Sunday, June 22, 2014

Consider entering a quilt show

Cycles 2 won first place

I have become a quilt show enterer. I don't consider myself a show quilter, not by a long shot. But I have been entering shows anyway, and I have been winning ribbons too. The quilts in this post have all won something in a quilt show - one of them online, that counts too.

Now, I have to confess, I have only been to one quilt show in person. I went to the QuiltCon 2013 show, and it was wonderful (but I am planning to go to the AQS show in Grand Rapids, Michigan this August). Many folks suggested that it was not a usual show and needed for improvement in several ways, but since it was the only show I had seen I thought it was mostly wonderful. My point, however, is that maybe it is easier to enter when you have no idea of how these shows "work" or what other quilts might be entered. Although for many others, maybe they are intimidated because they think the shows have entries that are so much better than they actually are. I think that the right approach is to let go of all of that and just enter them.

Sunset

Quilting has been a popular craft for centuries and is done all around the globe. Styles of fabric and composition change, techniques are discovered, and re-discovered, technology evolves, thread options develop and creativity abounds. But they are just blankets after all. Once one becomes reasonably competent at sewing the straight or curved seams together, the rest of how a quilt looks is mainly creativity. There is no reason to think that those "others" entering a quilt show are more creative than you are. None at all.

One does need to have a thick skin in terms of the judging aspect. Most shows are judged at two points. First you need to pass the jury's screen when you enter, and then there are the prizes. My view is that if you don't pass the first jury, it is because your fantastic quilt is not quite what they imagine for the category. They are working from a photo - it's not because your points are not perfect or your binding was a bit wobbly. And this part is private, if you don't mention that you entered, no one but you will know if you are not allowed to participate. So, no big deal, enter your quilt.

In my view, if you get to send your quilt to the show, you have won the real prize. The show will be seen by many, often thousands of people - quilters and others. You will be inspiring for them all.

Shattered - Honourable Mention

Many of you are part of the "modern quilting" movement, as I am. Many quilt shows are only recently including a modern quilt category in their shows. I hope you, like me, want to see modern quilting become a totally accepted part of the quilting community. If you do, it is really important for modern quilters to enter these shows or these categories will be dropped.

For example, the American Quilter's Society had a modern quilt category in every 2014 show they held. But next year they don't have one for every show, just some of them. If we want to continue the trend of bringing all quilters together in this community, we need to participate in the shows as modern quilters. And I think enter modern quilts in other categories when there is no specific modern category - modern quilts need to be part of the community and showing them is how that happens.

There are local shows, shows your guild runs, and then there are bigger shows. I encourage you to enter them all. Be a part of encouraging the creativity of others and of fostering the love of quilting at every opportunity.

Some shows give you "comments" and many don't. If you view the comments as an evaluation by one judge - with who knows how much or little actual quilting knowledge - who you will probably never meet, already they are less important. I assume that they start with the view that all good quilts will score at the midpoint, and then they look for things that they, personally, find exceptional or not quite up to their view of good. So, a good score, the one I expect for my good quilt, it 50% or good or whatever they call the middle. If there are some things better than that, it makes my day. If they notice something less than that, I take that as a learning opportunity - or a chance for me to say that judge is not knowledgeable in what I consider good.

In the end, these comments are not important - as my kids say - I do as I like. I know what I want to do with my quilt and that is all that really matters. Don't avoid a show just because you don't want to be evaluated. You can always toss the comments out unread if you are going to be bothered by them.

Reflection

All of the shows I have entered are easy to enter. There is an online process, and you send photos. There is often an entry fee, and you might have to join the guild hosting the show but there are other benefits of joining those too. You do have to send your quilt to the actual show, and this can be a bit pricy (especially if you leave it to the last minute) but it is not prohibitive.

Many of the shows have cash prizes which are not small. I won $1,500.00 US at the AQS Show in Phoenix when Cycles 2 won first place in the Modern Wall Quilt Category and there are cash prizes for second and third too. It's real money people, well worth the entry.

