Just a month ago, on November 30th, I was frantically completing the online entry forms for two quilts to go to QuiltCon 2016. This will be the third show that they've put on, the first one on the West Coast in Pasadena. But it's also going to be the very first time that I'm able to attend it as well as the first time that I entered quilts for consideration of being in the show. Now I'm still not sure that I'm really a modern quilter, or just someone who appreciates the modern aesthetic in addition to the traditional history of quilting. Seeing as how I received fabric from Michael Miller for their fabric challenge and part of that challenge was to commit to entering the challenge quilt into QuiltCon, I felt that there was no choice but to take a chance. And seeing that the $30 entry fee allowed up to three quilts, well I couldn't enter just the challenge quilt, could I? But what other quilt did I have that would have a shot? Well there was the one that I made for the Modern Amish exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles the other year. After that it was just time to sit back and wait for the news. The stats showed 1810 entries for just over 300 quilt spaces. Oy, not great odds at all.
In mid December the emails went out. Wonder of wonders but I managed to have both of the quilts selected to hang in the show. Wow! I'm beyond excited and so very honored.
Here's the Amish inspired quilt, called Songs of a Distant Lancaster (thanks to my husband for helping me name it). It's all solid and is semi-improv, meaning that I had a basic idea of what to do but then just cut and pieced the fabric as I went, no measurements made prior to that. The quilting was done by me on my computerized longarm and is a design called Modern Serpentine by Anita Shakelford. I tweaked it a bit so that there would be variations of spacing between the serpentine lines. Part of me thinks that this was the perfect year to enter that quilt since Gwen Marston is the keynote speaker. Her work has a lot of inspiration from Amish quilts and is quite colorful.
The Michael Miller fabric challenge quilt, called Putting on the Glitz (not a really novel name for the quilt, I know). The challenge fabrics were black and white solids with either gold or silver metallic geometrics, dots and orange peels and the line was called Glitz. The rules stated that you could use a coordinate Michael Miller fabric (any of their solids) in the body of the quilt and any Michael Miller fabric, print or solid, for the binding and backing. That presented a bit of a problem as I could find only a couple solids at the local shops. A friend of mine and I decided to order solids online to get free shipping. After many sketches of an Art Deco flavored design, I finally opted to do something a bit more simple and on point. Once again the quilting was done by me on my computerized longarm. This time I branched out of my comfort zone. After doing the corner triangles with the assistance of the robotics, I pulled out the ruler and did a bit of ruler-work and some free-motion quilting in the on point squares. I still need to practice FMQ on the longarm but had so much fun working on this. There's a spot in the family room, where Freddie the longarm lives, that will be perfect for this little quilt to hang up.
It's very exciting that they made it to the show especially since I've seen the absolutely gorgeous quilts that are part of the IG hashtag, #quiltconreject. Do yourself a favor and spend some time looking at them. I know that many of these quilts will show up at different quilt shows. It makes me wonder whether there was a bit of a mix-up when I got my email. But then I just shake my head, smile and realize that I should count my blessings instead. Lesson learned, sometimes you have to go out on a limb and take chances. You just never know when you'll be rewarded.