Monday, 2 July 2012

Challenge Sandown

Does the thought of entering a quilt into a show excite you? Or instead are you like me and get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach at the thought of some unknown quilt police person judging you and pointing out all the flaws you already know about?

Either way I'm taking a pledge to enter the national quilt show at sandown next year and am putting it out here so I don't chicken out.
Why if it makes me feel so bad would I do something like this?

After my visit the other week I ended up having a long email conversation with Ferret. The upshot was that if I was a bit disappointed in some of the styles of quilts and vendors then I should try to change it!

That was a shock to my system I can tell you. Me, contribute? The thought brought me out in a sweat. But I thought about it a lot and realised Ferret was right. If I want the quilts on display to reflect my style and interests then I have to let people see what they are.

Those of us who use the internet a lot for our quilt inspiration forget that not everyone does that. Some people only get it from shows, and if they see the same styles year after year then that is all they know. During our discussion, we covered what was modern quilting and I came to the conclusion that it wasn't the quilts that were modern, but the quilters. We are modern women and some men who are seeing new (to us) techniques and sharing them around the world at the click of a few buttons, a lot of us have been taught to quilt by the internet and we don't fit into any particular demographic.

Because I came to quilting by this route and not traditional classes I have been removed from the mainstream quilting movement. The more I think about it, the more I think that is a shame. One of the best things thats happened to me this year is getting involved with the LMQG and spending time with other quilters. Its been thrilling to have our work on display at John Lewis.

But I still hate the thought of being judged by the quilt police. I can't help myself. So I am going to spend the next year telling myself over and over it doesn't matter what they say. Its all about sharing a mutual passion for quilting and if one person visits and likes what I have made great.

And if a few of us enter and start showing that there are more people involved in quilting than has previously been seen, then all the better. Oh, didn't I mention, I don't want to do it alone.
Is anyone with me? Am I going to be shevvy no mates?

Ferret is sponsoring a prize for people entering for the first time as she is very keen to get more people involved and she recommends the "touch of yellow" category as it is for charity. Entry forms can be found http://www.grosvenorshows.co.uk/Sandown_2013_Entry_Form.pdf





22 comments:

Charlotte said...

hmmmm, maybe I will (but eeeeeeeek!!!!)

Shay said...

Im cheering you on. Im not confident enough about my creations to think about this yet but I think it's wonderful that you're going to give it a crack!

susan said...

Oh it makes me quake at the very thought. I would have to have a very good idea to think I had something that was good enough to put in. But I am impressed with you. Keep the pressure on the rest of us though - because I actually think you are correct in your reasoning.

Ferret said...

OK, guys come on in the waters fine :)

There are things you need to know about shows, especially Sandown. You won't know what the judges say unless it's either good or you specifically ask for your judging forms. I used to do that but I don't any more. I didn't find it helped me.

The judges are mostly people, and they are quilters. They often trade at the shows, you may even know some of them. Do I agree with all of them, nope but I like most of them. I've come to accept some of my quilts do well in some shows and badly in others. Art quilts isn't a successful category for me at Sandown. However I think that makes it a more important category for me to enter. It gives more variety and that's a good thing.

There are quilt police. They generally haven't entered shows, so just by having a quilt on display you've beaten them. If you want other tips on dealing with them email me. I'm not giving all my secrets away in public :)

Entering a quilt show is a buzz. There will probably be stress and panic and nerves but when you walk up to your quilt in a show (hopefully with your fiends) it's all worth it. There is nothing like seeing your quilt hung in a show.

Oh and if you deliver your quilts to the venue do say hi, it's the best day out of the year for me. I love it.

Sheila said...

That was a really interesting post - very thought provoking.

DJCoolbear said...

I'll do it with you Shev - and I'm definitely not the norm as you know. I entered a mini into Fest of Quilts last year and although I didn't win anything I did have my judging forms and they were all different and very much subjective. There seems to be so much about Style and being put into a style box - I'm thinking I'm going to claim the term contemporary patchworker to describe me as a quilter.

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Good for you! I have only seen your quilts on your blog, but I think they are beautiful! I'm sure others will, too.
And you can ask the quilt police to show you what they have entered, can't you :-)

Kelly said...

There is not a chance I will enter, but I will be cheering you on :)

Rafael's Mum said...

That sounds amazing Shevvy! I haven't even been to Sandown but I know Ferret and apart from being really nice, she knows what she is talking about! I have downloaded the forms and will give it some thought.. a lot going on all of a sudden now I have started sewing again so won't commit just yet but have put my thinking cap on!

Shocking Hocking said...

good for you - i'll cheer you on from downunder!

Gertie Pye said...

Kudos for entering Shevvy, and yes it is important that there is variey at a quilt show, otherwise we may as well all make exactly the same quilt! Last week I bought a book on making art quilts from photo inspiration - thanks to the LMQG John Lewis display this is going to be my next big personal quilting challenge. So you see you are already influencing people's creative ideas!

Michelle said...

Just excellent!

Ferrett has a very good point. And good on you for overcoming your hesitation, and giving the quilt show a go.

Do not worry about the quilt police. Who knows how they judge things. At the recent quilt show I attended, many beautiful quilts were passed over, and a few quilts that I considered somewhat mediocre got recognition. The thing of it is people like myself will be able to enjoy your work, and if you don't get recognition from the quilt police, they'll be someone like me saying, "Why did that quilt win, when this one is so beautiful? Are they daft?" :-)

Ferret said...

You don't have to make a new quilt for Sandown. Enter one you've already made that you are proud of.

Leanne said...

I expect I am too far away to enter so I will cheer you on as this is an excellent idea. Your quilts and many other peoples too, are lovely and modern and you are totally right that the more people who enter them the more that they will become part of the show.

Ferret said...

No such thing as too far away. Postage for a big quilt would be nasty, but how about a minature or a cot quilt. Both fairly small categories too :) No one gets away that easily.

Maybe there could be a group quilt from the readers here?

Leanne said...

Hi Ferret, I checked out your blog and I love your quilting. I am in Canada, I expect that might actually be too far away? If not sure I will play along if Shevvy is too.

Katy Cameron said...

Hmm, funnily enough I thought after the Scottish show last year that if I was good enough I'd enter something to shake it up a bit, but I've missed the boat for this year, so maybe next year...

Ferret said...

I wouldn't want to ship a big quilt from Canada, but something small shouldn't be too bad. Or if you could talk someone into collecting it and reshipping it, you could send something over that went to Sandown and Festival of Quilts, and maybe more if you were feeling like it. Makes the shipping far more worthwhile.

doris batting said...

go for it!
In a rush of foolish enthusiasm I entered 3 really ROUGH quilts to festival of quilts 2 years ago when I started quilting. Judging comments were very tactful considering how green I was, and its fun to have your quilts exposed ( ooh matron )

diannajessie said...

I also went to the Sandown Quilt Show and found it to be filled with many beautiful quilts in styles that were more traditional than not. I was slightly disappointed. I would love to try and enter a quilt, but it's quite a daunting prospect at the least.

Liz DandeliondD said...

I have only just seen this post - I thought I was already following your blog but I was mistake... I definitely am now.
I can't wait to see how you get on. I went to Sandown {and blogged about it too}
I would love to enter - if the inspiration descends upon me and what I make turns out well. I love that quilts really started out as functional thrifty items historically and not this strangely perfect *quilting* ideal.
I was sad that so many quilts said No Photographs.
Off to check the entry forms.

Pennie said...

Hmm, got as far as reading the entry forms.... am confused - it says you need to send photos but then it says the quilt doesn't need to be finished, so what do the photos have to be of? Not me, surely!!!