Sunday, March 30, 2014

Closing Arguments-Quilt Show Week

this years theme was Leaves-this was my view from my booth
It was a great show. Lots of work for many people. Some anxieties, much discussion, ultimately a success according to my informal exit polls. Let me explain. My pre-show responsibilities involve building the baskets that we raffle at the show. I always worry that they aren't good enough, not pretty, not appealing to a wide range of quilters or just not appealing enough to have show attendees buy tickets for the raffle. While I do not have final numbers, by all accounts, it went well. That said, it is my habit to wait in the entrance hall for the winners to claim their prizes after the drawing and that gives me a unique opportunity to observe and talk with show attendees, participants and winners.
Best of Show and Best Long-Arm Machine Quilting-this photo does not do it justice!
 While the show is in the 'take down' phase, many people spoke with me about their impressions of the show and how they viewed the judges remarks and the general outcome of the decisions they made. Over all, every single person I spoke with declared the show a resounding success! We had such an outstanding selection of quilts and quilting styles many declared that it was the best show yet. We love hearing that. It makes all the work a labor of love. After all, it is all about the quilts. It gets bigger and better every year and our venue provides an outstanding gallery for viewing the artists work. This is an expensive show to produce, make no mistake, and the Guild assumes financial responsibility for its success.
Betty Jane's challenge quilt, Leaves

close-up of leaves-too cute!

A brief summary of comments:
amazing-the turquoise made the design pop
  • Basket Winners were thrilled, of course. They had never won anything at a quilt show and were pleased with their gift. Whew! One generous lady had won last years raffle quilt and didn't purchase quilt tickets because she wanted someone else to have the opportunity to win! She won the most popular basket, a traditional themed basket with a complex pattern and book for paper piecing. She was going to gift it to a friend who is just learning to quilt.
  • We had three sewing machines donated by three different vendors at the show. Each of the machine winners was ecstatic. These were perfect machines for going to classes and general sewing. They are full functioned, modern and light weight. A big, big plus for the one who needs to tote multiple items to a class. Each was a younger woman, new to quilting, who now have an amazing incentive to get to a quilt class. 
  • Every person I talked to, except for one lady's husband, stated they were inspired by what they saw, what they purchased and the general atmosphere of the venue. (the husband by the way also complained about the weather, the parking, the crowds,  big city traffic, the lack of a food, etc. etc.)
Now about the judges comments:
little birds
 Constructive criticism is welcomed and difficult to accept at the same time. I suppose it is one of those elements of life that you really can consider from two entirely different perspectives.
  • Even those who won prizes for their work had some mixed feelings about the comments but I suspect this is normal. (disclaimer: I did not have a quilt in the show, my work, in my opinion, is not show worthy) 
  • After hours and hours of work several ladies commented that they were terribly disappointed because it was their best work yet and just was not good enough. They were not going to enter again. Hopefully, they will reconsider after some time has passed and they will continue to work on their skills. (I keep at it and one day will enter)
  • Most stated that they agreed with the judges comments and will work to improve for next years show. 
In conclusion, I feel that quilt shows, large and small, provide the aspiring quilter with inspiration, friendship and a growing sense that "needle-workers"  (as stated by one exhausted-looking husband of a quilter quipped)  are a special group of people. That works for me. Today is a day of rest. It has been a long week.

***more photo's to come



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Country Road Take Me Home, to the Place I Belong.......................... Please

John Denver, the song, Country Roads (I have some moonshine in the dining room!)