boost that of one or two. Unlike jams and jellies quilts have a style that comes through more often than not and an artistry way beyond perfect points. Not that excellence in craftsmanship isnt a worthwhile goal I just don't need to humiliated because I am imperfect.

Patty S. said...

I would, however, love to see your work on display in a gallery. Then I'd seek out the guide book where you've explained your inspiration. That would be good. . .

And then, wouldn't it be great to have the time to sit with fellow quilters to just chat over our inspirations, motivations, bumps in the road, etc. Guilds are good but usually don't provide enough time for us to really share.

Melissa said...

Thanks for bringing this up. I had never considered whether or not quilts should be judged I have merely reflected on the judging. I was at the San Francisco Quilt Show last week and was so disappointed with the judging! It seemed to me that for the most part originality was not being rewarded, merely technical expertise. I go to quilt shows to be inspired by creativity not how closely one can follow a published pattern.
I have a very competitive nature and love being judged but I am now more openminded about why one would or would not choose to be judged. Thank you!

MightyMom said...

positively HATE judged shows. I will attend them to see what's shown, but never enter. Because it sets up an "expert" of quilting. I am the expert of my quilts, you are the expert of your quilts. And just because your stitches are straighter than mine and points prettier doesn't mean a tinker's damn to my quilt. I see those points and I will try a different technique next time....but who's to say I didn't chop a point here or there on purpose?? cuz sometimes I DO that you know.....

It's quilt snobbery and it rankles.

Teri said...

I love the subject, so I also wrote about it on my blog and linked to you. I won't re-write it all here. Great post!
http://teriquilts.blogspot.com/2011/03/entering-quilt-shows.html

Mimi said...

Quilting is about different things to different people. It can often be different focus at different times in a quilt career.... So.... judged shows have a place, shown showes have a place, "creative" has a place, technical has a place, etc. And those places DO NOT have to be all the same at the same time.

Emmylou said...

I agree with you Totally, Jacquie. My local guild keeps pushing everyone to submit quilts to various shows. I think it's great for people to share their quilts, but have no interest in having my quilts judged. Maybe someday I'll change my mind. For my part, I like my quilts to be hugged by their owners.