as some know i frequent the chat forum over on APQS's website. and some may know about the MQS (machine quilter's showcase) show that happened last week in kansas.
2009 show winner list: here (no pics tho)
first, congrats to ALL the winners! i know alot of my APQS family was included on the list.
second- congrats to all the quilts WITHOUT ribbons! the work that goes into these quilts is just as awe inspring and ribbon worthy.
so on the chat forum linda posted this topic. i posted my OPINION, and have interestingly keep watch on the replies. i got to thinking though, i'd like to elaborate a bit more.
first, i'm not jealous that the same group of (talented) quilters keep winning the major awards at the majority of the big national shows. NOPE! i've seen pictures of these quilts and they deserve it! the ONLY, the ONLY! jealousy issue i have is that they have made the TIME to work on their own quilts, or to work in a collaboration with someone else. do i have the time to work on a show quilt? yup! but like most, i have bills to pay, and my LAing helps do that. plus, i'm about a year or two of skill/confidence building before i have the cajones to enter a big show. i enjoy making quilts and quilting my customers quilts, and after much doodling i decided that one day i'll get that design out of my head and in a quilt then enter it in a show. will i hope for a ribbon-yes. will i expect a ribbon- nope. i'll just leave it to chance and the judges' opinion. and that is IMHO, the quilt show lottery.
i'm glad we have the award winning quilters in the industry. it gives me ideas and inspiration for my quilting. they introduce new ideas and techniques into the quilting world. i remember not to long ago a machine quilted quilt was not even considered a quilt- it was considered a bedspread, so just in the last 15- 20 years, look at the changes these ladies/gents have helped make to MY art. i also thank those same quilters who unselfishly produce patterns, books, tools, and DVDs to sell to the masses so i too can know how they do it. i honestly think they do want us/me to succeed as they have.
i do think that once a quilt racks up a couple BOSes and 1st place ribbons, it should be retired from the show circuit. let it travel in an exhibition show so all can see it and still be inspired. i'll be honest- if i had a quilt that went to a national show and won BOS, and i sent it to another and it ribboned there, I, ME, would retire it. i personally feel that sending it on to any other show would be, perhaps, showing off. it won two ribbons, time to come up with a new design, one-up myself, consider the possibly of teaching nationally, stepping aside and let another fellow quilter experience a big ribbon win. but as davis says- you can't judge someone by what YOU would OR wouldn't do.
i also disagree with some of the national organizations' categories for quilts, mostly how the categorize the quilting aspect. more to the point- how they classify computer driven quilting. with the advancement of technology, the LA companies have developed a computer driven long arm. i cannot compete with a computer, nor do i chose to (i'm not john henry dying with my machine in my arms) but what i would like to see is a separate category for "computer assisted quilting" if more than 75% of the quilting is done by computer- it fits that category, no matter how much more is free motioned. now, don't get me wrong- i'm not against computer LAing, i recognize that it is a different skill set, and requires a different level of knowledge. basically- a computer can quilt in way i cannot, and i can quilt in ways a computer cannot. i shouldn't be jugded as one in the same.
another one i have a problem with is the "quilt-for-hire" category. makes it sound like i should have a red light on in my studio. i consider what i do an art, and it took me 4 years of LAing to consider it that. i might not of pieced the top, but i made it a quilt using my POV creatively. i saw something in the quilt and used that to inspire a whole story with the quilting that enhances the patchwork design of the top. every quilt i quilt has a piece of my soul in it, every stitch placed is a labor of love, so when someone puts that in a box labeled "quilted-for-hire" i get a little defensive.
i have an idea for a quilt (or two)- and one day i will create this quilt, and hope it worthy just to hang alongside the quilts of the quilters i so look up to. until then,
i'm just stitchn' along