Monday, 15 August 2016

Judges comments

I am recovering from a lovely weekend at Festival of Quilts. For the first time I entered two quilts into the show and have comments. Its only the second time I have entered any show and last time didn't come with comments.

Lets put it out there, criticism can hurt, but I thought it would be interested to explore the comments I got and how I am receiving them.

The first thing to work out is why you put the quilt into the show - was it to win or was it something else. For me, of course I would have been ecstatic to win but it wasn't my motivation. Basically this was the first year FOQ had a Modern category and I really wanted to support that and showcase what modern quilting really is to the many people that don't get it.

Unfortunately, I didn't read the small print and only found out after I had entered them that you couldn't have two quilts in the same category. So I had to find an alternative for one of them.

I changed this one and put it into Pictoral as I call it City Sunset. It was made from scraps a couple of years ago and after I turned it round I saw the cityscape and fell in love with it. It was all very improv and when I made it I wouldn't have dreamed of it ever going into a show. The binding was chosen because it was on the floor in my sewing room and when I put it next to the quilt I loved the contrast. Its completely the "wrong" colour and a print in a solid quilt but I adore how it frames it and always have. It hangs above my bed and I've missed it a lot. (ps it is rectangular, its just a dodgy angle)

The score and comments are as follows

"Good use of colour in the centre panel, maybe the design composition is too conventional"

"Nice warm colours. Binding is out of place"

Clearly they don't like my binding, but I didn't do it to please them. It pleases me immensely. I was really surprised that it fit the category/theme rules as it wasn't ever planned for it.

Overall, these were better than I expected based on the fact it was a complete improv piece, made with no design composition in mind and no idea it would ever go into a show.

The second quilt was even more interesting. When I made the top I was it was very unplanned and part of a challenge. I was also doing a lot of processing on the theme of loneliness at the time as it was coming up in my work and it came out in the quilt. Each New York Beauty block represents a person and how they are connected to others. However by the time I came round to quilting it I knew I was going to put it into the show. I still didn't have a quilting plan though until I actually started.

"There are some inventive aspects to this design -  but maybe just a few too many competing for attention?"

"A very innovative and successful combination of material. Artistic!"

"A good example of modern quilting (word I can't read). Interesting use of negative space."

These ones really amused me because they are all so very different. One judging marking needs attention what another puts as excellent. And it proves how subjective it all is. Can I learn anything from these if I was really focused on making a quilt to please judges in a show? Not really. So what can I learn? 

That if I make a quilt to please myself completely then I get a great deal of pleasure from that. If I share it with the world, why could I expect everyone out there to love it as much as I do? But some people might and that is really rewarding. But if I let pleasing others be my driver I won't be happy with the process of making it. 

And remember one of my favourite quotes