DATE: 04/11/2006 10:49:01 PM
So, there you have it. The reason it took so long is that I had to find a piece of fabric for each of the 600 squares that represented the terrain, and possibly the cities or mountains, in that section of the state. I actually laid the whole thing out on a poster-sized map of the state -- if you know what to look for, you can see that in the very first picture in this blog.
Last night was the big meeting where the guild voted for the best 8 challenge quilts that will be representin' PDX at the national competition in Nashville. It turned out there were about 20 entries. Mine was probably 19th best, which means I achieved both my goals: I wasn't (too) embarassed to have my piece hanging, and I didn't come in last. After the 8 winners were picked, the rest of us were called up to stand by our pieces, and everybody got a polite round of applause. That was nice. The only moment that could have been a drag was when someone who didn't know I was in the competition pointed mine out to me as one of the ones that "doesn't work." But it didn't bug me. I know it doesn't work.
The other problem is with the quilting. In the quilt world, dense quilting is valued. And for good reason -- it makes a piece look crisp and gives it texture. Sometimes, the texture of dense quilting is enough, even on an otherwise blank piece of white fabric, to make a stunning quilt in and of itself. Loosely quilted pieces, by contrast, look kind of dull and flabby, and tend to sag.
So, it ain't going to Nashville, but it will be at the Quilt show on April 28, 29, 30. (see the post titled "Log Cabin," below). See ya there.
DATE: 04/13/2006 10:35:08 AM
I think it's a really great quilt to be honest with you. Aren't you awarded extra points just for the concept?
DATE: 04/13/2006 06:24:08 PM
To be fair to myself, the judging was done without people seeing the artist's statement. So, they wouldn't have necessarily had a sense right away of how accurate it is, or why it was so thinly quilted. But on the other hand, the eight pieces that are going to the national show were all really spectacular. The people in the guild are wicked good.
DATE: 04/15/2006 04:47:37 PM
I agree with Eric that you are being too hard on yourself. I think it's really cool. But I did find it interesting that you felt yours to be the 19th best. Was there one that you knew no matter what everyone's was better than, or was it a modest mathematical way of expressing it's not in the top 8 but was not the worst?
DATE: 04/17/2006 03:54:42 PM
Let's make an analogy recording music. We'll stipulate that a few of my songs are really good, as songs -- good lyrics matched to a good melody, harmony, beat, and arrangement. Would you expect to ever hear them on the radio? Of course not. The reason is, I am shaky on the basic skills (singin', playin' guitar) and also on the more subtle skills (miking instruments, equalizing sound, mixing, and all of the stuff I don't even know about that makes a recording sound radio-ready). Other songs, perhaps even a few that arguably aren't as good in their ideal form (if I may get Platonic on your ass (so to speak)) are going to get airplay. Mine aren't.
Thus it is also with quilting, my friends. The overall idea may be good, arguably more interesting than what some of the others came up with, but the details of the execution mean something too. In fact, they mean a lot. I am not embarassing myself by putting quilts like this in the show, but you could make a reasonable case that I'm really a year or two away from "show-ready."
Yes, there was a clear loser, although it was a perfectly respectable entry. (There were also a few that were eliminated for not meeting size requirements, so I guess I "beat" them too). I felt like I was a pretty clear runner-up loser, but a generous observer could have put me in a lower tier with 3 or 4 others.