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