Today I received a package from my sister which contained a letter that I wrote to my great-aunt early this century to honor of her 90th birthday. I had given her a quilted tote bag, apparently it was my very first attempt at quilting. I remember that bag. In the letter, I wrote how excited I was about starting this new hobby. Who knew at that time I would be where I am today. Such a journey.
A few years after that, I found myself at International Quilt Festival (IQF) in Houston for the very first time. I remember being overwhelmed by the size of this annual exhibit. I attended it quite a few times after that and was always struck by the variety of quilts I saw. I saw art quilts for the first time and was just fascinated. I wondered how special it must be to have your work accepted into this show. I wanted some of that, whatever “that” was. My journey continued.
I took a lot of classes, read books and magazines, watched quilting-related tv-shows. I absorbed a ton of information. Good thing I love to learn. Finally in 2010, I had enough confidence to enter my work into a competition. I was shocked when my entry “The Perfect Storm” was accepted for publication into the 2012 Quilting Arts Calendar. My journey was evolving.
During the last 5 years, I pursued local gallery representation and exhibits. I also got involved with 2 professional art quilting organizations. Eventually, I got involved with not only exhibiting in these exhibits but also producing them.
On this pursuit as a professional artist, there was always IQF in the back of my mind. It was like some mystery, how do you even find out when or how to register your quilts for consideration. Last year, I heard the registration deadline was in May. So this year, I made a note to seek out the guidelines and be ready for the May 30 deadline. At that time there was a ton on my plate and I had no idea how I would find the time to enter, but I was committed and I did it.
After that, all I had to do was wait for the mid-July announcement of the finalists. A friend told me not to be too upset if I didn’t get accepted. She said they do send the most wonderful rejection letters. I was anticipating getting one of these letters. If I was lucky maybe 1 of my entries would be accepted, but surely not both.
Then, I heard the news. “Congratulations,” a friend emailed me. I looked in disbelief, both entries were accepted. I feel like my entire journey has come full circle, my quilts are going to Houston.
My journey continues.