This quilt might look a little familiar. In a previous Bob's Botanical Beauty blog post, I talked about how I made this quilt and the process involved in the ideas behind it, but in the last couple months, this quilt has started on a journey, and I’m excited to travel along with it!
In the quilt world, there are many different guilds that bring quilters together, each with different focuses on styles of quilts and different approaches to quilting. I’m a member of the Modern Quilt Guild, or MQG, and every year the MQG puts on QuiltCon, a convention with classes, a trade show of vendors, and a large quilt show.
The process of submitting a quilt for the show is a little intimidating; no matter how many times I’ve submitted artwork in the past, whether quilts or other media, it’s always a bit nerve-wracking to put something you’ve made and put time into, out there for other people to judge. Most quilt shows, the show at QuiltCon included, has you submit photos (an overall photo and a detail photo) and a description of your quilt, and then a committee of jurors select the quilts they want to see in the show. Later a panel of judges will evaluate all the quilts that made it into the show and awards show prizes.
This year, I was so fortunate to have my botanical quilt, which I titled ‘August through October’ for the time I spent making it, selected to be in the show! There were over a thousand quilts submitted, and only about 400 make it into the show. There are so many great quilts that just don’t strike the jurors in a particular year, and a lot of people can get really frustrated and disappointed if they don’t get a quilt in the show. I try and keep my head up as I’ve had way more quilts rejected from shows than accepted over the years, but it’s fun to keep submitting my quilts as it keeps pushing me to make more unique and better quilts!
Once this quilt was accepted, I needed to attach a label and hanging sleeve and get it ready to hang in Austin! Because my quilts are primarily functional in my mind, I had used this quilt a few times to snuggle under with my dog and it required a good wash and dry, as well as some attention to trimming thread ends and some time with a lint brush to get rid of any residual dog hair (thanks Wilbur). But that’s the point of quilts in my mind – they’re supposed to be used, and while they can be beautiful and designed with great thought, they can also offer warmth and comfort on cold days!
Lucky for me we have large worktables in the classrooms at Fancy that I could lay the quilt out on and really spend some time inspecting, cleaning and making sure I would be presenting my best work to hang in the show. After it was cleaned, prepped and ready, I folded it up and sent if off to Austin, where I look forward to seeing it hang in person in the quilt show!
I can’t wait to get inspired seeing all the quilts that were selected this year hanging together at the QuiltCon show in a couple of weeks! But, whether I have a quilt hanging in a show or not, going to these kinds of events are a great way of building community and meeting friends. Quilts bring us together, and help us find connection.
And at the end of the day, the mark of a great quilt (even more than hanging in a show or winning a ribbon) is the joy you get from it, both the making and the using. And this quilt already has Wilbur’s two paws of approval, which is good enough for me!