Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy

I'm afraid there's been little time for blogging here lately, with my sewing machine whirring late into the night for weeks on end. I've been busy making quilts and trying to put my personal 'word of the year' - COURAGE - into practice by entering a couple of competitions for the very first time.

Today I'd like to show you one of my entries, a quilt I've called 'Happy' because that's just how it makes me feel.

{My photos were taken at different times during the process, in varying light conditions}

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I initially entered it in the Quilting Expo at my local Spotlight store, the rules being that it needed to be my own original design and made entirely of fabrics bought from Spotlight.


Basically, I just took a single piece of Spotlight's white homespun, and fused a rainbow of petal shapes to it. Like many quilters, I have a love/hate relationship with Spotlight and their fabrics, but their homespun is one of my favourites. It's so soft and just beautiful to work with, and I always keep many metres in my stash.


I used a double batting for the first time, but rather than use the recommended combination of a wool and a poly batting, I used what was on hand and made a double poly sandwich before appliquéing and quilting the petals in the one process.


Then came the fun part, free motion quilting all that white space!


I might have gone just a little over the top with those feathers!


Finally I bound it in one of my favourite blue prints, an abstract floral that reads as plain, but has enough liveliness to be interesting, if that isn't too contradictory :-)


Then a funny thing happened on the way to the competition. My Spotlight store took down all the signs advertising the Quilting Expo!

 I checked with the store a week before, and again on the day of the advertised event, and on both occasions I was told it was still on, and invited to bring my quilt in for judging.

But there were no other entries :-)

So in the strangest of circumstances, it won! And I won a sewing machine!


Emboldened by my 'win', I summoned up all my courage, took a very, very deep breath and entered Happy in the Modern Quilt Guild Quiltcon competition. This is a juried competition, attracting world wide entries, but nothing ventured....

Of course it was rejected, on the basis of these two photos below from my online entry.


The Quiltcon exhibition judges had clearly given a lot of thought to the sensitive, encouraging wording of their rejection email, but it still took me several hours to come to terms with it. Instagram was alight with excited quilters posting screen shots of their acceptance emails, and pics of beautiful quilts that will hang at Quiltcon next February, and I couldn't help feeling left out of the party.

It wasn't until I learnt that from around 1,350 entries only about 300 had been chosen that I started to feel a little better. 

And then quilters like me, coming to terms with their disappointment, gradually started to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and gather courage to post pics to Instagram of their #rejectedfromquiltcon and #quiltconreject quilts. The trickle soon swelled to a torrent and by the end of the day there was a virtual quilt show of #tunaquilts ('the fish John West rejects', get it?😄)

And these rejected quilts were magnificent!!!!

I have plans for this quilt, and the experience of entering an international competition has taught me a great deal. It's also made me even more determined to become a better quilter.


23 comments:

  1. Well done on winning the Spotlight competition. It makes a lovely #tunaquilt!

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  2. Good luck for winning the Spotlight competition. It makes a lovely #tunaquilt. Their loss!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for making me feel better, Sue :-)

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    1. Thank you, Julee, I'm touched you think it's beautiful xx

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  4. Ohhh this quilt is a masterpiece. The thought and work you have put into it is fantastic and the quilting - well what can I saw, wow, wow, wow.

    You need to feel ultra proud of yourself - it's really a masterpiece.

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  5. wow! a sewing machine I wonder why no one else entered? I entered a contest like that once from a fabric store and came in second place and was excited about it until I found out there was less that 6 quilts entered :) this was a long time ago - I got 2nd place and $75 so I was pleased. Sorry it didn't get accepted to Quilt Con - I have heard a lot of people on line complaining today of how that went. Your quilt turned out great I wondered what had happened to you- you have been so quite :)

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  6. Well named! It makes me happy looking at it too! Fyi no such thing as "over the top" as far as feathers are concerned in my book! Congratulations on winning a machine, too!

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  7. Well done, both on making such an awesome quilt and wining a sewing machine! I'm glad you haven't taken your "tuna quilt" designation to heart - I admire anyone who enters an international competition.

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  8. Your quilt is very impressive to look at: unique, expertly quilted, and pretty to boot. I especially like hearing about your creative process, which can't be seen. Thank you for sharing both quilt and process.

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  9. Well, I think it's beautiful. Congratulations on your win!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne. I'm feeling much better already.

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  10. I think it's fabulous and such a creative way to have a colour wheel. The quilting looks gorgeous. Congratulations on the win and for having the courage to enter Quiltcon.

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    1. Thank you, Janet, for your praise. I appreciate it all the more since I'm sure, as a seasoned quilt competition entrant (and winner!), you're well acquainted with the experience of summoning up all the courage you can as you take a deep breath and risk rejection or criticism. So happy you like the quilting, by the way. xx

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  11. I can see why you called it happy. It makes me happy just to look at it too. I saved your post until I had more time to fully enjoy it. I love the colors and the quilting is beautiful. I realize they have to limit the quilts they show but yours would have been a wonderful addition.

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  12. Great job Di! Don't let one rejection put you off entering anything.

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  13. This is a wonderful quilt that has already had more adventures than a lot of quilts. I think it's great that people are sharing their Tuna quilts. I think Quilt Con needs to find a bigger venue, so they don't miss out on showing amazing quilts like this one.

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  14. I *love* this, Di!! So cool to win a new sewing machine. I'd be dancing over that. :) I wouldn't base feelings of security about entering international shows on a QuiltCon rejection. For one thing, as Rachel mentioned, they really need a bigger venue. For another, there really seems to be no real rhyme or reason for what was accepted and what was not. Certainly not quality of work or coolness of design. And when you make feathers that well, you *should* go over the top with them! They're very nicely worked in with other motifs, so they're not the least bit overbearing. I hope to get better at mine soon.

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  15. Your quilt makes me happy too Di! And your quilting is sublime! Your practice has quite obviously paid off!

    I have been reading a lot of posts on the disappointments of Quiltcon. Personally I think their rules are limiting. I had a bit of a blab on Amira's blog about Yokohama and modern quilting - perhaps I should write a blog post of my own. Short story is - I am not a modern quilter, and I find the quilts made to the new definitions to be, ah, boring!

    Yours is NOT a boring quilt. Please enter it in Sydney next year! It would be so great to see it hanging there with all that gorgeous natural light.

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  16. Di, you know I adore this quilt, and now, reading through your journey with it, I'm so proud of what you've accomplished! Your courage came through - entering it in the Spotlight competition, and then QuiltCon. It's a worthy quilt, as you definitely have outdone yourself trying new things - the appliqué/quilting in one step, the double batt, the unusual shape of the quilt, and then all that fabulous quilting! You've come a long way... baby (couldn't help myself). Keep up the great work. It's also apparent that you've embraced "courage." Can't imagine what your 2015 word will be!

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  17. Well, I love it! To think you are beginning with free motion quilting is astounding. You're really good. My love hate relationship with Spotlight is not over their fabric, but over their untidy, disorganised fabric, and lack of service. Every time I go, which isn't often because I have to travel to the city to go to one, it takes so much longer than I anticipated and I vow not to return. But I do, because I like to see their variety of fabrics.

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  18. Di I love this quilt, a great design and beautiful quilting! Wow!

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