I’m mad at myself for feeling dissatisfied about the reception a quilt of mine received at a local show. Yes, it won a blue ribbon, but so did many others. Two people, one of them a quilt show judge, said they really liked it, and I didn’t solicit their opinions. But when I attended the show and kind of hung out near my quilt for a few minutes (and don’t tell me you’ve never done that), I noticed that very few folks stopped to look at it. It seemed to be covered with the cloak of invisibility. Instead, folks cooed over cute quilts, pastel quilts, quilts loaded with flowers. The kinds of quilts I’ve never made.
I’m also peeved with myself for expecting any different reaction. The show in question featured traditional quilts by local quilters. Some of the quilts were made from kits. Some featured personally meaningful photos scanned onto cloth. Others were developed from workshops and block swaps. The show entries were a good reflection of the kinds of quilts made by members of the sponsoring guild. Mine wasn’t.
So what did I expect? It was a lesson that I need to select entries appropriate to the show. In the case of this show I probably shouldn’t have entered my quilt. I had hoped that viewers might think, hmm, that sliver thing might be interesting to try or maybe I should use stripes more. Indeed, some may have thought just that. However, it didn’t fit with the vibe and audience for that show. Though I consider the quilt to be traditional (it’s a symmetrical medallion), I don’t think it was perceived that way.
A recent post by Kathleen Loomis at Art With A Needle led me to believe I’m not the only quilter who sometimes feels a disconnect between a show and her quilt. Loomis’ work is on a different, far superior plane than mine (she’s entering Quilt National and other juried shows) but sometimes you just have to find the right venue to display your work.
Oh well, Just A Sliver was fun to make with Lisa O’Neill’s technique, and Eva Birch creatively extended the circle theme in her quilting.