“2013: Mayan Tree of Life Lives”
by Caron Mosey
2010—Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational, “South of the Border”
Nearly 20,000 quilters from 40 states and 10 countries will blanket Grand Rapids on Aug. 22-25, 2012, as the American Quilter’s Society holds its exhibit on the west side of Michigan. Read more about this exciting news at http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2011/02/grand_rapids_lands_convention.html .
Published by Caron Mosey at Michigan Quilts! 2010
Entering a quilt show can be a scary but worthwhile process for any quilter. How do you know when you are ready to take the plunge and jump into the pool of quilts ready to be examined and evaluated? What does it mean to enter a “juried show?”
It is my personal belief that every quilter owes it to themselves to display their work in at least one quilt show. There is nothing like seeing your work hung on a wall or from a full-size display for everyone to admire. The best place for your first-ever show is a non-juried exhibit. Many quilt guilds will have regular shows that showcase their members’ work on an annual or semi-annual basis. These are often held in a church, school or other public space and open to the public for a small fee. A show such as this is a wonderful way to see quilts of all styles and levels of expertise together in one space. Because ribbons are not awarded, all quilters are able to enjoy entering their quilt without fear of being judged on their workmanship.
A juried show or exhibition is one in which photos of quilts are submitted months ahead of the competition. A panel of judges selects quilts which will go forward in the competition and be exhibited in the show. Quilters are then notified of their status, and ship their quilts in time for the competition. A second round of judging takes place prior to the show opening, and winners are selected in a number of categories. Quilts are hung, and ribbons are placed on the winning entries.
It is always exciting to walk into a show and find a ribbon on your quilt. The joy that you feel when you see people admiring your winning quilt is unlike no other. In contrast, when you enter a show and do not receive a ribbon, it can be very disheartening.
How you react to the outcomes of a juried show depends on what you expected when you entered the show in the first place. Were you expecting a ribbon when you entered, or were you entering the competition looking for constructive criticism? Personally, I look for feedback to help make me a better quilter!
A juried competition must have experienced, highly-regarded quilters for judges. NQA certified judges are always preferred, as they go through a rigorous certification process and know what to look for. Always keep in mind that judges are only human. If they are comparing three quilts of equal excellence, they will choose the one they like first. It is tremendously helpful to have written feedback from the judges following any competition. That is the feedback I always look for when I enter. What was good about my quilt? What do I need to work on? Are there classes that might help me improve in these areas?
Studying winning quilts during a show helps me better understand what I need to be working on. What do good bindings look like? Quilting stitches? Applique and piecing techniques? By looking critically at blue ribbon quilts and by taking good notes during the show, I create for myself a list of items to focus on in my own work. No one improves in any aspect of life unless they practice and self-analyze their own work.
Enter a quilt show. Help yourself grow!
Floral Star of Bethlehem… not holding my breath, but hoping for a little better than last place!
If you attend the show, could you please take a photo of it hanging for me?
Thanks! (And crossing fingers)
Yesterday Dean and I had a wonderful day roaming around the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve been there, and much has been done to the museum during my absence. Our visit was planned so that we could attend the quilt show featuring the quilts of Susana Allen Hunter. The link takes you to the Henry Ford web page with her information.
Susana was an African American woman who quilted out of necessity for her family. The exhibit is only there through April 27th, so if you’d like to attend, you best hurry! Dating from the 1930s to the 1970s, her quilts provide daily-life context to the experience of African Americans living in the Jim Crow South. Don’t expect to see fancy applique and tiny, wonderous quilting motifs. However, the exhibit is an excellent display of real-life America for many people. Taking what they had, using worn clothes and blankets, women often crafted quilts to warm their families. If you visit, take take the time to read the displays. The information and quotes from Susana’s family are precious. What a great lady she was!
Here are just a few of the photos from the show:
That’s me in the middle admiring the back of her quilt. Looking at the display of her sewing materials (see above) was a humbling experience. Modern-day quilters tend to search for the newest sewing gadgets to make our work better. It’s amazing what needle, thread, and one simple pair of scissors will do! Thank you for your work, Susana.
THF display shows how woman lived
By Jasmine Boney, Press & Guide Newspapers
PUBLISHED: March 19, 2008
DEARBORN – The Henry Ford Museum is hosting “Quilting Genius 2: The Improvisational Quilts of Susana Hunter” now through April 27.
Quilting Genius 2 showcases the creativeness and resourcefulness of the late Susana Hunter, who lived in Wilcox County, Ala.
Hunter was born in 1912 and lived through the some of the most controversial decades in American history. She died in 2005, leaving behind a legacy of hard work, love and a wonderful life.
Please read about this exhibit and Susana Hunter at Press and Guide.
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