I am in the midst of an quilting identity crisis! I actually was unaware of my feelings of unrest until I went to the 2011 PIQF. One of my quilts made it into the New Quilts of Northern California exhibit. It was very exciting for me because I have never shown in a quilt show before. I had a really great spot by the front and found my quilt easily.
There were a lot of truly amazing quilts in this show and it was overwhelming at first to think mine was hanging near some.
Here are a few pictures of quilts that caught my eye. I will apologize in advance for the poor picture quality and lack of information about the quilters. I will be more organized at the next show.
The Best in show quilt was by Sherry Reynold called “America, Let it Shine” The quilt was amazing!!! And I accepted that I would never in my life ever have the patience to create something so magnificent. I am at peace with that truth;)
Here is a link to the winners at PIQF. Be ready for your mind to be blown!
The stand out of the show, for me at least, was the quilts by Australian quilters, Sue Dennis and Gloria Loughman. Sadly, I was so engrossed by these quilts I did not take any pictures and I doubt any pictures I took would have given them justice. Sue had a really fantastic use of color and texture. Gloria’s pieced backgrounds were meticulous and really striking. I found my new quilt heroes!
SO, BACK TO MY QUILTING IDENTITY CRISIS!
I am not happy with the direction of my quilts. The show helped focus me on what I like and I thought I would share my thoughts and my plan to stretch myself to a new level of quilting.
1. FREE MOTION!! I realize that I have focused on making quilt tops and the process of quilting has been left behind. I think I have missed some opportunities to create really cool in order to “just finish it”. I am no longer going to rely on straight line quilting or my local shop (even though my local shop does excellent work) to finish my quilts. I am the proud owner of a Bernina 820 and I need to be using it as it was intended. I didn’t pay all that money to ignore my stitch regulator! I have already started free motion quilting a coin stack quilt I made from a Robert Kaufmann challenge given to the modern quilt guild.
2. SLOW DOWN!! I have been making plans to open an Etsy shop and my desire has been to do that sooner rather than later. I know now that I need more time to work on my craft and create a better business plan. I am slowing down on making a business and enjoying creating and trying new techniques. That is not to say that I won’t accept the occasional job for a friend. In fact, I am starting on a t-shirt quilt for a friend of mine whose husband is a firefighter and has too many shirts. I look forward to doing something fire themed!!
3. BE BOLD!! I found that during the show, I was drawn to loud colors and strong design. I don’t do enough with color. I think I will be playing more with the color wheel when in my sewing room. In Dan Rouse’s stencil class I went outside my usual color palette and used bright pink and turquoise. I chose the colors using a app on my smart phone. The Spider and the Victim came out great…it felt good!!
4. GET OVER IT!!! I have always suffered from low self image and when I started quilting I had trouble sharing my work with others. I eventually found a fantastic group, the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild, that has been a sounding board and an amazing resource of techniques and information. I have also gained an enormous amount of inspiration as they are all really talented. I highly recommend finding a group that meets your needs. If your group does not build you up, find another. Through this group I have become more confident in my quilting abilities and through the encouragement of Sharona, I submitted my quilt to PIQF. My goal is to continue to submit my quilts and opinions without fear of rejection.
I have a really cool opportunity that I will blog about in the next few days. Let me just say it is a fun way to share my ideas with the international quilt community! Stay tuned.
I leave you with this. My current project is Halloween costumes. I hope my boys never get too old for me to do this. This year the family is going as a flock of owls!!(We still need to add feathers)
Until next time, find your bliss!