Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Why go to a quilt show?

     I hear this all the time. I have been fortunate to be able to attend some large shows, like AQS, Houston, Quilt Canada, and other regional shows. It takes time, money, and energy. So why go?
     Because quilting is something I treasure putting time, energy, money, and effort into, I need to look beyond myself at times to see what others are doing who are not like me and are much better. I need to hear what other quilters are dealing with, solving, or discovering. If I was content to make one designer's quilt pattern line or focus on one type of quilt or kits, maybe I would not need to go. I have a pretty clear idea of what types of things I want to design/work on, but I would be foolish to think that others have nothing to teach me. Creativity is often putting together disparate ideas and distilling something new. 
     I have no desire to compete in a show. I have observed that nine times out of ten, I can predict what wins: complicated traditional patterns, photorealism, and supercomplicated piecing/applique in a traditional vein. The innovative or unusual ideas do not win. Ok, I get it. The problem is when viewers only look in awe at the ribbons and not the gorgeous others in the show.
    Getting to AQS Lancaster was costly, had difficult snow conditions (no restaurants open on Wed.), and was fatiguing. Yet, the quilts inspired me, taught me, new products were tried, some bought, new fabric lines, met quilters of all stripes, and was a bigger step in my quilting journey.
     Because I took my little point and shoot, the photos are not great due to low lighting, so I apologize. If anyone has a small camera that shoots great photos in low light, let me know. My big Canon DLSR was too heavy to lug around, so it stayed home. The photos below are a few of those that inspired me. The next post will have some of the Cherrywood Challenge Van Gogh quilts and Korean.
Quilt made into a plaid by color stitching
Improv quilt with sections
Improv quilt detail
Wholecloth quilt all in black thread
Dellightful quilt called Carrot Breath
Neat idea of a colorwheel
Happy coneflowers, cool background
Gorgeous multiple methods quilt
Confetti detail
Quilt made by someone I know locally, Karen Sienk
Not sure how the spools fit in, but a very fun quilt

A cut work tablecloth layered and quilted by Cindy Needham, who had an extensive display.
Pretty amazing wall quilt
Another amazing scene and fabric
Extra special quilting made this quilt unique
Over the top piecing and detail

Such a unique perspective on vases on glass shelving
Karen Kay Buckley applique- she taught our fall workshop
And finally, the one quilt that I thought truly deserved a ribbon-
a difficult perspective on an old block done exquisitely, also not a tall enough display hurts the look


Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

It looks like it was an exciting quilt show to attend.

Debbie said...

Love your perspective on the show. We can always learn something if we open up to new things. And recognize that winning is not the point in quilt making for many of us. Thanks for the photos...which I think are good. Love that you picked some very intriguing ones and not just ribbon winners which are always so beyond me. Looking forward to the rest:)

Dre in PA said...

For your camera dilemma you may be overlooking the obvious: a better cell phone. Low weight, lots of settings and all the benefits of having multiple tools in your pocket.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I like the fact that you looked at all of the quilts, not just the ribboned ones. When I've been at the last few large shows, it seems most attendees are fixated on the vendor areas and only give the winning quilts a cursory glance and the others are ignored. Too bad they don't take the time to wander and see what catches their eye or heart. (and I agree that a better phone camera may be an easy solution to your photo dilemma - I want to upgrade mine but am waiting for some sort of promotion)

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Our guild has never had 'judged' quilts until this year. I didn't even know that we'd be judged like this, this time. I was very disappointed in the judging. Detailed, pieced quilts lost to panel quilts, with solid squares surrounding the panel. Our challenge quilts were judged not on creativity, but, in being precise in structure. No one even told the judges what the guild wanted. I wasn't the only one who was not happy with the judging. I go to quilt shows for the inspiration. I don't always agree with the ribbons (if I even get there after the ribbons are presented). My friend picked up some fabric for me at the Lancaster show, along with rotary blades.

Mystic Quilter said...

What great collection of photos you've shown to us, thanks Linda, it's always a pleasure to see quilts from show visits. The last quilt - a shame they didn't sort out a tall enough display stand, no good when the bottom few inches are draped on the floor.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

I agree, getting to big quilt shows can be a chore and expensive. Thanks for taking us along on your visit via photos. I enjoyed them!