Below are some shows I know are coming up, listed by last date to submit entries, and you can click the link to get more information. If you have more shows to suggest, leave a comments or send me an email. I am interested in shows all over the world that are open to anyone, so please share the shows in your City or Country. I will add a quilt show page to the blog and we can all keep an eye on the deadlines in the future.

I hope you will be entering them. I know you cannot enter them all and neither can I, but consider entering at least one. My quilts are lonely without more of my friend's quilts hanging along side. It is more fun to anticipate the possibility of winning with a friend too.
There are also Mancuso shows, I have emailed them for entry dates but you can read about them here (maybe you will be able to find their entry dates on their webpage, and if you do let me know where they are). The International Quilt Association hosts the show at International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. The entry dates for this year have passed, but we can watch for next year.

I need information for the UK, other European, Australian and other shows all over the world that we can enter, please send me details if you have them.

Today is the day I finish my May (oops) and June bee blocks!

Best,

Leanne




38 comments:

  1. I saw your quilt at Quilt Canada last weekend. It was a déjà vu moment. I saw it and knew I'd seen it before on your blog,it looks very cool in person!!! Thanks for the inspiration to try entering the many judged shows!!

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  2. Thank you so much for posting these. I am thinking about entering one or two that are in the works for quiltcon.

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  3. The deadline for Fiber Arts Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM is March 2, 2015. It's $6 per entry, and up to 3 quilts and 3 sewing projects can be entered. See http://www.fiberartsfiesta.org/FiestaEntry.html. The ABQ MQG would like modern quilters to inundate the show with their quilts.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. I obviously agree about entering, and have really enjoyed doing so. I must say I'm really surprised that AQS, now that they started having modern categories, doesn't have them in all shows. hmmm. I am still super pleased that I had a quilt hanging (& winning) in their first modern showing.

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  5. I meant to add this to your list also: http://www.bainbridgeislandmodernquiltguild.com/bainbridge-quilt-festival.html. This is an outdoor show, in the style of Sisters, OR.

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  6. Really well written - thanks for doing this. I would suggest though that some people don't enter because they're unsure if they're 'modern' enough. The Modern Quilt Guild's definition seems quite restrictive and sometimes at odds. They have Anna Maria Horner teaching at the next QuiltCon yet if someone was to make a quilt with a lot of AMH's blowsy prints, would that be accepted as 'modern' at the juried stage? I guess that is a whole other blog post though!

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  7. Thank you for encouraging us to enter quilt shows. I agree with you 100% and you expressed everything so well! Thank you!

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  8. your quilts are beautiful Leanne, you're such an inspiration. Thanks for the list too.

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  9. Great post Leanne. Hope some of us will consider exhibiting and gather our courage to do so.

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  10. Thanks for your post! After my first show, I was adamant I wouldn't do it again. I just dropped two of my quilts off to a local show because I'm teaching a class at the show and decided to support it. I feel like I'm easing myself back into things. I still have an uneasy feeling about entering, but feel like this is a good new start. It's very hard to put your work out there to be judged. Thanks for being brave! I adore your quilts and they certainly deserve to win!

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  11. Excellent post Leanne and such a good idea to collate lots of info in one place.
    http://www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk/ should give you info on the UK big show.

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  12. Such an excellent post! I love everything you have to say about it & will probably be discussing similar points on pat Sloan's podcast interview tomorrow :-) That's a brilliant idea to add a show page as well. Perhaps I can share that on my blog when you get it all put together.

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  13. good to see you have another ribbon and rightly so. I love going to quilt shows and seeing all the wonderful quilts, maybe one day I will enter when I have learnt hot to quilt the quilt properly! Very interesting blog,

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  14. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this post. I feel encouraged and inspired to enter a juried show.
    I love reading your blog and seeing your work.

