Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rejection
This is my quilt, Blue Towers.  It was recently rejected from Tactile Architecture, an exhibit that debuts at the Houston Quilt Show (aka, International Quilt Festival).  
I am posting about this recent rejection for many reasons.  One is that since I usually post about my successes, my readers might assume that is the whole story.  And it is not.  I get many, many rejections.  I enter a LOT of quilts into a LOT of venues.  My motto is "You can't win if you don't play".  Not that I am always looking for a win, I'm not. (a side note: I do really LIKE winning when it happens!!) However, the point is to hope that my work gets to be SEEN by a larger audience.  That makes being an artist meaningful to me.  First to make the art, and then for it to be seen.

To be seen on my blog is truly wonderful.  However, blog readership has really gone down in the recent years.  I'm not sure if it is my work, or my blog, or just a general trend?  And the other note is that my work looks really different in real life as compared to a small image on a computer screen.  I suspect that is true of most art.  That's why I work so hard to get it out there.

How do I feel about this rejection?  This time it just didn't matter that much.  A lot of people I know ruminate about the WHY part of the equation.  I don't usually go there, or if I do, I don't stay long.  I like my work, or I wouldn't have entered it.  I am very critical of my own work, and usually my critique is more valuable to me than what other people might say.  I will say that being rejected by a juror whom I respect does give me cause to go back and re-evaluate my work.  I did not get that opportunity this time.  For some odd reason, Houston prefers to keep their jurors' identities secret.  And this is where I must lack some serious empathy because for the life of me, I can't imagine why?
 
Being a juror is hard work.  It is difficult to take a bajillion photos and pick only a few that will work as a cohesive exhibit.  Not an enviable task.  I look forward to seeing the quilts that were selected.  And, it is unlikely that I will agree with all of the jurors' choices, but it was their choice to make, not mine. Without any knowledge or details, I usually just assume that my quilt didn't fit in as well as perhaps some others did.  And, I am okay with that.

As for Blue Towers?  I am VERY fond of this quilt.  I love the colors as they are so rich, vibrant, mellow, and lush.  I love the patterns in this quilt.  I love the quilting in this quilt.  I love the edge finish whipstitched by hand in black embroidery floss.  I love what this quilt means to me.  For me, it all works. And, this quilt is lucky enough to have already been to the Houston Quilt Show in part of another exhibit. 
Until next time....

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Treasured Fabric Meant to be Used: Road Racers

I bought this wonderful little animal racing fabric when my son was about 2.  I fully intended to use it on something, but could not decide how to best cut it up.  I had it stacked in my closet with a set of other fabrics that would go with it, and nothing ever happened....until I stumbled across it a few weeks ago.  Same kid is now 18.  It might be okay to cut this up!
I think we all go through this.  Buying a beloved fabric and then too afraid to cut it up.  I suspect for me that there was something about needing to keep it whole that prevented me from cutting it up.  And, for whatever reason, I don't have that need anymore.  Time to move on.
I had fun making these rather wonky blocks.  And to extend the fabric a little bit further, I was able to add some pastel strips to the little sections of racing cars.  This allowed me to make a half yard of the fabric into a quilt top that is about 45" square.  Then I added this black and white racing checks border to finish it off.  LOVE!
And, I know I will have fun quilting it too, when I get to that part.  I forgot to take a picture of the fabric I used for the back, but will make sure to include it when I get the quilting done!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Stashbusters: using up the Red and Aqua


On my quest to start using up my fabric stash (vs. letting it sit unused in boxes for years and years....), I have a new top completed.  I call this one, Trapped by Icy Blue.  This was an experiment in asymmetry, though there are symmetrical elements about it.  I also decided to mix it up a bit with a pop of red, just to see what it looked like.  I am still not sure if I like it or not.  I would love to hear your opinions!

I enjoyed working the strips in smaller blocks.  This top was made with 4 big blocks, as opposed to one giant block that kept growing as in the Big Blue stashbuster here.

Though you might have seen this coming, I did not.  I was singly focused on making the quilt tops without a care in the world.  Now....I need backs for these two big blue quilts, and I can't decide what to choose.  I thought of just purchasing some wide fabric to use for the backs, but it kind of defeats the purpose of getting rid of what I already have.  I thought of just using this quilt as the back for the other one.  They are almost the same size.  However, aesthetically, it is not working for me.  Why do I have to care???  But I do.

Then, I will need to quilt these big quilts. Not ready for that yet.  I will get to it, but for now, I am working on more quilt tops and see what happens.  Stay tuned!