This weekend I am participating in the Sandhills Quilters Guild biennial show, Quilting in the Pines VI.
I was a member of this guild when they held their first show. I stepped away for a few years after that and then later re-joined. I’ve been pretty active in this group since then, helping out whenever I can. Next week, I’ll share photos of the event and some of the things I helped with (one thing in particular I think you’ll get a kick out of).
I entered 3 quilts into this show; my t-shirt quilt and 2 art quilts. All 3 I entered to be judged. If you enter a quilt to be judged, you get the judges feedback on your work as well as the opportunity to win a ribbon.
These traditional quilt shows, compared to art quilt shows, tend to focus more on the quality of the workmanship. They look for “perfection” in execution and are often monitored by self-proclaimed “quilt police.” Don’t get me wrong, I admire quilters who have the patience to make perfectly executed quilts. However, if you follow my blog, you know that I’m a recovering perfectionist and you know how I feel about the “p” word. I really don’t expect to win any ribbons this year. It would be fun if I did, but that’s really not why I enter.
I enter to support our guild and also offer a different look at quilting. So many people have misconceptions about quilting. When you tell them you quilt, they immediately say something like “My grandmother used to quilt.” They think about old ladies and bed quilts, but not something modern that you might hang on the wall. I often think of it as a duty to share what I’m doing to help break these stereotypes.
It matters because I want them to realize they too can work with textiles. There are many different techniques and styles of quilting they can choose. They can enjoy the craft without worry of the “p” word or embrace perfection to its fullest potential. To me its just so liberating to enjoy the process. My personal mission when I teach is to help people let go of the angst they carry about being perfect. By sharing my art, I hope they see that. Just let it happen, enjoy the process. Love what you do.
Of all the quilts I could have entered, I chose these because they were less than perfect in my eyes. I can see the errors, but I won’t point them out to you. I don’t need a judge to tell me where they are. I accept that it is the process and design, not the perfection of my skills that creates the beauty in my work. When I dropped off the quilts, one of the guild members started to pick the loose threads off of “Being Koi.” After realizing the pure volume of the loose threads on this quilt, she quickly realized they were there on purpose. It made me smile that she got it. I like to believe that my work shows that I am a human, not a machine.