Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dallas Quilt Show Re-cap

Okay. Have you ever felt like George Jetson, screaming "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"? Man, oh, man, do I ever relate. The last 2 weeks have been a blur. But, I'm getting ready for a little bit of R&R. Russ is being sent to Phoenix this weekend by his company to represent them at a gathering of stadium boxholders of the Texas Rangers. (That was kind of a run-on sentence...I hope you got the gist of it!) Anyway, we're going to be wined and dined and taken to a Rangers spring training game on Saturday. It ought to be fun - at least it will be a change of scenery!

Okay, about the quilt show. Here's a picture of our booth.

I know it looks a little crowded, but we wanted to cram it full of a wide selection of kits. I think it was a great plan, and one we'll probably do again next year.

I didn't get a chance to really walk all of the quilts, but here's a couple that I found intriguing.

This quilt was called "Little Cities" and was on the end of the aisle where our booth was. When we set up our booth on Thursday, all the quilts were being judged, so we didn't know who the winners were at that time. But I loved this one at first sight. I have this thing for blocks that look like nested boxes. Plus the color arragement was stunning.

See all those tiny circles and fish? They were satin-stitch appliqued to perfection. And I don't even really care for satin-stitch applique. But this was cool.

I just liked the exquisite applique on this one. It was gorgeous.

Fun, fun, fun. You couldn't help but smile when viewing this quilt.

This is a Karen Stone pattern. It's one of those kind of things where I know I COULD if I chose to, but right now I think I'll just enjoy the work of others.

Another applique quilt - I think there's something like over 1500 circles on this quilt. The quilt I'm currently working on might have 40 berries on a block. I guess I don't have room to complain after seeing this one!

I think there's 14-15 berries per bunch. Oy vey!

Okay. Now for my rant on the insanity of quilt judging. I have a friend who worked as a judges' scribe during the judging. We got to talking about the quilts that won ribbons and those that didn't and why. Take this quilt for example. It got a 2nd place in the Master's pieced category.

Masterful piecing, exquisite quilting. But apparently the judges seriously argued at length about whether is was ribbon-worthy. Why?

Do you see the left-hand vertical seam between the background and the green triangle? It's kind of hard to see in the photo, but there was a little wobble and it wasn't perfectly straight after quilting. Can you say "splitting hairs"?

This was a version of the "Almost Insane" pattern by Liz Lois. Impeccably pieced, tiny blocks. It hung straight and flat and was a vision to behold. But it didn't win a judged ribbon (the ribbon hanging on it was a past show chair's favorite choice). I asked my friend why.

Apparently, out of hundreds of fabrics, there were a couple that weren't "period". And they discounted all other qualities because of that.

This is why I no longer play the judged quilt show game. Your heart and soul's work is under scrutiny by people who have a particular bias on any particular day. It's a constantly moving target. It can make one crazy. Don't get me wrong. If people chose not to display their quilts, there would be no quilt shows. I'm just saying that I once got into that whole "I want to WIN a ribbon" mentality and it made me insane. I'm all for sharing the joy of your work. But I highly recommend that if you aren't a professional, full-time show quilter, get your head in the right place before you enter, so that you are not disappointed. There may be absolutely nothing wrong with your work - you just didn't meet the unknown subjective criteria of the judges on that particular day. Just my humble opinion, of course.

I will now step down from my soap box and fold some laundry in order to pack. Have a great weekend!


Blogger Happy Valley Quilter said...

Your booth looks great, Susan. I love to look at lots of quilts so that I can see what the finished kit will look like.

Thanks for sharing the pictures of the beautiful quilts!

11:39 PM  
Blogger May Britt said...

Thanks for showing us. I too love the one called "Little Cities". What a beautiful quilt. And from the close up I see it has a lot of details.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Your booth is lovely (and loved the kit quilt in your earlier post). And you showed such exquisite quilts (including the quilts that did not win a ribbon [!]). The Karen Is that in a particular book or sold by itself or what?

5:21 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Found it, the Karen Stone is called Mississippi Wheel of Fortune. It's hard to believe that the Almost Insane quilt did not wow the judges. It's phenomenal.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

oh RATS! I wish I had known you were coming to Phx. I could have picked you up for a quick shop hop! (and if your husband is like would have not been let out of his SIGHT in case I'm a weirdo and not just a QUILTY weirdo!) Hope you dont' get rained out (dime sized hail!) like we were on Thursday!

11:40 PM  
Blogger gwen said...

Thank you very much for sharing so beautiful pictures. The Nearly Insane is wonderful, ribbon or not! Take care.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of these quilts were in a recent Australian quilting magazine - it's great to see a bigger picture on your blog. My fave was the cities one too and I'm not one for abstract quilts normally! There are some amazingly talented quilt artists out there :-)

12:31 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Hi Susan, Thanks for sharing the pictures from the Dallas show. Your booth looks very inviting--I love it when vendors put up lots and lots of finished quilts.

7:56 AM  
Blogger YankeeQuilter said...

Thanks for sharing the photos from the show. I can't believe they eliminated the nearly insane quilt becasue of a few fabaric choices! Most of the pieces in that quilt are so tiny who would notice as along as teh color blends!

Have fun with the baseball weekend! We just upgraded our TV contract so we could get a few games this summer...tracking the red sox on the computer is just not the same...

4:52 AM  
Blogger Su Bee said...

Your booth looks great! You can never have too much stuff :-)
A judge once explained to me why the nitpickiness: it's simply because in a field of phenomenal quilts, there has to be SOMETHING that separates first from second, and the only way they can do it is to be nitpicky. I didn't care too much for this particular judge, but she said that with all honesty and humility that it made me think. She also added that it really is subjective, and sometimes mood sneaks in and plays a hand. I'm sure glad I didn't have to judge any of those! I'd just stand there and wail!!

11:07 PM  
Blogger Tonya R said...

Yet more reasons why I hate quilt show judging. yeesh. That Nearly Insane is incredible

3:27 PM  
Blogger Greenmare said...

thanks for the quilt show! Your booth looked great, and I loved the closeups of the quilts along with the commentary. I agree completly on the judged aspect! Our guild show this year had the judged option. I opted OUT of that one! I personally know every teeny thing wrong with my quilts, and that's not why I make them.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

To me the nearly insane is sooooo beautiful !!

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Guess what? I'm a certified judge and must admit that NEARLY INSANE looks marvelous. Please understand that most of us "newer" CJ try our darnest to be impartial to our own preferences (that's the way it is SUPPOSED to be if you're a professional judge), and are to look strictly at a quilt from design, impact, creativity and workmanship qualities. I have presonally worked with a judge or two, or three! who doesn't like a particular color or technique and immediately dismisses it from his/her mind as a possible ribbon candidate -wrong!!!!!! Please don't think that all of the CQJs are subjective or unable to behave responsibly ...we too need to keep on learning all about the new techniques, etc.; some just don't.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I,too, am a NQA certified judge as is ANONYMOUS,and have been for over 25 years. I echo her sentiments exactly! A judge who can not be objective or put her bad mood away on the judging floor has no place being on it.

11:01 AM  

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