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  15. So great you have entered and won! I am glad to see your comments and experience. I am entering two quilts in our local fair and I am anxious...I will try to let go as you say. Thank you

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  16. I'm entering the Festival of Quilts which is early August in Birmingham, UK- it's the biggest quilt show in this country. Applications are now closed though unfortunately but they do take international entries. AND you can opt out of receiving comments if you're not that way inclined (I want the comments, however)

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  17. Thank you for sharing this. Just last weekend I set a personal goal of entering a quilt in a competition, but didn't really know how to go about doing it. I really appreciate the tips and timelines!

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  18. I've entered a quilt show twice (the same show with different quilts in different years!) and quite liked seeing my quilt hanging among all the others and not looking like it was made by Archie rather than me! I didn't receive feedback about my entries and it's an open entry show (i.e. anyone can enter) but I was lucky enough to hear a nice comment about one quilt from someone attending the show. I definitely think more people should enter the shows, it's not as scary as some people make out and, if you're lucky, you get to have a day out with friends/family to see it in the show!

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  19. You do so much good for this community... thank you! *hugs*

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  20. What a fabulous idea - making a resource for us all, thank you!

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  21. Rosemary B here:
    Yes you are inspiring, Leanne
    Your quilts are really something special!

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  22. great post Leanne, and thanks for the info on several upcoming shows. I like entering shows as well, although have kept those entries pretty local to this point, I am considering broadening my horizons! While the win is always nice,( and a big surprise!) my main reason for entering shows is to share and inspire.

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  23. Great post, Leanne.....the whole entering a quilt thing can be somewhat intimidating but your post is very encouraging and informative.

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  24. What a great post! I have been pondering entering quilts into shows, but I wasn't sure how to find shows looking for entries (other than the ones in my area that I am familiar with). How do you go about searching for shows to enter? Thanks for the list to get started!

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  25. I love your quilts. May I ask how close your quilting lines are in the three larger pieces in this post? How far apart are the lines? Thanks.

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  26. Alas, prizes here are rather less than that! But on the plus side, after 2 years of Katy, Kerry, Ange, Reene, Susan and myself hitting Uttoxeter for the British Stitch & Quilt Village, there's a modern category next year :o) Entries for that close 31/12, and you don't need to send photos, just fill in a form and send the quilt off, no advanced jury, but you do get feedback, which I like (but you can bin if you wish!)

    I refuse to enter FOQ in Birmingham because it's extortionately expensive since they changed the entries last year, even within the UK!

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  27. This is exactly what I needed to read right now :)

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  28. Great post, thank you so much for the info. I was wondering, do you block your quilts that you are going to enter into shows? I was reading your post on finishing Breathe and noticed you didn't mention anything about blocking.

    Your quilts are jaw dropping and inspiring. So is your blog :) Thank you for all that you do. Judy

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  29. So encouraging!
    My two cents: I struggle a little with the modern quilts in judged shows. I'm sure it is just my personal bias/opinion, but to me, one of the hallmarks of modern quilts is that these are quilts originally made to use. Functionality was/is a key characteristic of modern quilts. But we all know that show quilts as a general rule, are not made to be used on a bed or anywhere else but a black curtain. Well, at least not the ones destined for the show circuit. So by getting modern quilts on that circuit we do great things for modern quilting, but it doesn't necessarily reflect the origins of the movement. That may be exactly the point - the movement is evolving. Change is good, right?

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  30. I'm afraid to submit myself to critics. I've entered online shoes bit a juried show scares me. Good for you for trying and winning

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  31. Thanks for the information. I appreciate it! Glad to see the dates haven't passed!

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  32. Thanks for the list of links to show entries! The more people entering modern quilts means more modern quilts will be shown to a wider in-person audience that doesn't see how much is being shared online. I personally rarely get quilts finished in time to meet submissions guideline, and most of my quilts are given away, so taking them away from the recipient never seems fair. But I've still got my eye on a few of those deadlines.

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