After sitting through a long-winded description and proscription on how to best please quilt judges, I was ready for another version of reality. Those of us who don’t see quilting as a “competitive sport” need to be heard too. For me, what is valuable is the sharing of our quilts and our enthusiasms that create community and the strong bonds quilters share with each other. I do not believe that we need the suggestions from a quilt judge to know where we need to improve our skills. In fact, I am proud of quilters like our talented friend, LoVina, who resisted all efforts to change her improvisational style which would never be approved by any certified quilt judge.
Quote by Mark Twain: “Comparison is the death of joy.”
I tend to agree with Twain–competition and comparisons breed resentment and ill-will. Comparisons are never useful. As the quilt judge explained over and over, each quilt is compared to the others in its category, and then ranked. Why? Who does this serve? Do you really want that polyester ribbon? I know we can admire the skills, efforts, talents and imagination of every quilter without raising up or belittling anyone. Our creative selves express infinite variety.
“Please yourself and at least one will be well satisfied.”
As the Irish saying I once heard mentioned on NPR goes, “Please yourself and at least one will be well satisfied”. Just forget what a quilt judge would say–that is my advice. I like quilts with personality! Let me see your personality in every quilt you stitch! Here is a quilt loaded with personality! I’m tentatively calling it “Gees Paw” because it reminds me of the Gees Bend creations and because of the 15″ bears paw block. It is a big top! I’m still trying to figure out the decade of the newest fabric to help me date this top. Do not see any batiks, so that helps.
My friend (A.A.) wrote, “You probably noticed the two blocks in one of the paws turned the wrong way. Adds charm …. but it would probably bug me until I took it apart and rotated them.” I had noticed, but I replied “that the block ‘switcheroo’ does not bother me as much as the multiple clashing sashing. But I’ve decided to leave it all alone. It has its own charm as it is…..”
Perhaps I was drawn to this top, in part, because the quilt maker had consistently used several turquoise fabrics at the center of each of the 15″ blocks. For the past two years I’ve noticed how most of my quilts have some turquoise in them. Once I quilt Gees Paw, I will have to think carefully about what to use for binding–that will be a fun challenge! Do I want to go subtle or bold? What would you do? Any suggestions?
I hope you will come both days, April 5 & 6 to our big quilt show in Springdale sponsored by QUILT of Northwest Arkansas https://quiltguildnwa.edublogs.org/ Please join us that weekend (Friday & Saturday). With over three hundred quilts in the show and a special exhibit of hand quilted quilts, you can spend the day with us and enjoy a lunch from Spring Street Grill.