Sunday, October 6, 2013

AQS Show

I have to say it: Entering the AQS show was the best thing I've ever done in quilting.  I knew I wouldn't win (I had my fingers crossed for a 4th place ribbon...)

First view of it, in the Machine Quilted Wall Quilts section
It was so gratifying to see my quilt hanging up there. As if I fooled the jury into thinking I am a real quilter. And more than anything, what made me feel like a real true quilter was I didn't think my quilt looked out of place.  People (well, most of them, I think) didn't walk by it and think "how did this get into the show", they walked by it, and then they stopped and took a closer look.

PROUD quilter!  Drove all the way to Des Moines to see the quilt that hangs in my guest room.
I'm not too proud to admit I stalked my quilt just a bit. Stood nearby to listen to what people had to say.  They were amazed by the small stitches, interested in the fact that each square had a different design. People remarked how long it must have taken (a few "there is no way that's worth it"- oh, but little do they know, it so was!) and how precise the work was.  People talked about which square was their favorite (quite a few liked the one I did first- which made me laugh, as that was when I was still so new this quilt was supposed to be a practice piece, it became a show quilt on accident.) I heard a non-quilting man say to his wife "I like this one because the different designs each have a different texture".

See- I'm such a stalker. But I only took one picture of people looking at my quilt. They spent quite awhile examining it. And that girl walking up did stop to take pictures :)
My favorite comment was "Wow. Look at this detail work. This is really amazing. Oh, and ever square is different. How does this not have a ribbon?"  I wanted to hug that person.    I did have my critics though. One woman didn't even stop walking to look at the section my quilt hung in (any of them...) she just walked by and said "Snowflakes shouldn't be pink. I don't like that one.") It kind of made me laugh. The snowflakes are white...

My tag
Over and over I heard people try to figure out what technique I used, how were the snowflakes, which have no stitches, appliqued (did they miss the stitches around them? I guess if they don't know about the organza...) Many people wondered what made it shiny.  One pair decided I must have painted the pink part.

I happened to run into the woman with the quilt next to mine. She lives in Brazil and this was her first time entering an American quilt show. I can't imagine entering an international show!
Listening to them talk about my quilt echoed my thoughts and wonder about the great quilts I saw at the show- and there were so many; it was just awe inspiring and a bit discouraging all at once ("how can I ever make a quilt as good as these?").  It was absolutely amazing to be displayed side by side with many of these other quilts.
AQS does not allow the posting of photos on blogs, so unfortunately, I can't share the hundreds of quilts I took pictures of (and there were almost 2,000 quilts shown in a variety of exhibits including the contest).
This photo gives you some idea of the scope of the show. This was only half of one room. There was a whole other room. There was the main contest, the modern quilt contest, and many special exhibits (miniatures, Quilt Master's, Silk Road, Cow Quilts, Egyptian Quilts, Color Play panels, and the local Des Moines quilt show)
 But I want to share this: if you have a quilt, and you think it is fabulous: chances are someone else will think it is fabulous too.  Enter it!  You'll be so glad you did.  You might need to be perfect to win, but you do not need to be perfect to show. And no one who sees it hanging is going to have any idea it isn't perfect. I think that is the secret the show quilters keep among themselves. Don't let them know I told you that my quilt wasn't perfect- they might kick me out of the club.

Really want to add a thank you to Leah Day. She designed this pattern, and a few of the free motion designs were either hers or inspired by hers.  But mostly, her attitude toward quilting empowered me to learn to quilt, and to make a "practice piece" that was good enough to hang in a national quilt show.


Susan Owenby said...

Congratulations! That's a very big deal with or without a ribbon. Good for you. :)

Paula@TheSassyQuilter said...

Oh wow! Such a fabulous quilt and what an honor. Glad you went for it Love the pink by the way:)

Maartje Quilt said...

What an eye candy! For a first quilt it is amazing! Congratulations. You must be an excellent sewer!
Thanks for visiting my blog. I can recommend the SewCalGal-tutorials. I have three to go!

Rosemary Dickinson said...

You should be so proud of this quilt! It's beautiful! I love you chose pink as the background. It looks perfect to me. Ribbon or no ribbon, you know it wonderful!

Ann Brooks said...

Congratulations on a lovely quilt! What a good time you had at the show.

ChristaQuilts said...

Congratulations! It's a beautiful quilt and an honor to get in.

I love that you "stalked" your quilt. I did the same thing at QuiltCon, LOL!

It's a striking quilt and I'm so glad you entered it and are encouraging others to do the same :-)

And keep entering other shows! You have a 2 year cycle with it so chances are you may win at another venue!

Gwyned Trefethen said...

I don't know which is more spectacular, your quilt or your smile. Congratulations!

Queenie Believe said...

Congratulations on your 1st quilt show! It is a great quilt! Here's to many more qilts and quilt shows for you!!!
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Sandra J said...

This is a beautiful quilt. I love that it is not on the predictable blue background. Way to go for taking the plunge to enter it; hey, if no one had the courage to enter their "babies" there'd be no shows to go to, drool over, and get inspired by!

Napping Time Quilter said...

Congrats on your ribbon! Such a beautiful quilt!

Heidi said...

I love your pink quilt. You did an amazing job. :)