So, where were we? Oh - we were talking about entering quilt shows. Well, I thought that I had this great piece - it was borderline, falling somewhere between traditional and art quilt. I had NO idea what category to place it in. My friends were little help. So, I took this huge leap and went for - what DID I go for? I can hardly remember, but what I DO remember is that it was, sadly, out of its element, sandwiched in between a Log Cabin and a Double Wedding Band.
I spent soooo much time finishing this piece. It was hand-quilted, using a splendid woolen batt and a very spidery slippery variegated quilting thread (which made me weep with frustration over the knots) and THOUSANDS of Czech glass beads in the margins. TONS of hours, hand quilted. I had an esoteric title for it too, 'Duffer's Fortnight', which is a magical time that any good fly fisherman worth his salt would understand. It went right over the heads of my collective judges. They gave it an Honorable Mention.
I was ok about the award. Disappointed, but holding my own. The thing is this - walking out of the exhibit I had the opportunity to speak with my icon - Ms. Joan Lintault. This woman truly defines quilting and if you don't believe me, go check out her website. She had come along with some of us to see this show, which was, to my mind, even more exciting than attending the show! Anyway, leaving the pavilion I fell into step with her and she turned and looked me right in the eye and chuckled. She said, "want some advice?" (I almost fell to my knees) I managed to squeak out a timid 'yes'. "Lose the ties", she said, and walked away.
The ties. I had tied certain areas of the quilt, thinking that it added to the theme (fly fishing, hand ties....) I thought that it was a clever addition to an already over-embellished quilt. And, in my defense, I happen to LIKE ties. I like the old-fashioned application - I like the little hills and valleys and puckers that occur - I like the vast array of threads available to choose from. I like that Joan was so succinct.
How did it go so wrong?
I mean, just LOOK at the detail (and those ties - those lovely ties!)
I used hundreds of Miyuki glass beads to embellish several of the trout bellies! (It was great fun and when over, I had graduated to the next level in corrective eye wear)
I truly love this quilt - hands down, my all-time favorite. Flaws and all. Kind of a self-portrait.
Fish, fireflies, sunrise, deep liquid pools and even a bee - all of the elements for a perfect day on the water -
Thus, the beginning and end of my quilt show career!