No, not for doomsday. Although if the deadline is tight it can feel that way. This post is all about getting your quilt ready to send to a show. As show season approaches I hope that some of you at least are planning to enter your work in a local show like the Dutchess County Fair, or the Dutchess Hereitage Quilt Show. These are shows that are not juried, the only reason they would turn you down is they ran out of room. They are also local enough for you to be able to drop off and pick up your quilts in person saving the expense and worry of shipping, and of course you then get the excitement of seeing your piece hanging in the exhibition.
I do encourage every quilter to share their work in this way at least once. Seeing it hanging is a formal situation changes your perspective and many people are pleasantly surprised at how their work compares. The main reason I think showing is good is that it adds emotional value to our work. Too many quilters are dismissive of what they make. Quilts are beautiful works of art that display technical knowledge, precise skills, and creativity. They deserve to be shown.
So you have decided to enter a show and gotten the entry form. Now read it carefully. It will have information about drop off and pick up, hanging sleeve and label directions, and a place for you to be able to say a few things about your project. It will also have questions about size, materials, quilting, and age. I bet you didn’t realize how much there is about your quilt that they need to know. Some shows will also ask for a photograph so they can have a visual for identification purposes. Just take it one bit at a time. If you have questions, ask them of the committee, or bring it in to me and I can usually help decipher for you.
Then there is the quilt itself. All of a sudden the project that you curled up under with popcorn and a movie on the couch needs to get gussied up. First, if it is washable, do it. It helps the batting get fluffed and lets the quilting show. If needed block it so it hangs straight. Be sure that your binding is well attached and that the miters on the corners are as good as you can get them. Sew the miters closed with a few stitches too, it helps them stay nicer and these days judges look for that. Be sure that there are no loose threads or pet hairs ( I have to be very careful of that— thank you Jake ), and follow instructions for hanging sleeve and label exactly.
When you get to the show and see your work hanging, maybe even with a ribbon, enjoy the moment. It is a thrill. If you feel social and there are people looking at it you can share that you are the quiltmaker. Those conversations are some of the most enlightening and usually wonderful for the ego too. Enjoy your moment, take photos if the show allows. Bask in the glow. This is the part of showing work that is addictive. Celebrate your achievements and share your excitement. Share the excitement of others who are exhibiting work too, Save any criticisms, even constructive ones for another day. Savor it because the show comes down all too fast.
If anyone needs help with the exhibiting process I am glad to offer assistance. If you need help to finish something remember that we have work in progress Wednesday.
Tuesday is a handstitchers Club day, we are still working on the stamped cross stitch project. I have a few more squares left so it is still not too late to get in on this project. See the Club News page for supplies list if needed.
Don’t forget to register for our Five Fab Fats Tote Bag workshop, $10.00 off registration fee if you get it booked by Labor Day. The sample you see pictured here was made by a student using that fun Pre Pieced denim. Great fabric choices don’t you think?